The anti-squatting law against residential properties will take effect
on September 1st
There will be a meeting to discuss the effects of the new law and how
Monday 27th August from 2pm
venue at 12-14 Benwell Road N7
(this is the same road as the Arsenal stadium and the building is the
warehouse at the back of the carwash, behind the yellow gate)
—From Advisory Service for Squatters——————-
Here’s our latest understanding, in short:
SQUAT LAW CHANGE ALERT
The new law on squatting (s144 LASPO 2012) will be coming into force
on the 1st September 2012.
Not everyone who is squatting, or considered by others to be
squatting, will be affected by the new law, but people will need to be
prepared to explain, quite forcefully at times, why they are not
The wording of S144 starts:
(1)A person commits an offence if?
(a) the person is in a residential building as a trespasser having
entered it as a trespasser,
(b) the person knows or ought to know that he or she is a trespasser, and
(c) the person is living in the building or intends to live there for
(2)The offence is not committed by a person holding over after the end
of a lease or licence (even if the person leaves and re-enters the
So Squatting is still legal in non-residential properties. A building
is defined as ‘residential’ if it is ?designed or adapted, before the
time of entry, for use as a place to live?.
You are also not committing an offence if you have, or have had a
tenancy or licence to live in the property, if you are not living or
intending to live in the property, or if you don?t have any way to
know you are a trespasser (in which case you probably wouldn?t be
Tenancies and licences do not have to be in writing, but if people
have reason to think they may be accused of breaking the law it would
be best to collect as much paperwork as possible. Tenancies and
licences can also have been granted by a tenant of the owner, or by an
agent, possibly without the owner?s knowledge (but they can check and
Any police officer would need to have reasonable suspicion that you
(or anyone) have committed a crime, to force entry and to carry out an
arrest, so it can be in your interests to explain otherwise.
Explaining through a closed door or upstairs window is always
preferable to letting them in.
Section 6 of the Criminal Law Act 1977 still applies against those
trying to force entry without lawful authority. The problem is that
the new law gives further lawful authority to the police to enter if
they suspect the offence is being committed.