Squatters target commercial property

Since 1st September, through section 144 of the amended Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act, squatting has been criminalised for residential buildings.

Since 1st September, through section 144 of the amended Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act, squatting has been criminalised for residential buildings.

Unfortunately, the act does not cover commercial property and David Marsden, a property litigation partner at Charles Russell told the Financial Times (Read full article>>) that he has now seen a 100% rise in the numbers of instructions relating to commercial property squatters in the last two months as people see it as a lower risk alternative.

"Squatters are clearly changing tack because of the new rules," he said. "They are increasingly deciding to target commercial property."

Nigel Williams, director of Air and Water Solutions, told the Financial Times that his company had spent £7,000 evicting squatters from its site office.

"I think it's outrageous that the police can't evict people off private property. I don't think there should be any differentiation between commercial or residential. It's owned by an individual and it's private property," he said.

Find out how to protect your vacant commercial property>>