It's Not Squatting If It's An Industrial Building

According to the newest 'residents' in East Putney & a new law


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Residents in East Putney have been disturbed by a "Trance Party" being held in a disused warehouses in Osiers Road. At the local Safer Neighbourhood Team meeting they were advised that as the building is industrial and not domestic then the laws applying to squatters do not apply.

On the specialist website for squatters Advisory Service for Squatters it explains the new law introduces on 1st September 2012:

'Not everyone who is squatting, or considered by others to be squatting, will be affected by the new law, but people will need to be prepared to explain, quite forcefully at times, why they are not affected.

The wording of S144 starts:

(1)A person commits an offence if—

(a) the person is in a residential building as a trespasser having entered it as a trespasser,

(b) the person knows or ought to know that he or she is a trespasser, and

(c) the person is living in the building or intends to live there for any period.

(2)The offence is not committed by a person holding over after the end of a lease or licence (even if the person leaves and re-enters the building).

So Squatting is still legal in non-residential properties. A building is defined as 'residential' if it is “designed or adapted, before the time of entry, for use as a place to live”.'

The group of "non squatters" have backed this up with a S1449 legal notice outside the building:

image©Paul Chambers

The local SNT Sgt told "The police are aware of this. It is a non residential building on an industrial estate. The recent legislation introduced with new police powers to arrest squatters only applies to residential premises so can not be used. The landowners have been contacted and advised to obtain an eviction / possession notice which they have done."

October 5, 2012