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Praise for squatters' rights law change
9:30am Saturday 1st September 2012 in News
A OXFORD property developer has praised laws coming into force today making squatting illegal.
Martin Young , right, owns a number of houses across the city and has experience of squatters breaking in – on one occasion holding a rave. The Headington Hill resident said: “This legislation is good news, a huge relief.
“Squatters should not be allowed to impose their outlaw mentality on the rest of us.”
A squatter is defined as someone who trespasses in a residential building, “knows or ought to know” they are trespassing, and intends to live there for any period. Squatters will now be punished with a prison of up to six months, a maximum fine of £5,000 or both.
Until today homeowners could only have sought a civil court order to evict squatters.
Justice minister Crispin Blunt said: “For too long squatters have had the justice system on the run and caused homeowners untold misery in eviction, repair and clean-up costs.
“Hard working homeowners deserve a justice system where their rights come first.”
A Thames Valley Police spokesman said it was too early to discuss any changes.