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Show ALL Forums  > UK forums  > Squatters Rights or wrongs?      Home login  
Joined: 7/16/2008
Msg: 1
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Squatters Rights or wrongs?Page 1 of 3    (1, 2, 3)
Squatters have always been difficult to remove from properties that they have taken up residence in. The law is changing so that squatters can be fined up to £5000 or 6 months in jail. I can't figure out where most squatters are going to find 'up to 5k' so is that somewhat pointless. They go to court, get a fine, can't pay it, go to prison.

While I can understand to a degree, homeless people moving into an empty property, often they do a huge amount of damage which costs the owner many thousands of £'s to put right. Also when they have tried to get their property back, they have found out that the squatters can't be got rid of very easily.

Do you think squatters should be able to take over empty properties or do you think that since the house belongs to someone, even if it is not being lived in, that squatters are breaking the law and should be treated as such?

If you had moved to a different area to work for 6 months or were slowly doing up an old house - how would you feel to come back to a house you can't even get into?

Do you sympathise because the housing situation means many people can't get or pay for housing?
Joined: 7/16/2008
Msg: 2
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Squatters Rights or wrongs?
Posted: 5/4/2012 11:01:22 AM
"Squatting is when someone occupies an empty or abandoned property which they don’t own or rent, and without the owner's permission."

Had I left my house empty, possibly squatters would have moved in. I didn't know how long I would be away but at the end of the day, it would still have been my home and someone could just move in and take over and when I returned, I would have had to serve papers, repair damage etc. A lot of Contractors live away for several months at a time - does that mean their houses are up for grabs.

At least now, the law will change on 1st Sept and if I were to find myself in that position I would have full legal backing in the knowledge that even if they didn't do any damage I could get rid of them.

I chose to rent my house in the end but get taxed on rental, even though my rent on a shared property down here is more than I get for renting a 3 bedroom house in Scotland.

Then of course there are elderly people who have to go into hospital so their houses are empty for a period, and people that are trying to refurbish but run low on funds so have to leave house unlived in for a time. Even people that have had their houses reposessed because THEY can't afford the mortgage, only to find out squatters move in and cause damage thereby devalueing what the property is worth.

I totally agree with the new law coming in. Why should anybody be able to help themselves to something that doesn't belong to them, they pay nothing for it and have no responsibility for it?
 Jo van
Joined: 5/23/2009
Msg: 3
Squatters Rights or wrongs?
Posted: 5/4/2012 12:37:51 PM
I'd have no problem with 'squatters', if they only targeted the very wealthy.
The real problem (IMO) is that 1% of the population, owns 70% of the land, "the "landed gentry".
This has resulted in artificially high, land, property-prices, and rents.
Much higher than in any comparable country.
We're all squeezed onto just 7% of the available land mass.

If they were to squat on any of the £3Billion worth of property, owned by the 'Duke of Westminster', I'd have no objections. But most of it is in Belgravia and Mayfair!

The Church of England had 600 empty 'vicarage' at one time. Mostly nice big, 4, & 5 bedroom detached houses, in pleasant surroundings. They could let some of those, or the hundreds of empty churches, to be used by "the poor".
Instead, they sell them to Bistro's and Wine Bars.

I don't see why any so-called 'civilised' society, should have homeless people sleeping on the streets, but we still do.
This new law is to protect those with property, from those without.
So I'm not in favour.

I think the chances of someone moving in, and changing the locks, while I'm up the co-op, are infinitesimally small.
If it had ever happened, it would have been all over the front pages of the Daily Wail.

Joined: 7/16/2008
Msg: 4
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Squatters Rights or wrongs?
Posted: 5/4/2012 5:27:51 PM
Without going in to all the problems relating to trying to get a renter move on when they choose not to and cant pay the rent - a renter has signed into a legal contract. Therefore that can be used as evidence etc. Squatters have agreed to nothing so basically used to get to do whatever they wanted.

I agree that squatters should be prosecuted. Why should they get to take something that belongs to someone else. I don't class myself as 'rich' but I do rent my house out. It used to be my home but will never feel like that again. I get less rent from my property than I pay for shared accommodation. I still have to maintain my house, follow legal requirements, pay more in insurance but at least I am getting some of that back in rent.

