This website uses cookies primarily for visitor analytics. Certain pages will ask you to fill in contact details to receive additional information. On these pages you have the option of having the site log your details for future visits. Indicating you want the site to remember your details will place a cookie on your device. To view our full cookie policy, please click here. You can also view it at any time by going to our Contact Us page.

Squatter problems for vacant properties on rise – can new legislations help you?

14 April 2011

With around 100,000 incidents of squatting recorded every year and insurance claims doubled on squatter related issues last year - vacant properties are now very vulnerable to squatters. Don’t ignore the risks - precautions are better than cure, as it costs more to evict squatters than to protect buildings.

The Ministry of Justice is, however, considering making squatting illegal in England and Wales. As it stands, property owners in England and Wales must use the civil courts to enforce their rights against squatters which often results in a costly and lengthy process. Under the new law, Police would be given the power to force entry and arrest anyone occupying a property without the owner’s permission.

Mark Cosh, European director at vacant property management specialists SitexOrbis welcomed the proposed change. “Due to the “relaxed" nature of the law, squatting is seen as being encouraged in England – there are even dedicated squatters websites to advise people. The new legislation will provide more power to police to take action and remove squatters. This will act as deterrent, as even foreign migrants have started to take advantage of the present loopholes.”

As a result, the additional effects of squatting such as vandalism, fire and theft will reduce, Cosh said. “Presently they are draining the resources of the landlords who are forced to leave their vacant properties to rot. With reduced number of squatting, landlords will make fewer insurance claims, save costly civil enforcement bills, and start to think proactively about increasing security.”

The change in law will target those people who squat in both residential and commercial properties. No date of when we can expect this change has been made.

SitexOrbis bespoke security solutions provide a wide range of innovative services in protecting vacant properties. Enhanced security measures needn't be costly. For example, it is important to record pictures/video feed of initial break-ins as this will help in legal procedures at a later stage. SitexOrbis' Videofied Alarms with 24/7 monitoring is a cost-effective solution as compared to the traditional CCTV installations. Videofied is a rapidly deployable and cost-effective visual verification alarm system that can be used anywhere. Short video footage is immediately transmitted to trained operators at the SitexOrbis BS 5979 CAT II Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC) where trained operators can summon emergency responses as and when required.

SitexOrbis, in association with Aviva, has developed a 6 point action plan to help landlords deter uninvited guests. Please email your details to if you need a copy of the booklet.

Contact Details and Archive...

Print this page | E-mail this page


View more articles

Measuring FM Performance

Counting costs rather than measuring performance and demonstrating value to business is one of the reasons why FM has failed to achieve a strategic role in...
Article image

Why the Law Says You Need a Nappy Bin Disposal Service

At home, parents are used to disposing of their babies’ used nappies the same way they do any other domestic waste - bagging it up and sticking it in the r...

Benchmarking maintenance

BSRIA has just published this year's operation and maintenance benchmarking report as a guide for building operators to evaluate their performance against ...
Article image

Balancing the needs of FM clients and service providers

Philip Ratcliffe says that providing a fair service to both sides involved in the tendering process is a finely balanced art....
Article image

Lloyd’s transforms office space to make it fit for the future

Following the case study published on the Lloyd’s building in central London published in the

How a new farm park achieved the right washrooms for its visitors

When Lower Drayton Farm in Staffordshire was planning its farm park attraction, Play@ Lower Drayton Farm, getting the washrooms right was an important proj...