Increased Squatters Riskon
From the 1st September squatting in residential buildings in England and Wales became a criminal offence, with perpetrators facing up to six months in jail and a maximum £5,000 fine. This legislation does not apply to commercial properties, which may now become more vulnerable as squatters seek alternatives.
There are concerns that this could lead to significant damage to commercial properties, such as that caused by fire (whether deliberate or not). With winter around the corner, the nights are growing colder and the hours of daylight are getting shorter, which will only encourage squatters to start fires in vacant buildings.
In light of this, we would advise our clients to take precautions regarding empty properties in order to protect against squatters.
For more advice, call our Property Investors department on 0161 834 8877