Squatters Face Jail After Rights Are Axed
A new law comes into effect this weekend which threatens squatters with jail if they enter an unoccupied residential property.
Squatters who take up residence in property that does not belong to them now face prison or a fine following the scrapping of squatters' rights.
A new law comes in on Saturday for England and Wales making it an offence for squatters to enter or occupy an abandoned or empty property without the owner's permission.
The introduction of the offence - which will carry a maximum sentence of up to six months in jail for persistent offenders, a £5,000 fine or both - follows a Government consultation on the issue last summer.
Ministers said the move would shut the door on squatters once and for all and help protect homeowners.
"For too long, squatters have had the justice system on the run and have caused homeowners untold misery in eviction, repair and clean-up costs," Justice minister Crispin Blunt said.