Computacenter have just found their way onto the list of "suppliers I will never, ever buy from".
IT reseller giant Computacenter has smoked out a bunch of squatters who took up residence at its former offices in London. The rent-freetards had set up camp after finding a way into the building, which is next door to the company's headquarters in Blackfriars. But the vagabonds spent just a few nights in the premises before …
Being homeless doesn't make you sub-human scum, but breaking into others property without permission, then refusing to leave when asked does...
We have a social housing system in this country, its not perfect, but it works..
I agree we need systems to help the homeless more, BUT allowing them to squat in buildings is not an option.. I can understand that people can become homeless through no fault of their own, but that is no reason to penalise others... I actually blame the council for the number of homeless, since they changed the benefits system so landlords are not paid directly, and they can claw back money they over paid, it means no landlord wants a council tenant anymore as there is no guarantee they will be paid...
"I actually blame the council for the number of homeless, since they changed the benefits system so landlords are not paid directly, and they can claw back money they over paid, it means no landlord wants a council tenant anymore as there is no guarantee they will be paid..."
Not so, I rent out a number of houses to DSS people and I am paid directly by the council's housing association. That makes it a lot easier than having to chase people for rent! I have found my council tenants much more appreciative of the property than most private tenants I've had to deal with in the past. Most council tenants have had to wait in a housing queue (some are emergency prioritised). In this case I guess the people sleeping in the offices had decided not to join a list, or had become tired of waiting and saw an opportunity to have somewhere to sleep - which I can understand. Resisting being asked to move on isn't right though.
Check your small print - it used to be that if the DSS decided that a claim was invalid/fraudulent they came after you for all the rent you had been paid. If you didn't pay up they seized the property.
So you had full retrospective liability for a benefit claim that you weren't allowed to know any details of - try getting insurance against that!
>I am paid directly by the council's housing association.
That is about to change.
Secondly, when one of your tenants turns out to be fraudulently claiming, the council will pursue you for the money.
Homelessness is a government problem that should not be dumped on companies or individuals who are trying to sell property.
Squatters cause trouble for so many people, it is time the UK got tough on them, give homeowners the right to physically pick up a squatter and dump them on the street!
BUT on the other hand the government needs to tackle the lack of homes available, which does mean getting some of these unused properties on the market for rent and getting council tenants into them... As a landlord myself, I am for both measures, I would not own a property and not use it, I will either use it or rent it out.
An upvote for saving me typing.
I'd go even further and say that the government needs to legislate a happy living (as opposed to struggling subsistence) minimum wage that allows people to afford rents that make unused properties everywhere profitable enough to do up and rent out to private tenants.
At law, there is no such thing as a 'squatter'. There is only a trespasser. A trespasser has no legal right to be on another persons property.
I'm glad the event ended without anyone getting hurt. I'm also glad that Computercenter personnel, in responding to a fire alarm, found property that had been discarded. They'll be able to sell it to re-coup the cost of investigating the fire alarm.
The fact that you think you are allowed to take someone elses possessions and sell them makes it quite obvious how familiar with the law you are. Trespassers would be the ones who don't have permission from the residents to enter their home... hence why the landlord tricked them in to 'abandoning the property' before entering.
The only way someone can be forcibly evicted from their home is by bailiffs with the appropriate court orders and associated paperwork - anyone else trying to attack someone in their home and drag them out in to the street will be arrested if the police catch wind of it, and they won't care that you think you're entitled to beat up your tenant because they were late with the rent etc.
Yes these squatters ARE trespassers by your own definition- they have entered someone else's property without permission. They have not been forcibly evicted from their own home, they've been evicted from someone else's (non-residential) property. They weren't late with any rent, as there was no. agreement and no rent being paid.
Your example relates to someone with a contract to rent a property for residential purposes. Computercenter had no such agreement in place with anyone and weren't anyone's "landlords", and therefore had legal reason to assume the property was not occupied. As such, they have every right to do what they wanted to the property.
"Computercenter...had legal reason to assume the property was not occupied. As such, they have every right to do what they wanted to the property."
Assumptions had sod all to do with it. Computercenter knew that there were people living there - that's the whole reason they employed the "consultant". RTFA.
If a burglar was injured by faulty wiring they could probably try and sue for contributory negligence since the homeowner should have considered the likelihood that another person (burglar or not) might come into contact with the faulty wiring. I have absolutely no legal knowledge but it sounds par for the course where our system's concerned.
What a strange law. Computacenter had title to the property, the squatters did not. As they could conceivably cause damage to the property while trespassing, once it's clear who has title, surely trespassing should be treated like any other indictable offence - the police arrest people engaging in it on sight.
> found property that had been discarded. They'll be able to sell it to re-coup the cost of investigating the fire alarm.
Under Section 12 of the Tort (Interference with Goods) Act 1977 the money raised from the sale belongs to the squatters. If the squatters haven't claimed their money within six years then it becomes Computercenter's. Computercenter can take reasonable expenses for arranging the sale of the goods and for keeping the money safe.
OT: The only reason I know this is because a scaffolding company refused to remove scaffolding from my house because another company owed them money. After extensive internet searches I discovered this Tort Law and served them with a notice of sale. I then sold the scaffold to a rival and when the original company came and asked for the money from the sale I presented them £1, which was the difference between the sale price and the cost of having the scaffolding removed by qualified scaffolders (as is required by the Work at Height Regulations 2005). After many threats, I never heard anything else from them.
Sometimes the Law is a wonderful thing.
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Whilst I have sympathy for the homeless it does seem squatting is seen as a way of getting free accommodation by the people I have talked to who do it.
We need a suitable accommodation policy that supports the people in need so squatters have no excuse, currently its too generous to those on their feet (Yes I'm talking about you Bob the union man) and insufficient for those in need.
The changes to squatting law excluded business premises, this is the result, a very aggressive expulsion of people which at first appears amusing but would have quickly turned nasty if anyone had fallen over and injured themselves.
Were the sleeping bags and other bits returned or kept by way of unpaid rent?. Guess this tactic would not have worked a few years back when Gypsies took over the car park of a well known Distributor.
Must give CC some credit here...great thinking and smart move...!
The underlying problem is the high cost of housing, and hence rents, which successive government have done all in their power to maintain as one part of their mega-spending to keep the banks solvent. This is exacerbated in London by the continuing influx of wealthy businessmen attracted by the friendly tax regime and the lack of any serious regulation in the City.
That always assumes there's no shortage of rented property even then. What you might see, at least for a while is buy to let properties being left empty, because to take a cut in rental will devalue the the capital value of the property, and perhaps put it into negative equity and forcing a distressed sale. Enough of these would force a property price collapse with even more dire consequences for our economy, yes first time buyers might get a bit of a lift, if they can get the lower mortgage from against yet another round of lender bad debts.
The fault being that buy to let and indeed the high street has always assumed that rents will only ever go up, downward rents are bad news to most landlords who tend to be highly leveraged. It's not right but, it's how it is. How long do you want the economy to be depressed?
Oh and good on you Computacentre, that's the way to do it, won't affect my buying decisions one bit so you'll still get a lot of business from my end. I don't thick all squatters or the homeless are scum, very few are, but it isn't up to commercial organisations to solve homelessness, that's the government and local authorities.