A young group of squatters has moved into a Bristol office block at 66 Queen Square in the city centre. The squatters got in through an open window on one of the upper floors and have since refused to leave. Police and the estate agent marketing the property are both aware of the situation but as a civil matter it is down to the local council to take the next move.
It is believed this group of squatters contains members from another group that took up residence in Clifton Wood Mansion earlier this year. The group was eventually evicted from this property by the police, for other crimes resulting from disturbing the peace. As a rule of thumb, the local police will not get involved unless other crimes are committed, as was the case with Clifton Wood Mansion, but so far this is not an issue at the Queen Square office block.
There are around 20,000 squatters in the UK taking up residence in residential and commercial property up and down the country. The issue seems to be expanding, particularly in wealthy parts of the country, such as in London’s Belgravia. In the past year, squatting cases have doubled in this affluent London neighbourhood.
Squatters have rights, but so do home and commercial property owners. However, few people actually know the ins and outs of the UK’s complicated and often antiquated property law. But Dewar Hogan knows all about squatting, boundary disputes and illegal subletting. It is the only law firm in the entire country dealing solely with property law; as a result it has become an expert in this rather complicated field of law.
As adverse possession solicitors, Dewar Hogan is well equipped to deal with cases relating to squatters. According to Dewar Hogan, 50% of cases are won by squatters, leaving property owners – residential and commercial – out of pocket and with little clue what to do. Dewar Hogan provides pre-action advice and where necessary, will take the case to court by preparing hearings and advising on members of the property bar to take the case to the next step.
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