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so they haven't completely quashed squatters' rights. Still, it's rubbish this has gone ahead.
I ask this because I know that there are some who think that they are.
Although international law sometimes disagrees with national laws, sometimes to he point of declaring that national laws can be against human rights.
If a law were passed in this counry that obliged you to not buy anything off, or sell anything to, people with blue eyes, then international law would regard this law as an illegal law as it goes against human rights and is discriminatory......go further than this and if the national law said that blue eyed people should be punched in the face if they try to buy something off you, well if you complied with the national law, you are not withing your rights as international law would not recognise this and international law would regard you as a transgressor (unless your state had put you under exreme and worse duress were you not to comply)
i.e. things are not simple and black and white
but in practice, in this country? Doesn't work.
Too many 'punk as fuck' morons who basically see it as another act against the man, and instead of respecting and enjoying the property they're in, just trash it and act like cunts when anyone tries to get them out.
guessing you don't know anyone who lives in a squat, have never lived in one, and have never set foot in one except maybe for some party one time...? And know about squatting from newspaper articles and internet 'discussion'?
Genuinely sorry if my assumption is not correct but it does work and has worked historically.
Sometimes people really do just need somewhere to live. Plus in the case of absentee landlords hogging property when some people have nowhere to go... fuck those guys.
which had chipboard nailed over the front door, behind a locked security grill, and every single window had been bricked up with breezeblocks and cement. Now, I don’t know the specifics of the situation, but at first glance that seems churlish in the extreme.
I hadn't thought of that.
my experiance was somewhat different.
When I (and others who informed me) moved into an emplty property we improved the property slightly.
We also slowed depreciation/deterioration of the property by
a) a lived in property keeps damp damage at bay
b) less likely to be a target for vandalism/arson
c) less likely to become a doss house for crack/glue/smack/drunks
d) less likely to become a target for opportunistic work gangs to remove architectual features, copper pipes/boilers, wiring (yes they did/do exist, I had an aquaintance who was a totter but also worked on a gang that secured council properties with metal shutters, and they sometimes took advantage of their role to pilfer stuff from the properties)
In one property (in Offord road) I replaced the front door, the arched window and secured the stairs, put the leccy on and then applied for an account paid for it.
I lived with a an older malaysian guy and a swedish punk girl, but we never smashed anything up or deteriorated the property, we actually spent a lot of time cleaning it up and painting it.
If anyone didnt have somewhere to stay we allowed them to.
In Stoke Newington I had a flat which we did up really well, the living room looked like an art gallery almost. Every room got repainted and we didnt smash anything, again put on leccy and gas and paid for it.
The neighbours in both cases were slightly glad that we moved in, because we put a proper front door on, painted it and had the door number on, which suggests that we are human beings like them, and is much better than steel shutters or just a hole.
Some of the best art and room decoration that I have ever seen was in some squats I went to, not all 'agit prop' either some of it was unbelievably beautiful and etherial.
I have never been more community spirited or generous to people as when I was squatting.
I would help anyone then, now I pass people by because I cant fit them into my life, when I was squatting I could fit anyone in,
confused lecherous old bag ladies, prone scottish drunk men lying in a pool on the pavement, people in cardboard boxes, families traipsing through the streets with nowhere to stay, a young runaway from newcastle, even a surrounded and vulnerable policewoman and loads of others, this is because you dont have anything that you can lose, time also was different, perhaps in a way it was cos we considered ourselves 'warriors for good' which is a bit poncey, but at least it was an internal thing which impelled some of us to be very moral (and I was only aping some of the first squatters that I met - Richard was like an angel on earth, he was so involved and tireless in doing the right thing for people (people who really were stuck on the streets) and the thing is that squatters can reach down more easily that 'nice' people in organisations can, because we werent so frightened by 'the muck' although some of the people in soup kitchens and in some voluntary hostels were amazingly unfussy.
Nowadays I would consider my involvement and how it would not fit in with my life.
I have never reached into my pocket more than I did then, but not always, sometimes a cup of tea and a mars bar, or sometimes advice, sometimes accompanying them somewhere, sometimes just for a chat or a swig (of theirs or mine) or a toke, sometimes back to mine for something to eat and ...., occassionaly finding them somewhere to stay, giving them keys, changing locks, and other things.