There was no priviledge in leaving my house. I did it so that I could get work. I couldn't afford to fly from England to Scotland every weekend. That left my house wide open to squatters so reluctantly I rented rather than risking squatters. My tenant lives in a 3 bed house for less than it costs me to house share and I still pay for maintenance AND get taxed on the income I get.

I have sympathy with renters in some situations - there are a lot of bad landlords. I could say I have been lucky but rather think that I have been fair. I haven't increased the rent in 3 years even though my costs have increased. My tenant acutally lives in better accommodation than I do and for less, but once I went down that route, it has been my choice. I look after the property, they pay the rent. Squatters, in general have total disregard for property that does not belong to them and they do not have to pay for.
Joined: 7/16/2008
Msg: 5
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Squatters Rights or wrongs?
Posted: 5/4/2012 5:56:55 PM
oldbill - not every tenant has to be asked to move via the court system. Yes, there are a lot who do, I can't argue that but many tenants, if they are served the correct papers will vacate the house. If every landlord had to go to court then I am sure there would be a lot less private rentals. Most tenants pay their rent, if they didn't nobody would rent out property.

When they are asked to leave for a good reason ie selling the property, owner that needs to move back in, they will do whatever they can to find alternative accommodation and their landlord will assist.

Obviously I am only talking from my experience although I am very well aware of how difficult it can be to get a tenant out legally. Tenants have more right than landlords but if the norm was that bad, there would be no private landlords.
 matt e
Joined: 12/28/2007
Msg: 6
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Squatters Rights or wrongs?
Posted: 5/5/2012 1:33:16 PM
If I was homeless I would squat rather than sleep in a park. But I would feel guilty and leave when asked. And if I didnt and the owner and his friends came round with baseball bats I would have to admit I deserved a kicking. If an owner leaves a property empty thats their business and more fool them for not getting rent but hey.
I think squatters who say landlords are at fault and deserve squatters are just kidding themselves to avoid facing the guilt.
Joined: 11/5/2008
Msg: 7
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Squatters Rights or wrongs?
Posted: 5/5/2012 2:33:42 PM
Msg 26

I'd have no problem with 'squatters', if they only targeted the very wealthy.
The real problem (IMO) is that 1% of the population, owns 70% of the land, "the "landed gentry".
This has resulted in artificially high, land, property-prices, and rents.
Much higher than in any comparable country.
We're all squeezed onto just 7% of the available land mass.

Absolutely agree. I stated the same a few years ago and got nothing but earache from a former forum member with a posting style we all know and "love".
You only have to take a flight from Manchester to London to see thousands of square miles of land doing nothing, while major cities look like a speck of dust in your living room.
I'd be more than happy to see whole communities of squatters take this vacant land and use it for something more constructive than depriving everyone else.
 vlad dracul
Joined: 4/30/2009
Msg: 8
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Squatters Rights or wrongs?
Posted: 5/6/2012 2:38:20 AM
i remember living on stamford hill estate in hackney back in 1988. there were loads of squatted houses
and the squatters were vile odious mutants. ripping out central heating systems and selling
the metal. partys going on for days. live bands in houses.

not a thought for the elderly or the folk who worked.

anyway we were home in edinburgh for the weekend and when we arrived back early monday
morning there were burnt out cars and rubbish bins at all the entrences. the press were out in force.

we asked what happened and they said the bizzies were clearing out the squatters. expecting crys
of anguish they were astounded when we and other residents said well done the bizzies and we hoped
they had smashed the trustafarian class war rodents with extreme force

we later heard that during the mini riot some local youngsters had plugged a few of the manky **stards lol

welcome to working class reality rich boy/girl/mutant

no such problems in scotland though.

i dont know why people who have property squatted just dont pay some locals to remove them
with force.

we need to rid crap schemes and estates of vermin tenants. my mate was taliking of somewhere in scotland
(falkirk i think) where 2 multi story blocks were turned into senior citizens only blocks. caretakers, built in shop
and doctors surgery at the bottom of a block. laundry rooms.

people deserve decent housing. empty everyone who should not be here out and house our own homeless
and folk in homeless accomadation.

if the council rent cheques do get pegged for a while private rents will drop eventually IMHO

but green belt is going to have to be sacraficed. oh and years ago a tory hopefull in dundee said all
problem familys should be housed in one area and left to destroy each other.

