Cluttons is concerned that this legislation is too narrow, as it only applies to residential buildings which have been "designed or adapted, before the time of entry, for use as a place to live" and commercial properties are still very much at threat.
There is also concern that this previous civil issue will not be prioritised in criminal courts, and without the serious threat of imprisonment or financial penalty, it will not be taken seriously.
Julian Briant, head of residential consultancy division, Cluttons, commented: "Owners of empty commercial buildings need to be particularly careful as squatters start to search around for a new place to live. Sheds, office blocks, retail units and industrial buildings will all become fair game for squatters for whom the risk of ‘getting’ on to their particular residential property ladder is too great."
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