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Orbis warns of the hidden cost of squatting

Orbis-MIFM-Apr15Property management expert Orbis has issued a warning about the costs of dealing with squatters which can run into thousands of pounds for building owners.

Following government concerns ‘about the serious direct financial and emotional impact squatting can have on the owner and occupiers of property,’ it was made a criminal offence in residential buildings in 2012. However, under current law, squatting is still not illegal in commercial buildings, despite the same concerns applying.

In a recent survey carried out by the BIFM (British Institute of Facilities Management) and Orbis, 16 per cent of property managers have reported an increase in commercial squatting; in London, as many as 83 per cent of managers have experienced it.

In some areas of the UK, following an incident of squatting, the cost of a basic clean for a three storey commercial site starts at £1,500. This is on top of the legal fees for removing the squatters, which start at around £5,000 per incident. Owners also risk other potential costs, such as paying compensation to anyone injured on the premises, or the risk of accidental structural damage caused by a squatter, from fires or flooding for example.

 Guy Other, CEO at Orbis commented:

“The best method of dealing with squatting is to take a proactive approach and remove the risk of it occurring in the first place. A bespoke vacant property solution will prevent squatters from invading premises and spare owners the costs of having to remove them and clean or make repairs.”


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