90% of folk asked agreed with him.

would YOU miss the rodent familys destroying your scheme? i certainly would not
 Jo van
Joined: 5/23/2009
Msg: 9
Squatters Rights or wrongs?
Posted: 5/6/2012 4:47:08 AM

I think most people seem to forget, that obtaining a council property is a 'privilege' and not a 'right' !!

You're correct of course Mac, but philosophically, I have always struggled with the notion that we, the supposed 'top of the food chain', "superior" Humans, masters of all we survey, etc etc.,
ARE the only mammal that has to pay rent. We are the only creatures who are in debt, almost from the moment we're born (If your parents happen to own no land) Every other creature, from other wild mammals, through rodents (Not the metaphoric ones which Vlad speaks of!) to insects, does have the "right", to exist somewhere, without paying rent..
But we humans, have to pay for the 'privilege'. Isn't that a bit 'odd'...?

it isnt the landed gentry who are denying the plebs the houses they require - quite the opposite, the landed gentry would love to have some acres allocated for housing - it is the planning laws that prevent it.

But the planning laws don't seem to be a problem, when it's to expand an airport, build a road, of put in a new rail link. The land is "Compulsory" purchased, at a price decided by the Govt.

Squatters should definitely be fined. As far as I'm concerned it is a form of theft.

It is. But I'd like to remind you Ian, that the 'Suffragettes' were also an illegal organisation, who broke the "laws", and were put in prison for doing so. Sometimes, people feel so passionately about injustices in our society, that they take a 'stand', regardless of the current "laws". (Which have, and DO change)

So how rich does someone have to be before it's okay to steal from them?

Good question!
I think it's really more a question of how did they get the land, and when. (we are talking only about land here)
There are literally hundreds of vast estates, which have been in the hands of the same families, for many centuries. Much of it obtained by mistresses of monarchs, sycophants, really anyone who the monarch fancied giving land to, for whatever reason. I think that's what needs to be examined in the cold rational light of day. And simply taken back.

I've said that before on here almost word for word. The plebs have had the town and country planning act (which was very favourable to big landowners, the landed gentry surprise there) rammed down their throats for so long that the majority actually believe the BS that we're short of space and what's left needs protecting... so you really do need to by hobbit houses built in what used to be someones back garden or a "luxury urban living apartment" the size of a wardrobe in a block of sixty knocked up on an old petrol station.

That's true Woz, we already have the smallest (average) accommodations in Europe, (Not compared to the Japanese though). And new houses are getting smaller still. For all the above reasons. The simple fact, is that it's in the interests of the landowners (1%) to keep land prices artificially high, for obvious reasons.

Absolutely agree. I stated the same a few years ago and got nothing but earache from a former forum member with a posting style we all know and "love".

I can well imagine!
Some people have very closed minds, and don't like to have their 'world view' challenged, or be presented with facts which 'don't fit' that view.

She sold those houses at a lower price which left less money in the pot for building more council houses for the next generation of council tenants. I blame the successive governments for not building more council houses too.

And don't forget that any remaining "council houses" were then sold to "Private Housing Associations", profit making institutions, and yet STILL subsidised, and sponsored with 'grants' from the public finances.
Maggie was a 'dyed-in-the-wool' tory, she didn't like the concept of 'social housing', at all! -Well, she didn't like the word "social" at all! She famously said something like "There's no such thing as society".
She was the original architect of the plans to reverse the 'welfare state', which we're still suffering the effects of.

Nothing will change, just 'tinkering' at the peripherals.
There needs to be a massive release of property, which was stolen in the past.
This would also reduce the price of land, and make it affordable for people to buy, or build their own homes.
 Jo van
Joined: 5/23/2009
Msg: 10
Squatters Rights or wrongs?
Posted: 5/6/2012 6:27:34 AM

We're not so different to other mammals Jo...........check out this link........

You're in danger of straying into an "Alpha Male" debate there!
Actually, I would welcome that.
I feel sure I could 'have' the Duke of Marlborough, in a fair fight, for his 'gaff', Blenheim Palace, and much of North and west Oxfordshire..
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