The number of interim possession orders issued by Central London County Court increased by 81% between 2010 and 2011. These orders are necessary if a landlord or property owner wants to evict a squatter. The number of squatters has increased greatly in the capital as housing prices have risen and the population has swollen. Some companies are now being set up to not only prevent squatters taking up residence but also to fill the gap in the property market between a shortage of housing and a growing population.
Property guardians will temporarily ‘house sit’ in order to prevent squatters moving in. At the same time, these guardians will enjoy well-located and often luxurious properties for a third or a quarter of the commercial rent value. Property management firm Camelot has 2,000 property guardians mostly in London and it’s not alone; there are other sites such as aptly named Property Guardians offering the same type of service. The idea holds particular appeal among key workers and young would-be buyers priced out of the property market.
Whilst this definitely fills a gap in the market, homeowners still need to be aware of their rights concerning squatters, particularly if new legislation outlawing squatting in the UK comes into force in September.
But property law is complicated, convoluted and in some cases antiquated. It is generally too much for property owners and landlords to understand on their own. On the other hand, Dewar Hogan, as the country’s only property-specific law firm, knows property law inside out. As adverse possession and boundary dispute solicitors it can advise clients on the necessary legal steps required to evict squatters and, where necessary, take the matter to court.
Dewar Hogan offers extensive pre-action advice on evidence required and action that can be taken in the event of squatters moving in. In most cases it advises its clients to settle matters out of court rather than litigate, but if the dispute cannot be resolved in this manner, it can prepare hearings and set clients up with experienced property barristers.
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