The article about changes in the law relating to squatters elicited a cascade of comments from my colleagues. They were polarised – from those supporting householders to a few supporting squatters.
Surely we could distinguish between squatters moving in on a home while the occupants are out at the shops or on holiday, and squatters occupying a property that has been empty, decaying for years. I had many of the latter when I did housing law. Some involved people who worked locally in essential service industries. Many had repaired the properties, paid electricity and gas, and even paid rates to the local authorities which said they were not aware they were there.
I suspect the government could have passed a law that made this distinction, but maybe that would not score any points with the media who decide policy on these things.
David Jockelson, Miles & Partners, London E1