BUT I really dont think that I ever looked the other way (at least not like I do now......maybe thats why I feel so bad when I look away or walk past nowadays)
to behave in a more natural and therefore better way (for a single person without responsibilities but with a job)
I felt like attila the hun (and I was relatively good in my previous society), the first squat i stayed in was as a guest in a camden place and they were painfully moral, but it was also beautiful, because it meant that you had to raise your game cos you had to live in a moral community, and so its not through selfish wanting to be better than people sort of thing, it was more a case of communally we pulled ourselves up
everyone thinks of squatters as being these evil criminals who break into houses when you go out to the shops and take over, and there is nothing you can do about it. Well, I suppose some of the time that is the case.
My concern is, and the reason I thought this was always a civil matter, is that all a landlord has to do to to boot out an unwelcome tenant is to call the cops and claim they are squatters. In fact, can't anyone just call the cops and kick anyone out of any house, are the frontline police really that well versed in property ownership law?
Often it is not as simple as a load of trustafarians taking over an empty mansion tis all. Make the civil process quicker and cheaper to stop people dragging it out for months by all means.
I had a conversation with my family about squatters' rights last time I went to visit and being a comfortable middle class family they couldn't understand that most squatters weren't either hippies taking the piss or, in their words, 'gypsies stealing houses while families are on holiday'. That's what the rightwing press like to paint squatting as but those are such unusual examples. I've got friends who squat and frankly they look after the places they stay much better than the landlords who have left them empty.
Also this is part of a worrying trend where the government - both Labour and Tory - have been slowly making civil offences criminal when there's literally no need for it. It's cheap PR for the government with its base at the expense of an English social and legal principle that's hundreds of years old.
some landlords leave property empty? Genuine question. It's something I've not understood. Tax reasons?
Some will be in it for the land, so waiting to work out what to put in place of what's already there. Some will be keeping it for the future, intending to do it up to rent out or live in themselves. Some will have bought up empty houses as an investment instead of keeping money in a bank. Some will probably just be lazy or forgetful - sometimes property companies sit on empty buildings just because they haven't got a use for them yet and they have no need to do anything with them.
Not all landlords are bastards intent on creating a housing shortage, basically.
The guy had built a gated cul-de-sac of plush houses and then gone to prison for some related tax fraud or something leaving the whole place brand new and empty.
I wonder if in certain instances you can get 'orphan properties' like you can get orphaned copyrighted works, where the original copyright owner is unknown or otherwise unavailable to contact to ask for permission, leaving the intellectual property in a kind of unusable limbo.
people who die and there's no knowledge of where the next of kin is etc. probably been some on Heir Hunters at some point.
Same reason people moan about money-grabbing unions when their morning commute is minorly inconvenienced and then have a little cry about how badly their workplace is treating them all and what scum their employers are.
and they were interviewing two squatters who were maintaining that they only did it because they couldn't afford anything else. When the camera cut back to them slightly later on one of them was tapping away on his Macbook which I thought was a little foolish given their claims.
Aside form that I've seen squats that have been cared for and beautiful houses that have been trashed so I am on the fence. I definitely have a problem with people who squat houses when the owners are away though. I'd bring villagers with burning torches and pitchforls for that.
congrats on getting so easily manipulated by the most rudimentary TV news techniques.
have no bearing on whether or not you are able to pay rent every single month.
COUNCIL HOUSE HAVE FLAT SCREN TVS LOL
I'm not anti, it just seemed that they perhaps were not doing themselves a favour there. I can't afford a Macbook.
Like I also said I've seen both sides with my own eyes. My first job was in repossessions and the states of some properties were 'distressing'
I clearly phrased this badly
If you can only afford one month's rent or a laptop, you're probably going to take the laptop because it's a better long-term investment.
It's like Louise Mensch claiming the Occupy protesters' opinions were null and void because they were using Starbucks' free wifi.
it's not a £300 PC World cheapy, they generally run you like a grand minimum.
that it was a bad bit of PR to my mind, not a criticism as such but ill-thought out. Absolute gift to DM readers
might have been a gift
might not actually have been a Macbook
and someone was using a macbook but with a sticker thing stuck around the glowing apple to make it look like a circle :')
I guess that's what can happen when you sit in your bedroom eating cheese all day.
...going on on Radio 5 at the moment regarding this should anyone be interested.
given the property-obsessed society we live in.
If it were my property I guess I'd want to choose how looked after it is, and wouldn't want people in there potentially costing me money because I can't rent it out.
