Criminalising squatting 'not the answer'

Few benefits will be found from making squatting illegal, as property owners will still find people residing without tenancy agreements, one expert has indicted.

Duncan Shrubsole, director of policy and external affairs at Crisis, explained that squatting is a fact of life for many people, while for the minority it is simply a lifestyle choice.

He said that branding this group of people as criminals is not the answer.

"Not least at a time when severe cuts to housing, homelessness and welfare budgets and a weakening of the homelessness legislation, mean more people are likely to face homelessness," Mr Shrubsole explained.

Meanwhile, Landlord Assist has welcomed proposals to make squatting illegal, saying it has been encouraging the government to acknowledge squatting as being unlawful for some time.

It also emphasised that many squatters create undue stress for landlords who do not know how to deal with the situation.

Published on: March 24, 2011

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