Should squatters have rights? To me this question is definitely a complex on, that doesn’t simply have the answer of yes or no. Lets take into the consideration of why squatters squat. They are choosing to sleep in an abandoned house with no heating or electric and sometimes no furniture, which in mind my means they have no other place to stay and its either there or the street, and I know which one Id prefer.
You have to remember that these houses are usually completely abandoned and squatters normally go unnoticed for years upon years of them staying there. However its obvious that squatting is not the answer to homelessness and something needs to be done.
The coalition government is soon set to propose that changes in the law will make squatting a criminal offence and those found guilty of breaching this will be fined up to £5000 or given a year long prison sentence. But is this really going to solve the problem? These people are desperate and in need of help, is the possibility of going to jail or having a fine really going to stop them squatting in an abandoned house instead of sleeping on the street? I think not.
I understand that not every squatter is in such desperate need as others and some see squatting more as a lifestyle choice than a necessity, and for those select few this new law might potentially work, but what about the rest? Surely help is needed more than anything. And surely taking away someone’s shelter and safety should be the last resort?
The governemnt has seems to think that slapping a fine on the issue will make the problem go away. How they ever came to that conclusion I dont know. These people need support with whatever issues they might have and guidance in how to get better, a fine/imprisonment is not the answer!