Then again, I'm not 100% confortable with the idea of people/businesses owning multiple properties full stop, and the idea of long-term empty property and homelessness existing side-by-side is pretty distasteful. This could probably be resolved pragmatically and to everyone's mutual interest, but that ain't gonna happen as no political parties rely on squatters for financial contributions or votes.
That's when you call a property guardian in.
what's one of them den?
I think they all work for the Mafia.
Property guardians live in a vacant place for free, or for a very low rent, to look after it and make sure it isn't squatted by someone else. A friend of mine's done it in a council block that was being cleared for demolition.
they offer super low rents to live in (often) really odd places - old schools or office blocks or care homes. the trade off is that its usually only for a few months and the buildings are often part-derelict etc. eg http://uk.cameloteurope.com/508/0/available-properties/available-properties.html
a relative of a friend was living in an old Georgian townhouse just off the north part of Regent Street for like £60/week a year or so ago.
Squatting, as with most other property rights, has always been a civil, not a criminal, matter. As it should be.
Also, forcing your way into a property without the permission of an occupier is a criminal matter and the police can become involved, which has been important - it stops people taking over other peoples' houses while they're on holiday, and stops landlords vindictively breaking into their tenant's home/otherwise evicting them unjustly. Maybe make the resolution process a bit faster if there really was an issue there (not that I'm sure there was), but making it a criminal offence is a massive waste of time.
Council tax payments?
Doesn't matter if they haven't paid their bills online, they're the ones living there. If the police showed up to a 'squat' to find a bunch of people living in a flat, with no obvious sign of forced entry, and a guy outside claiming that he's the legal owner, then up until now the police wouldn't take a side. The correct procedure would be for a legal authority such as a judge to examine the documentation for the property before either ordering eviction or deciding the person claiming to be the landlord was lying/whether the landlord was illegitimately trying to evict a tenant in breach of a contract. Arguably it was a bit slow to sort out in the courts so maybe that could have been reformed but it's such a small problem it was hardly the biggest problem in the world.
Now the implication seems to be that in the case of residential properties, since it's a criminal offence to squat or trespass, the police will assume in favour of the owner rather than the occupier. We'll have to wait and see what happens but I'm really worried we're going to start seeing lots of dodgy landlords taking advantage of this to kick tenants out for flimsy reasons.
It's a bloody stupid law, frankly.
Fucking hell that's a poor sentence, but you get the gist.
is it a criminal offence to force entry to a house if there's no occupier, or no determined future occupier? I'm guessing not? Because not many landlords are going to leave a house vacant with the doors unlocked and the windows open.
Also people can hide any obvious signs of entry. People tend not to want to live in houses without doors, what with not wanting to be burgled or anything, so squatters usually fix up houses/change the locks/etc.
I can see how you're getting confused here though, because it is kinda confusing (which is also partly why 'squatter's rights' are so often misunderstood and misrepresented in the press). If the house is empty and someone forces their way in, that's forcible entry, and illegal, in the same way burglary is. Squatters don't usually go into houses that already have people in them. The courts have to decide who the *legally rightful* occupier should be - that is, if it's the owner who has chosen not to live in that house, or the occupants who are there legally with a rental contract or whatever (or they may even be the legal owners, the target of a scam).
The thing is though it's still illegal for the owner to forcibly enter into the property if the squatters don't want them to. That's the point of the law, to protect the occupiers from unjust home invasion (see also: every Englishman's home is his castle). Squatters are by definition living in a property without the permission of the owner; it's just the usually the owner doesn't care that his or her property is occupied. The civil process evolved over time to ensure that, where the owner's rights are infringed, there's a way to correct that without inadvertently committing an injustice in the process (which would be the unlawful eviction of the occupiers of the building).
rather than squatters?
By criminalising a very, very small problem it overturns a key principle in English civil law. I really don't think it matters if you're for or against squatting to see why this law is silly and how it could, potentially, make things worse for more people than it helps.
If you did criminal damage in entering a property then you could be done. (this is a largely interprative idea though, the neighbours of the properties that we went into had metal shutters/doors and I guess that we bent these, however we then put on a proper wooden door, the neighbouts prefer this, and we would sometimes replace the smashed window glass that had been smashed by the work gang that put up the shutters. Sometimes it was the work gang that had actually nicked the proper wooden door to the property.
