New Laws Will Not Deter Squatters says Industry Expert

10 September 2012 Categories: News

New Laws Will Not Deter Squatters says Industry Expert

David Lawrenson, owner of popular website LettingFocus.com, has spoken out about the new laws regarding squatting, saying that they won’t prevent the homeless from illegally moving into empty properties. On September 1st this year squatting was made an illegal practice, meaning that anyone caught doing it could now face a six month jail sentence, a £5,000 fine, or both, but Mr Lawrenson believes that making squatting illegal will in no way deter the homeless from doing it.

When asked about the potential effectiveness of the new law Mr Lawrenson said, “We think that all a squatter now has to do under the new law is go to the Land Registry website and find out who the owner of the property is. They could also make up a plausible looking tenancy agreement with a false name for the tenant and the true name of the landlord and then show the agreement to the policeman, bailiff or owner.

“If queried, the squatter will say they pay rent in cash to the landlord. Naturally there is no trail for cash and they can always say that the landlord never issues a receipt.”

Former Housing Minister, Grant Shapps, insists that the new law will provide homeowners with better protection though and that the government has ‘tipped the scales of justice’ back in the direction of property owners.