Sunday, August 22, 2010
Squatting on the rise
As the recession bites, squatting is soaring, and those doing it are often not what you might expect. The number of people living in squats in England and Wales has risen by 25 per cent in the last seven years, according to new figures. But contrary to popular belief, greater numbers of squatters are now professional, middle class and upwardly mobile. Squatting is lawful in England and Wales (but not Scotland) if entry to an empty property is not forced resulting in criminal damage. Owners of the squatted building are forced to take civil action through the courts to remove the unwanted occupants. Experts say the new generation of squatters have a greater understanding of the law and how it can protect them, helped in part by sophisticated legal advice available on the internet.