We would get the new door on pretty damn quick, it also made sense to make the door as presentable as possible as this also calms neighbours fears.
We would only ever squat in a property that was unoccupied and was not intended for occupation in the near future, you can go down to the local library to find out if the council property that you were moving into was earmarked for renovation so that any tennants would be moved in soon (councils had to state what properties they were going to do up to a standard that they could be rented out to tennants well in advance and they had to do this to qualify for their budget for this from central government)
Of course this was when there was large amount of social council owned housing.
We would have automatically assumed that if you squatted in someones HOME when they were just out, would result in a justified punch in the face, as any human would feel afronted to have this happen.
That is asking for trouble and Richard and his loose organisation would always say that this was a no no, people who did this got a bit of censure from other squatters because of the appalling name that this gives justifiable squatting, which is when a property is empty needlessly and to occupy does not cause hardship on the owner (hardship not nuisance......anyone with a larger housing stock than they require when there are so many homeless cannot claim hardship if some of their properties are occupied.
Much property ownership is financial speculation, and many empty propoerties abound because of this, it is just as m=likely that the deliberately falsely optimistic prospects for the hous9ing market could hurt people speculating in property far far more than the inconveniance of finding some people in one of their emptys.
There is a much much bigger issue concerning the lack of provision of social housing, when a deliberate ploy was introduced to force lots of property into the hands of private speculators and to create more private landlords, this overcooked the whole housing market and now results in gov having to pay skyrocketed private landlords rent prices, who in turn have to pay loans to banks for vastly overpriced housing, this was a political move to create the illusion that ordinary people could be an investor and a home owner, whereas the losers in this was society having a large stock of housing that did not cost a lot (comparatively) for them to house those people that needed housing.
And they're now out on the street again of going to prison because of daily mail readers' masochist fantasies of dirty hippies moving into their semi while they're in Tenerife for a fortnight. GOOD JOB
Squatting is a common response to homelessness. As many as 40% of single homeless people have squatted with 6% of the homeless population squatting on any given night. Research has found no evidence of homeless squatters occupying people’s homes but as homeless squatters do sometimes live in derelict and abandoned residential buildings they are likely to be affected by the proposed new law.
Independent research carried out on behalf of Crisis shows that that 41% of homeless squatters report mental health needs, 34% have been in care, 42% have physical ill health or a disability,47% have experienced drug dependency and 21% sometimes self harm. 15% of homeless squatters also have a learning disability. On all of these measures homeless squatters are more vulnerable than the single homeless population as a whole. 90% of homeless squatters have also slept rough.
Squatting is certainly not a desirable tenure for vulnerable people, with serious implications for health and wellbeing. However, homeless squatters often have no alternative and we would not want to see people penalised simply for trying to put a roof over their head. Shockingly 78% of homeless people who squat have approached their local authority for help and have been turned away without a resolution to their housing need. Single homeless people are usually not entitled to housing and although local authorities do have a duty to offer advice and assistance we know that too often this does not happen.
but I think it would be kind of like when Pitchfork release their end-of-year lists and people say "GOD, how PREDICTABLE", so I'm just going to leave it.
I think you should elaborate on that.
slash what are you on about
that inviting squatters into your house is a great solution.
On the other hand, inviting property guardians who have signed a contract with the owner is a solution that works pretty well.
Maybe they didn't. It's largely semantic though, isn't it. And probably closer to the car thing.
That the difference between having someone squat in your property and inviting a stranger to live in your property for free, purely to prevent anyone squatting in your property, is primarily a semantic one? Or that the thing about paying someone a fiver to look after your car is a better analogy when you don't consider the invitees to be squatters?
They pay rent, albeit a lot lower than market rate, and they have a contract with the owner. It's not a semantic difference, it's a legal one. Did you read the article I linked to? It makes it pretty clear.
are not mutually exclusive concepts.
Is bad because squatting exists and something something a car. :smugface:
It wasn't an especially important one anyway. My bad.
Does it matter?
And yeah of course, how could it not?
Gonna have really valuable insight into the matter.
Actually, you're right. What was I thinking.
when a bint that he rented his, only house to decided she wasn't up for paying for it. He's letting her off cause he's a nice guy.
Still anacdotal evidence not supporting your thesis
I considered it once, but was too chicken. Probably a bit of envy there then. Not having to work as much, have constant parties, never bother to tidy up, and live in a fashionable area sure sounds great. But I don't see it a natural right.
but, y'know, having a roof over your head is.
