?

How can we help?

Have a Question?

By using this form you agree with the storage and handling of your data by this website. View the terms of our policy here.

Call our team

Tyne & Wear: 0191 491 0344
Teesside: 01642 312 312
Darlington: 01325 353 222

Want to Save Money in 2019?

Click here

Squatting in residential property becomes a criminal offence

This entry was posted on Thursday, February 5th, 2015 by Nigel

Squatting in a residential property becomes a criminal offence from tomorrow in England and Wales.

 


The maximum penalty will be six months’ prison and/or a £5,000 fine.

 

 

Trespassing will be where someone knowingly enters a residential building as a trespasser, and is either living there or planning to live there without the owner’s consent.

 

There will no longer be a requirement for the property owner to ask the trespassers to leave before being able to involve the police.

 

Police will have a specific duty to enter the property to arrest anyone suspected of squatting, and can ignore ‘squatters’ rights’ notices.

 

The new offence will make it harder for trespassers to claim trespassers’ rights, because their occupation will be a criminal act.

 

Squatting as a criminal offence will not apply to residential tenants who continue to stay in a property, despite paying no rent. They will still be subject to the normal eviction proceedings.

 

Nor will it apply to people who think they had permission to live in a residential property. Government guidance specifically gives as an example a situation whereby a bogus letting agent encourages an unsuspecting tenant to occupy someone else’s property.

 

The offence will not apply retrospectively, so people already squatting in a residential property by September 1 will escape prosecution.

 

The offence is part of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012.

 

 

Yours

 

 

Chris Fitzakerley

 

 

Managing Director

 

NGU Home Lettings are here to help ...

Send us your property enquiry

Esta Awards
SAVE MONEY!

Want to Save Money in 2019?

As a landlord it’s becoming increasingly difficult to make money in property. So for the next year our aim is to save landlords money!