Pubs in squatters warning

By Gurjit Degun

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Pub owners Real estate

Legislation may not reduce the level of damage by squatters
Legislation may not reduce the level of damage by squatters
Pub owners are being warned of an increase in squatters targeting empty commercial property after the Government introduced legislation making it illegal to squat in residential buildings.

The Vacant Property Specialists (VPS), which manages empty properties, claimed pub owners might have to fork out a minimum of £1,500 to remedy damage to their property. This figure does not include legal fees.

The new legislation may not reduce the damage and clean-up costs that squatters often leave behind, as the majority of damage is caused in the first 48 hours of occupation, according to VPS.

VPS UK managing director Nick Tubbs said: “While we welcome the Government’s proposed changes to the law, squatters may begin to target more commercial buildings such as empty pubs. Where there are empty buildings, squatters can soon follow and with an average of 14 pubs closing each week in the UK they are at risk of becoming targets for squatters.

“This will lead to increased concern and costs for pub owners and managers who are already facing challenging market conditions and could become a real issue for surrounding communities.”

He added: “Most damage to squatted properties takes place in the first 48 hours of the premises becoming occupied, so proper protection is vital. Prevention is the best course of action to mitigate the risks posed by squatting, arson and vandalism.”

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