3 Years Running: Buy-To-Let Legal Services Award
Landlord Syndicate 8 May 2012
The Landlord Syndicate, a network of companies providing a complete support centre for landlords, are relieved by the news that squatting is to become a criminal offence as of September.
Homeowners, and particularly landlords whose properties are not always occupied, can breathe a sigh of relief as reports have revealed the act of squatting, which is currently only a civil offence, will be made a criminal offence from 1st September 2012.
One member of The Landlord Syndicate who has fought for some time to enforce this law, even supporting a campaign presented to Parliament in April 2011, is Paul Shamplina, also founder of Landlord Action. He comments "Squatting cases have been on the rise for some time now, many by organised gangs whom have travelled thousands of miles to engage in squatting knowing they will be protected by the law. It was only when some of the high profile cases hit the headlines that people sat up and took notice of the growing injustice on homeowners."
Squatters will now face up to a £5000 fine and a six month prison sentence if they take up residence in another person’s property.
In light of this news, The Landlord Syndicate are warning landlords not to be complacent, “Enforcing a law does not mean that the activity of squatting will be eradicated, it just means there are tougher measures to deal with it which should prevent landlords and homeowners having to enter into lengthy and expensive legal battles” adds Paul. That means landlords still need to avoid void periods and ensure they invest in good preventative security measures.
Landlord action was set up by landlords for landlords with problem tenants. That is, tenants who are in rent arrears or break some other part of a tenancy agreement. Landlord & tenant law is a specialist area and we found solicitor charges were too much and too vague. When you have a bad tenant you want to evict them fast. Any landlord would want a bad tenant out. they want advice and help with the law. And that's what we do. We are experts in this area and unlike solicitors, we only act for landlords, never tenants. And we'll help recover the outstanding rent. Our free advice line is open to all landlords and we have carried out thousands of evictions.