0370 270 6000

already registered?

Please sign in with your existing account details.

need to register?

Register to access exclusive content, sign up to receive our updates and personalise your experience on brownejacobson.com.

Privacy statement - Terms and conditions

Royal Assent for criminal offence of squatting in a residential property

8 May 2012

1 May 2012 marked the day in which the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 received Royal Assent. Section 144 of the Act has created a new offence of squatting in a residential building.

A person commits an offence if:
  1. They are in a residential building as a trespasser, having entered it as a trespasser
  2. Knows or ought to know that he or she is a trespasser, and
  3. Is living in the building or intends to live there for any period.

An offence will not be committed by a person 'holding over' after the end of a lease or licence.
The new offence could see squatters face up to 6 months imprisonment or up to a £5,000 fine.
It is inevitable that the offence will be up for debate as to what actions constitute the offence and more importantly, the cost implications the law will have on taxpayers… watch this space!

related opinions

Developers: disregard restrictive covenants at your peril

The Supreme Court has decided a significant appeal on the Upper Tribunal’s power to discharge or modify restrictive covenants pursuant to section 84(1) of the Law of Property Act (“1925 Act”).

View blog

Government announces ten-year programme of school rebuilding

Ambitious funding plans, announced recently by the Prime Minister, have made clear that spending on school buildings is seen as a key element of efforts to stimulate the economy post-COVID.

View blog

A landlord’s promise, a tenant’s power

When it comes to leases, most people believe that landlords hold most of the power. However, in relation to long residential leases, the tables may well have recently turned in one respect at least following a recent Supreme Court decision.

View blog

Developments overlooking other land are not a nuisance

Developers received welcome confirmation from the Court of Appeal this month that ‘overlooking’ (providing a view into another’s property) does not constitute a nuisance or invasion of privacy.

View blog

mailing list sign up

Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up