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Squatters

 
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Blondehedgehog



Joined: 16 Sep 2010
Posts: 286
Location: UK

PostPosted: Mon Nov 08, 2010 2:19 pm    Post subject: Squatters Reply with quote

On the Vine show they were discussing the fact that advice has been published to help people who have suffered from this invasion of their property,
A woman squatter was making squatters look that they were responsible people and they would leave when owner told them to go, and only squat when desparate measures were needed.
She did not address the fact that many who squat trash and leave the invaded property in a bad state.
I know there are many empty properties all over the country, and people need homes. Surely another way to deal with squatters is for local government to take over empty homes and allocate to the people who need a home
JV. you need to spend longer on the subject and not leave it till the end of your show. Squatting will get worse as the cut backs on hand outs take bite

Any comments?
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ruddlescat



Joined: 16 Sep 2010
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Location: Near Chester

PostPosted: Mon Nov 08, 2010 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The point is that local authorities already have the power to take over empty properties and use them to house people
I think I'm right in saying the house must have been empty for 12 months in order for their powers to be invoked
The problem is that they do not seem to want to use these powers for whatever reason and we don't need new rules just proper use of the existing ones
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SantaFefan



Joined: 07 Dec 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 08, 2010 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've had a house empty for more than 12 months... I'd like to see anybody try and take it, or move in for that matter..
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becky sharp



Joined: 01 Dec 2008
Posts: 5940

PostPosted: Mon Nov 08, 2010 4:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ruddlescat wrote:
The point is that local authorities already have the power to take over empty properties and use them to house people
I think I'm right in saying the house must have been empty for 12 months in order for their powers to be invoked
The problem is that they do not seem to want to use these powers for whatever reason and we don't need new rules just proper use of the existing ones
That's interesting,Ruddles,..from time to time you see rows of empty houses on the news when the subject of housing is being discussed but I have never heard anyone say what you have said about the 12 month invocation.
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Blondehedgehog



Joined: 16 Sep 2010
Posts: 286
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 08, 2010 4:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JV did not mention any thing about the 12 month option. Thats why I felt the discussion deserved much longer air time............... more needs to be said
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Helen May



Joined: 10 Dec 2006
Posts: 18269
Location: Cheshire

PostPosted: Mon Nov 08, 2010 5:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think there is something about the local authorities being able to seize properties after only 6 months. It was to do with the owner having died and probate etc delaying things. I do think that is far too short a time for them to be able to do that.

As SF says there are reasons why people leave their properties empty. One guy came back from serving in the forces and found squatters in his property. I'm afraid I've not a lot of sympathy with them.

I'll admit I wasn't paying full attention to the topic but the woman annoyed me a bit.

H
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ruddlescat



Joined: 16 Sep 2010
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Location: Near Chester

PostPosted: Mon Nov 08, 2010 6:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Two doors away from me there is a house which has been empty since 1999 and the owner has only been seen once in all that time
The house has never been rented out and the local authority regularly visit as apparently they are owed thousands in Council Tax
I don't think they really want to find him though because someone recently told me that he was living in a council flat locally and it would be embarrassing for them to say the least
This is an example of a property they should take over under existing legislation but for obvious reasons I can't really see it happening
Santa's case is obviously not anything like the same situation and I am sure common sense would dictate that the local council would not dream of taking action
Hang on a minute I must be ill I mentioned common sense and local council in the same sentence Mad
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SantaFefan



Joined: 07 Dec 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 08, 2010 7:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm afraid I have a more cynical; some would say selfish point of view on the matter.. ( I didn't hear the prog as I'd have found it interesting )

If a person has worked for what he or she has then what business is it of any body's what they decide to do with it? as long as it's kept up to a reasonable standard and the owner isn't pulling a fast one that is..

There may be countless reasons why an owner doesn't live there or chooses to leave it empty. I thought this was a free country?

Of course it's terrible that there should be homeless people in this day and age and in this country, but the answer should rest with the Local Authority and a workable cheap and temporary housing policy like it used to be.

We had a vast estate of "prefab" timber houses for the unfortunate amongst us which were cheap to make and pre-made ready for assembly.. ( not sure if this was the case country wide?)
Surely this type of unit should be brought back if needed...
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Helen May



Joined: 10 Dec 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 08, 2010 7:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree SantaFe, if you own the house there is nothing in the law to say you have to live in it.

H
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ruddlescat



Joined: 16 Sep 2010
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 08, 2010 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wearing my legal hat I have to say that the concept being discussed here is hardly new
The principle of Adverse Possession has long been establised in English law whereby if a person occupies and treats as his or her own land or property which belongs to a third party then if that person is in continuous possesssion for a period of not less than 12 years against the true owners rights then that person can acquire title by adverse possession
Of course the true owner has to be aware of the position without taking any action but what I am saying is that it is not unknown for owners of properties to lose them in these circumstances
By the way I am not wishing to express any view on the rights and wrongs of the situation I am simply pointing out what the law actually says
Hope I haven't bored everyone to death Smile
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Minx



Joined: 09 Dec 2006
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Location: France/Spain/Peterborough/Tenerife

PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When we lived in Spain there was a lot of this going on, people just moving into other people's holiday properties. The law was similar there, (only ten times slower Evil or Very Mad ) and you couldn't throw them out.

We heard of one guy who went round to his 'occupied' house and took all the windows out, saying he was replacing them as they were a bit rotten. Of course he conveniently omitted to do that, and the house was back in his hands in no time at all! I wonder how that would work over here. You may not be able to chuck people out, but surely it's still your property and you're entitled to maintain it if it needs it?
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ColinB
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 3:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A builder friend of ours who had to put up with squatters at a house he'd bought for development dealt with his lazy, good-for-nothing guests late one night when they were off-guard (stoned, perhaps!). They weren't there in the morning!

On their way out, he rubbed the face of one of them into something they had deposited in his back garden.
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ruddlescat



Joined: 16 Sep 2010
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Location: Near Chester

PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From a legal standing I think Colin your friend committed the criminal offence of harassment doing what he did but I can't say I blame him
Quite often there are no consequences because the squatters don't actually make any complaint and if there is no complaint it follows there is no criminal investigation and no charges
Incidentally charges in this type of case are normally brought by the local authority Housing and Environmental Health section rather than the police who tend not to want to get involved
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ColinB
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 6:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ruddlescat wrote:
From a legal standing I think Colin your friend committed the criminal offence of harassment doing what he did but I can't say I blame him


He's a big bloke who I don't think gives a monkeys, to be honest!

He exerted a similar amount of "gentle persuasion" on somebody who didn't cough up the agreed final stage sum for a perfectly good extension either! Smile
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