Expert Calls For Property Industry To Share Views on Squatters

Government Wants To Hear From Those Affected

08.08.2011

A property litigation expert at Irwin Mitchell is calling for anyone who has been affected by squatters to contribute to the Ministry of Justice’s consultation on the matter.

The government department’s Options For Dealing With Squatting report is aiming to assess current trends in relation to the problem across England and Wales, as well as whether current legislation goes far enough to address the issue.

It also includes proposals for how regulations could change, including the possibility of criminalising squatting as an offence, removing so-called squatters’ rights and improving protection for commercial property owners faced with the problem.

The consultation is set to run until the start of October, while a response will be published later in the autumn.

Danny Revitt, a commercial property litigation expert and Partner at Irwin Mitchell’s Sheffield office, has said the consultation is an ideal opportunity for anyone who has been affected by squatters to get their voices heard on the matter.

He outlined: “We have recently acted for clients in cases involving the occupation of development sites, empty shop premises and even  the occupation of the car park of trading premises.

“In every case, the owner or tenant has to bear the cost of not only obtaining possession but also the cost of any utilities used by the squatters, as well as the clean-up costs and the cost of securing the premises.

“We encourage anyone who has been affected by such issues in the past to respond to the consultation to give the government an idea of the cost and frequency of such incidents.”