This petition has been started by Landlord Action, an organisation specialising in helping landlords with problems.
Squatting is considered to be a civil matter. A squatter has only committed a criminal offence if they have broken into a property, or, caused any damage.
For homeowners, regaining possession of their property from squatters can be both expensive and stressful. Typically, it takes a couple of months to evict them properly.
Essentially, squatters consume services that they have not paid for. We feel that this is a violation of homeowner rights and feel that all types of squatting should be made a criminal offence.
Recently, we have seen examples of squatters banding together to find empty properties to squat in. The level of organisation that they now use to target properties is shocking. In one example, squatters made a Freedom of Information request to find out which Council properties were unoccupied.
This abuse must stop.
We are asking homeowners to support an Early Day Motion, primarily sponsored by Mike Weatherley MP.