Landlord Action deliver petition against squatting to 10 Downing Street but say “we still need your help”
Landlord Action, an organisation specialising in helping landlords with problem tenants, has delivered a petition signed by 1400 people to 10 Downing Street, in an effort of criminalise squatting.
Speaking in Westminster Hall, Mr Weatherly MP, stated that the problem is getting worse not better, and called upon the Government to make it possible to remove squatters instantly, as any delay simply results in further damage and destruction. He suggested tough penalties and a criminal record for offenders.
Currently squatting is considered to be a civil matter as a squatter has only committed an offence if they have broken into a property or caused damage. Mr Weatherly comments, “Serial squatters know the law. They submit Freedom of Information requests to councils to find out where there are empty buildings. They are web-savvy and highly resourceful. They run rings around the law. However, the absolute opposite is the case when it comes to the public in general, who would be shocked if they knew just how powerless they are to take on squatters.
As a result of our campaign, the Government is now reviewing the law on squatting. Landlord Action has played a key role in the process by taking the concerns of those affected most by squatters straight to the Prime Minister. We will keep the pressure on until, quite simply, squatting is criminalised."
Yogesh Chandarana, Campaigns Director for Landlord Action comments “We’d like to thank all of those who have supported the campaign to criminalise squatting so far. However, there is still a long way to go. We need to maintain pressure on decision makers in Westminster to ensure that any legislation is not watered down. People can still help by encouraging others to sign the petition which can be found at www.gopetition.com/petition/43976.html and which will remain open until squatting has been fully criminalised.
We are also encouraging people to write to their local MPs to support the campaign by signing Early Day Motion 1545. The more support we gain, the easier it will be to end the injustice of squatting.”