Figures Shed Light On Impact Of Squatting Offence Powers

Legal Expert Reacts To New Figures Obtained On FOI Request

03.09.2013

By Rob Dixon

Property litigation experts have said figures highlighting the number of people charged with squatting offences will be viewed warmly by homeowners, but warned that the problem remains a difficult one for commercial property owners.

According to new figures obtained under a Freedom of Information Act request by HuffPost UK, 69 people have been charged in relation to squatting offices since the introduction of new powers 12 months ago.

It also revealed that arrests for such offences were most common in Kent, while some regions including Cheshire and Hertfordshire did not see a single arrest in relation to the issues.

Commenting on the data, Danny Revitt, a Partner and specialist in providing advice and support on property litigation matters at Irwin Mitchell’s Sheffield office, said: “These figures have put an interesting spotlight on the impact that the new powers introduced last year have had on the property world.

“The reaction within residential property circles will no doubt be positive, but owners of commercial premises may view the figures as an unfortunate reminder that such powers do not currently apply to their assets – meaning they have to follow costly and time-consuming procedures in order to evict squatters.

“Earlier this year, reports suggested the Government was assessing the current state of play regarding the scale of squatting in commercial property, so it will be interesting to see how matters develop over the coming months in this regard.”

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