Calls to repeal squatter laws

In the middle of 2012 a new law came into force with a view to give further protection to homeowners against squatters. The law made it a criminal offence to displace the owners of a residential property for the first time. However, so far no one has been arrested for squatting in a property that was empty prior to the squatters moving in; no one has been arrested or jailed for occupying a property that has forced the current resident from their own home. A move is now being made by campaigners and lawyers to repeal the squatter law, claiming that as no one has been arrested or jailed making the law is obsolete and “superfluous” and the only difference between now and before the law changes is that previously a homeowner had to ask a squatter to leave before it was an offence where as now squatting in an empty property carries the same charge. They argue that as the new law has not led to any arrests of people who have displaced a resident from their own, and only removed people from empty properties, the new law is simply criminalising those who are the most needy. The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.  Setfords Solicitors are a national full service law firm, with residential property solicitors in Andover and across the country.