What is a Squatter?
A squatter is someone who lives in an empty building which they don’t own or rent without the owner’s permission.
What Rights do Squatters Have in the UK?
A long-term squatter can become the registered owner of property or land they’ve occupied without the owner’s permission. This applies when a squatter has occupied the property continuously for 10 years
5 Tips on how to Avoid Squatters in your Vacant Property:
- Intruder alarms and security lighting – alarms which alert you, a trusted neighbour or the police when an intrusion is detected can ensure that any movement or break-ins are detected immediately. At LOWE we provide a range of vacant property security to minimise the risk of squatters.
- Acquire professional property guardians – As a property owner, the best way to ensure that your property is protected at all times is to have trusted property guardians living in the building. With full time occupation of the property providing 24/7 security, the building is less susceptible to intruders. Read more about our vacant property guardian scheme here.
- Seal access points – Securing your vacant property so that it is difficult to enter, means it will be less likely to attract squatters. Ensure that there are no easy access points, such as windows, roof access, letter boxes in the property, and lock all doors entering the building.
- Cap off all utilities – If a property is completely empty, it can be of use to remove the fuse board and shut off water and energy supplies. This will ensure that even if the property becomes inhabited by a squatter, it will be difficult to live in.
- Have both landlord and property insurance – Insurance will help protect you against damage to your property, or loss of rental income. If your property becomes vacant and or unoccupied for a long period of time, it is in your best interest to continue with property insurance policy to ensure optimum protection.
The risk of having squatters enter your empty property can be greatly reduced, and it is always a sensible decision to ensure your property is supervised on an ongoing basis. At LOWE we deliver cost-effective, innovative solutions to managing vacant properties, which create social impact and support local communities. For more information on how to avoid squatters and the Vacant Property Services we offer, contact us today.