A privilage that many do not have.
While British squatters live in fully enclosed and roofed dwellings that they neither constructed nor purchased.
So you live in a fully enclosed and roofed dwelling that you neither constructed nor purchased? I hope you're ashamed of yourself.
Squatters don't pay anything. What mitigating factors allow them to do this? I'm genuinely interested.
It's the entitled, self-important squatters that form a sizable proportion of the total that I don't like.
20,000 people are in squats and we've still got god knows how many living on the streets. Like I said before, having a roof over your head is a basic human right – not a privilege – and I don't see how attacking people for finding themselves somewhere to live is going to get us anywhere.
*kicks hippies out*
Can't say I see a problem here...
which is why this new law is a complete waste of everyone's time.
whereas, from tomorrow, you'll be able to complain to the police directly? Is that right? I'm trying to research it but I feel like I'm getting a lot of conflicting information.
Instead of what it was until today, where the person wanting to kick you out had to prove you should be kicked out first.
The police don't make a legal judgement as such, they just see what looks to be a crime being committed and arrest people for it.
If the coalition wanted to increase the number of dumb cases taking up the time in courtrooms across the land, while also increasing the number of people whose lives are made worse for ridiculous reasons, then they've done well here.
there will almost definitely be some practical effect, so to say "They weren't allowed to break in in the first place, which is why this new law is a complete waste of everyone's time" is just factually wrong, no? A waste of time if it leads to "dumb cases taking up the time in courtrooms across the land" (which again, is a judgement call), but not because it was illegal already.
I didn't try to research it? Why would I not?
under existing law, then how do they get in? Do they just wander up the streets testing doorhandles?
the government have deliberately misrepresented the law relating to adverse possession (proper legal name for squatting and that).
IT'S ALREADY A CRIMINAL OFFENCE FOR SQUATTERS TO REMAIN IN A PROPERTY AFTER BEING TOLD TO LEAVE BY THE OWNER.
The police have said the existing law is adequate, the criminal bar association, the law society...
The fact that they're willing to make the most vulnerable people in society homeless (women leaving violent partners often go to squats) just to get a headline is just pretty disgusting. So much hate for the government always.
that would be okay?
on 'my' clissold estate, but we tolerated that as she was running away from abuse and she had a baby. But sure enough the council evicted her, but then they had to find her another property pretty damn quick because they owed the maximum duty of care to her, especially as they had made her homeless.
I think that it was ridiculous because before she had been unable to find anywhere to stay or to get the council to get her a place, but when she was actually living in their borough and they evicted her, they had to do something for her
....what i meant was that we normally tried to discourage people squatting properties that the council had intended to house someone in.
off topic but related, the other day someone posted this in the excellent Shit Newport group on facebook. http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/empty_homes_6
Author Robert Neuwirth suggests that there are one billion squatters globally, that is, about one in every seven people on the planet.
when in London we got visited by someone who represented some squatters movement in South Africa, she was really scared when we went to a police committee meeting, because she had a camera with her, brought it home to us that there was lots of little things that you just dont think about. Brazil has masses of squatters, urban and rural.
I guess that chinas requisitioning of land withougt giving people much of a chance results in many staying on the land that is officially now not theres but is earmarked for some project.
Actually an awful lot of our ancesters would have been squatters.
when there were successive and various periods of 'claiming' of common land and clearances (in england too) many people had to end up living on the verges.
make no bones about it, The rich and powerful nicked the common land that the people shared for a living, and they also picked up whatever dwellings and land people thought were there own (but couldnt prove if with fancy lawyers or writing.
in some countries the first that some people know about previously common land being 'snatched' is the encountering of fencing or barriers, to their progress, if they remove this they are considered to have violated some bastards property.
Land rights is a tricky thing because most people here are seduced by comfort and propoganda
do you mean because the property was boarded up? it also doesnt specify whether it was a private property? (i haven't read the comments).
Before the change in the law, when squatting was still a civil matter and not a criminal offence, the police wouldn't have evicted him. And yeah, it's a private property (it's a bungalow, i.e. somewhere to live) not business premises.
does it say in the comments who had called the police? the only comment in the face of the article is from someone who was aware and seemingly sympathetic (though not in their actions) of his plight.
No, it doesn't say who called the police. I can't imagine they'll be very likely to admit it now, either.