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B446 - Abolition Of Squatters Rights Bill 2012

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    B446 - Abolition Of Squatters Rights Bill 2012, TSR Government


    Abolition Of Squatters Rights Act 2012


    An Act to remove all rights regarding the rights of people who live in a house/on the land of an individual without their consent.

    BE IT ENACTED by The Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Commons in this present Parliament assembled, in accordance with the provisions of the Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949, and by the authority of the same, as follows:-


    1. Removal of the rights of "Squatters"
    (1) It shall become an offence to illegally live on land that does not belong to you without the owners consent.
    (2) It shall become an offence to illegally reside in a house that does not belong you you without the owners consent.
    (3) All Squaters rights, as specified in the squatters rights act, shall be removed.
    (3) For the purposes of this Act-
    (a) "Squatters" shall refer to a person who lives on the land/in the residence of another persons without the owners consent.
    (b) Squatters Rights shall refer to any right or law which prohibits the removal of squatters from the land of the owner.

    2. Enforcement
    (1) The enforcement of this Act should be the sole responsibility of the police forces of the UK.
    (2) Police forces in the UK will be entitled to remove squatters by force if necessary.

    3. Punishment
    (1) Violation of this Act should be punishable by a fine not exceeding £1,000 and/or imprisonment not exceeding 6 months.
    (2) In addition, the squatter(s) in question may be charged for breaking and entering, as well as any other laws they break, should the owner of the property wish for them to face these charges including but not limited to burglary and criminal damage.
    (3) The Secretary of State will be granted the power to make exemptions to this Act as he finds necessary.

    4. Commencement, short title and extent
    (1) This Act may be cited as the Abolition of Squatters Rights Bill, 2012
    (2) This bill shall extend to the United Kingdom; and
    (3) Shall come into force immediately following Royal Assent.
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    Aye
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    (Original post by Metrobeans)
    QFA
    Is there meant to be a picture where the link is? You're slacking Nick.

    Aye.
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    I did link in a picture (also could you have a space between the queen bit and 1. as i must of forgot to drop the line down).

    Agree with this substantially.
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    Nothing about abandoned or otherwise unoccupied properties? And there doesn't seem to be an allowance in there for leaving peacefully and immediately once the owner asks/tells them to, which should be the aim rather than locking up non-dangerous people.
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    Over my dead body.
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    This bill isn't abolishing squatters' rights, it's creating a criminal offence. Squatters' rights merely meant that the owner was required to get an eviction notice in order to remove squatters from his property. This bill is taking a positive step in the wrong direction by turned what is better dealt with through civil procedures and moving it into the criminal system; and because of that, I'm voting against.

    Yes to the removal of squatters' rights (abolition? Too strong a word for something like this to be honest), and no to the creation of a new and superfluous criminal offence (Trespass already exists).
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    (Original post by Hopple)
    Nothing about abandoned or otherwise unoccupied properties? And there doesn't seem to be an allowance in there for leaving peacefully and immediately once the owner asks/tells them to, which should be the aim rather than locking up non-dangerous people.
    If people leave peacefully then they will not ask the police to prosecute them.

    This bill should apply to all properties.

    (Original post by D.R.E)
    This bill isn't abolishing squatters' rights, it's creating a criminal offence. Squatters' rights merely meant that the owner was required to get an eviction notice in order to remove squatters from his property. This bill is taking a positive step in the wrong direction by turned what is better dealt with through civil procedures and moving it into the criminal system; and because of that, I'm voting against.

    Yes to the removal of squatters' rights (abolition? Too strong a word for something like this to be honest), and no to the creation of a new and superfluous criminal offence (Trespass already exists).
    This bill is a positive step in the right not wrong direction.

    Take the example of somebody going abroad to work with a charity in Africa for 6 months and then coming back to find that squatters were in his house and could not be evicted for at least a month, squatting is essentially theft and these people should have no rights other than not to be beaten to a pulp.
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    (Original post by Rakas21)
    If people leave peacefully then they will not ask the police to prosecute them.
    How do you know? It doesn't say that in the bill. The property owner could go around, be angry at the squatters yet they leave quickly and without fuss, but still face jail time and/or a fine. These are probably homeless people we're dealing with, and this bill seeks to criminalise staying in an unused property, even if they move out as soon as the property becomes 'in use' again.
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    Needs some work to sort out the process. Most squatters are homeless, and as such are pretty unlikely to pay the fine, and won't care too much about being arrested. Having spoken to someone who's heavily involved in the prison system, and the rehabilitation of prisoners, I worry that this will create a system which makes it even easier for homeless people to do 'winters' - a deliberate act of criminality, usually committed before winter, to ensure that they will be in a warm, sheltered prison over the colder months. Obviously, the real issue here is one of prison reform, not of squatters, but the people who will be criminalised by this bill are the people who stand to benefit from being criminalised. The underlying fault with this piece of legislation is that the punishment is more of an incentive than a punishment; so what we have to do is try to devise a different punishment. Having a rather Dark-Age approach to criminal justice, I would suggest that squatters caught should have all their clothes but their underwear confiscated removed, then be turned out onto the street; but I expect this would fall foul of the tenet of our justice system that bans 'cruel and unusual punishment'.
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    I think that this bill would likely prevent the homeless from committing 'winters' simply because of the hefty sentence.

