Landlords to get advice on squatters

Property investors and new homeowners in the UK are to benefit from online guidance on how to protect their property against squatters.

Communities and Local Government has co-produced the guide with the Ministry of Justice, following several high profile cases of squatting.

The government is aiming to make property owners savvy about their rights as squatters.

On the decision to launch the guide, housing minister Grant Shapps said: "I want to shut the door to squatters once and for all, and for homeowners to know their rights just as well as those looking to take over their properties."

According to government figures, there are an estimated 20,000 squatters in the UK.

Recent cases included that of pensioner George Pope, who was forced out of his own home in Barking after squatters took over while he stayed with friends.

Squatters can now be served Interim Possession Orders, which means they have to leave properties within 24 hours of the notice being served and are banned for going near the place for up to a year.

Published on: November 9, 2010

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