September 18, 2018 11:31 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Having unwanted “guest” in your void unit is not only a work load to remove, it is also very expensive. If done incorrectly can land you in trouble and even more costly. Find out how you can prevent from your building being occupied by Squatters.

 

The Law and their Rights

Squatting is when someone deliberately enters property without permission and lives there or intends to live there. This is sometimes known as ‘adverse possession’. Although squatting in residential buildings is now illegal, it is still a big problem for commercial properties.

As far as the law is concerned, the only crimes which can be committed is the following.

  • causing damage when entering the property
  • causing damage while in the property
  • not leaving when they’re told to by a court
  • stealing from the property
  • using utilities like electricity or gas without permission
  • fly-tipping
  • not obeying a noise abatement notice

Not really a use when it comes to removing the squatters though. Squatters have the right to claim and request for adverse possession, meaning they apply for ownership of the building or premises.

YOU CANNOT REMOVE SQUATTERS BY PHYSICAL FORCE, doing so will result in possible assault.

Prevent

There are many ways to ensure you protect your building from squatters.

  • Doors and Windows – Board them up, use a good amount of screws/wood to ensure its not easily ripped down. Make it a task to get in. If your building is new or you don’t want it look ‘abandoned’. Ensure your windows are completely secured, and locked. Consider double locking doors. Fire exits can be locked from the inside (which can be opened in an emergency) but isolated from the outside. For even more tougher security, roller shutters make great protection from unwanted visitors.
  • Gates – Are your gates securely locked down? Always make sure their closed and ensure you have a sturdy lock to stop it from being broken easily.
  • Stop Vehicles Entering – For large premises, vehicles can be a big problem once they have gained entry and claimed right to your property. To stop that, put concrete pillars down where vehicles come in and out, or if you require access regularly. Install removable bollards and secure them well.
  • Alarms – Have an alarm which has remote to notify you of an alarm, have that responder be a specialised alarm response company. If you don’t have one, install one. Remote Alarms and sensors can easily be set up now in a very quick manner.
  • CCTV – CCTV is a great way of detecting crime, CCTV Towers are mobile equipped with high definition cameras and censored, which trigger when activity is picked up will notify you of an intruder. Therefore, responding in a timely manner. Some CCTV towers can warn off intruders by letting them know police are on route. A great deterrent. You can also monitor the intruders closely to make sure any criminal acts have been recorded.
  • VOID Property Inspections – A great way to ensure your building is safe around the clock, have someone attend at the very minimum twice a week to the property. Take metre readings, a full structural check and any signs of damage or forced entry.

 Save yourself a huge job task, which can sometimes become emotionally effective. Save yourself money and ensure you prevent unwanted visitors. For more information on how to remove squatters, check out https://www.gov.uk/squatting-law/remove-squatters.

Act now and prevent loss, security matters.

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This post was written by Callum Parsons

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