The offence of squatting in a residential building comes in to law from 1st September 2012, the Ministry of Justice has announced.
Justice Minister Crispin Blunt said:
‘For too long squatters have had the justice system on the run and have caused homeowners untold misery in eviction, repair and clean-up costs. Not any more. Hard working homeowners need and deserve a justice system where their rights come first – this new offence will ensure the police and other agencies can take quick and decisive action to deal with the misery of squatting.’
The offence will be punishable by a maximum prison term of up to six months, a £5000 (maximum) fine or both.
The guidance is available to read here, and full details are available on the Ministry of Justice web site.