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Survey reveals increased risk of squatting in commercial buildings

by Brian Sims

Following changes in the law late last year, which made squatting in residential properties a criminal offence, many predicted an increase in squatting in empty commercial buildings. Now a survey of facilities professionals by vacant property specialist SitexOrbis identifies that 30 per cent of respondents expect an increase in squatters targeting their properties, with 27 per cent saying that they have been targeted by squatters over the past two years. From 1 September 2012, through Section 144 of the amended Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act, squatting is criminalised for residential buildings (including social housing properties). People convicted under the act can be imprisoned for up to 51 weeks, or fined up to

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