I have two things to say about this. First, when did someone or a group of people breaking into unoccupied houses and living there illegally become a perfectly normal thing? And where are the limits then? Should I open my front door to anyone, should we all have a spare bed and give out spare keys of our apartments? I really don’t think so.
I obviously don’t want to come across as heartless person who doesn’t care about the world’s misery, but come on! Squatters are a problem, and still seeing homeless people in the streets in 2011 is a disgrace. Yes. But I highly doubt that the solution is to watch them occupy one house in November, another one in December and so on, without saying anything. There should be special places (or more of them) where they could go, more transitional homes, but accepting that anyone could break into my flat when I’m on holidays and coming back only to face a family of 6 happily resting on my couch is a step too far.
Now concerning the fine and jail sentence, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to me and I don’t see how this is going to stop squatters from breaking into properties. Ask someone with no income who lives in the street to give the government £5000 because they’ve been naughty: sure, that’s gonna happen!
Squatters’ rights should be abolished, or at least, measures should be enforced, because I don’t see why I should go through months of legal procedures and spend hundreds or thousands of pounds to be able to get MY house back.
It has become ridiculous, every “offender” is being protected by some sort of laws: the tenant who does not pay rent, the stalker who wants to kill you, and now the squatters who want to use your house as their own. No, I really don’t buy that.