From the 1st September squatting in residential buildings in England and Wales became a criminal offence, with perpetrators facing up to six months in jail and a maximum £5,000 fine. This legislation does not apply to commercial properties, which may now become more vulnerable as squatters seek alternatives.
Allianz Property Risk Control manager, Andy Miller, warns that “this could lead to significant damage to commercial properties, such as that caused by fire whether deliberate or accidental. This could lead to serious disruption for our clients. Even more so, because with winter around the corner, the nights are growing colder and the hours of daylight are getting shorter.”
In light of this we would advise our customers to be aware of a few basic precautions regarding empty properties in order to protect against squatters.
What can our clients do to minimise the risk?