Fergus Wilson Panorama documentary – now available on iPlayer22:10 PM, 18th March 2019
About A week ago 99
With the festive period drawing closer and people thinking about what to buy their loved ones, there is one gift that will be unwelcome, namely squatters.
Over the holidays every year we see a significant rise in squatters taking over empty buildings such as pubs and restaurants. These types of buildings can be particularly attractive to squatters as they come with their own supply of festive spirits!
Commercial property is particularly vulnerable during the festive period as they will often be empty for at least a week.
Is it a criminal offence to squat?
Whilst squatting in a residential property is a criminal offence with a prison sentence of up to 6 months and fine of up to £5k, squatting in a commercial property isn’t an offence.
In the winter months the homeless will look to empty buildings to shelter from the cold weather. This is something to be particularly aware of if the building is in an area that is quiet over Christmas such as business parks and places like the City of London that are filled with mostly offices.
What can you do to prevent squatters?
Having good security in place can be well worth investing in to reduce the need for removal when January comes around. Security measures include the following:
If you do experience a problem with squatting, we can assist, we will risk assess the situation and bring a team of qualified and experienced enforcement agents to evict the squatters. We can also assist with the clean up operation and have security firms that can be on hand to advise and secure the property and look at implementing measures to prevent the re-occurrence of squatters.
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