Amendments to the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill 2010-11 includes the provision to make squatting in residential property a criminal offence. A criminal offence will have been committed when someone knowingly enters a residential building as a trespasser and when they live in or intend to live in the building. Convictions could lead to a fine or imprisonment. It is expected that these changes will come into force in the New Year. In the meantime Housing Minister Grant Shapps has announced clearer guidance for homeowners on the current rights they already have.
For more information and advice on property or landlord and tenant issues please contact us.