Squat­ters now face crim­i­nal charges

Yorkshire Post - Property - - PROPERTY -

SQUAT­TING in a res­i­den­tial prop­erty is now a crim­i­nal of­fence.

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 call­ing the po­lice, who will have a duty to en­ter the prop­erty to ar­rest any­one sus­pected of squat­ting, and can ig­nore “squat­ters’ rights” no­tices.

The of­fence will not ap­ply ret­ro­spec­tively, so peo­ple al­ready squat­ting will es­cape pros­e­cu­tion.

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