    Somebody squatting would..

    1) Get 6 months for squatting
    2) Be prosecuted for breaking and entering
    3) Be prosecuted for burglary if they eat food ect.. or use anything
    4) Be prosecuted for criminal damage if they break anything or replace the locks

    This is not just a few months over winter but some serious time potentially.
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    So, more time with a roof over their head and regular meals?

    I'd imagine that'd be quite an incentive for homeless people to continue to take the risk and squat, because either way they're going to be better off than just sleeping rough.
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    no, as someone with friends who have lived in squats there is no way I can support a bill that would take rights away from these people as they are among the most vulnerable in our society anyway.
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    Say a family with a pregnant mother just came home from holiday to find their house had squatters, who refused to leave peacefully. Surely in this case the family who rightfully owns the house is the more vulnerable.
    Imagine that eventually the squatters are removed, but have damaged the house. Again, surely this will make the family even more vulnerable, especially financially.

    It's these sort of people that this bill is intended to protect.
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    Aye
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    Obvious Ham and Cheese bill.

    I'm not sure.
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    (Original post by tufc)
    Having a rather Dark-Age approach to criminal justice, I would suggest that squatters caught should have all their clothes but their underwear confiscated removed, then be turned out onto the street; but I expect this would fall foul of the tenet of our justice system that bans 'cruel and unusual punishment'.
    Lol. You say the current system is a "dark-age approach" then you propose taking homeless people's clothes away if they commit a crime, lol.
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    (Original post by Lipvig)
    Say a family with a pregnant mother just came home from holiday to find their house had squatters, who refused to leave peacefully. Surely in this case the family who rightfully owns the house is the more vulnerable.
    Erm, in this case the squatters would be evicted pretty quickly.
    Imagine that eventually the squatters are removed, but have damaged the house. Again, surely this will make the family even more vulnerable, especially financially.
    This is already against the law, it's called criminal damage and the person responsible would be charged regardless of this act.

    Have the government paid any attention to how much this would cost the state? It will cause increases in benefits claimants, and policing costs, some estimates go up to £790.4m over 5 years. Does the government intend to invest any money in social housing projects to ensure that these people are not left homeless?

    Councils have a duty of care to their residents, whilst you may think these people should be left to fend for themselves some consideration needs to be paid to what will happen to these people. But beyond vulnerable populations, what will this do for the average person? The average person can look forward to seeing more people sleeping on the pavements they are trying to use. In turn you'll also cause a massive increase in NHS costs, increased waiting times in hospitals, more people urinating in public places, more people begging. How can the government not have considered any of this?

    So, which public services do you intend to cut to find the almost £800m that this bill will cost?

    Now, the punishment for squatting includes a fine, which is a joke for obvious reasons. However, i don't think you understand the mindset of the homeless. Now i have been threatened for arrest for a crime i didn't do when i was homeless (criminal damage), and to put it frankly, i didn't care about the fact that i was gonna be arrested. In fact, immediately after the coppers left i laughed with others, pointing out that all it would do is provide me with free shelter, free food, and clean clothes. Oh, and don't forget the free legal representation when i'm taken to court
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    (Original post by Rakas21)
    I did link in a picture (also could you have a space between the queen bit and 1. as i must of forgot to drop the line down).

    Agree with this substantially.
    Your link doesn't work! :p:

    I checked the PM and it said invalid link specified.
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    (Original post by Lipvig)
    Say a family with a pregnant mother just came home from holiday to find their house had squatters, who refused to leave peacefully. Surely in this case the family who rightfully owns the house is the more vulnerable.
    Imagine that eventually the squatters are removed, but have damaged the house. Again, surely this will make the family even more vulnerable, especially financially.

    It's these sort of people that this bill is intended to protect.

    That example is soooo tabloid.
Updated: May 22, 2012
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