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What about squatting?

Squatting in an empty property is not a crime, but causing damage by breaking in is and in some circumstances so is remaining after you have been asked to leave. Although squatters are protected by law from being physically thrown out onto the street without warning, they can be evicted quickly and in limited circumstances without a court order. If you are considering squatting you should try to find out who owns the property and how long it is likely to remain empty, otherwise you risk being constantly moved on.

As a squatter, you will still have a right to services such as gas, electricity and water. For advice on your rights, contact a housing advice centre or the Advisory Service for Squatters.(2 St.Paul's Road, London, N1 22N; Tel-0171 3598814

Information provided by 23 July, 2002