21 December 2012 by

Onwards and upwards to bigger things

Squatting in residential property became illegal earlier this year but what of the immediate impact?

The simple self-help remedy of calling the police to remove offenders from the property is the cure that many householders wanted to see. This quick and relatively easy remedy provides a fast, effective and cost-free way of recovering residential property from squatters. It certainly seems that the new law has had a deterrent effect – we have received no new enquiries concerning the squatting of residential premises since it was introduced.

However, commercial premises are not covered under the new law. Our initial view was that the shift away from the residential sector would land in the commercial arena and, although we have not seen raw statistics to this effect, anecdotal evidence suggests that this is indeed the case.

In an article published in The Guardian newspaper recently, it was reported that pubs are closing down at an average rate of about 18 per week and these have been the particular target of squatters. The article also reports that Conservative MPs are pressing for the criminalization of squatting to be extended to commercial premises. However, there is no formal consultation under way as yet.

It seems that squatting has moved onwards and upwards to bigger, commercial premises. The very nature of commercial premises perhaps makes them ripe for squatting on a larger scale, increasing the time and the costs of securing vacant possession. Tackling the problem early however, could give the property owner a wider range of options and ultimately lead to earlier, less costly recovery.

For advice and assistance on recovering commercial property from squatters, contact us on 0207 288 4700 or email us at info@boltburdon.co.uk

30 November 2012 by

Breaking down barriers – enforcing legal remedies across the EU is about to get easier

The European Parliament is often given a hard time in the national press for the extent to which it influences the law in the UK. Many people feel that the decision makers are too detached from local public life and culture to act in their best interests.

14 December 2012 by

When is a house a House?

The recent Supreme Court decision in Hosebay v Day considered the qualification of property as a ‘House’ under the Leasehold Reform Act 1967 (the “1967 Act”) which enables certain tenants to purchase the freehold of their leasehold house.

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