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Changes to the law on Squatting - Essay Example

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Changes to the Law on Squatting Name: Institution: Changes to the Law on Squatting Squatting is the occupying of an unoccupied, unused or abandoned building, usually residential, or portion of land of which the occupier neither has legal permission to occupy nor ownership or rental arrangement (Fitzpatrick et al 2012)…
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Changes to the law on Squatting
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Download file to see previous pages A study established that there are approximately one billion squatters around the world, and also noted that squatting has not been sufficiently debated on academic or policy grounds. Section 144 of the Legal Aid Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act, 2012 (S144 LASPO 2012), of the United Kingdom (UK), made significant changes to the law that criminalize squatting under some circumstances, including the intention to stay there. This paper will give a background of the law on squatting in the UK, explaining why it has been contentious and further analyze the changes that came into force on September 1st 2012, and consider their wider implications. Squatting in England can be traced back to 1381, where it was one of the major factors that led to the Peasants’ Revolt, and the 17th century when it was associated with the Diggers (Waterhouse 2005). They claimed ownership of common and waste land and cultivated it. It was the initial land tenure system that the peasants knew. With the passage of time, the development of agriculture and settlement necessitated land ownership and, hence, boundaries. In Wales, a tax policy as well as a population expansion in the 17th century forced a part of the population to move into the countryside. There, they squatted and built their own property on common land under fictional traditional assumptions, resulting in the development of small housing units. ...
ributed to the large numbers of failing businesses in urban centers, which propelled squatting in Cardiff and Swansea, and was supported by statistics from the Advisory Service for Squatters (ASS) that squatting in Wales and England had doubled since 1995. In England, after World War I, many homeless people took up squatting as a necessity, but the post-World War II era gave rise to a bigger wave of squatting, which carried on into the 1960s’ wave of housing crisis. In 1946, servicemen returning from the war and their families were installed in empty properties by Harry Cowley, together with the Vigilantes (Roberts 2006). This was in retaliation to the severe housing shortage. Later in the 1960s, the Family Squatting Movement was developed. It aimed at mobilising people to seize control of empty and unused property and turn them into housing facilities for the homeless families that were on the waiting list of the Council Housing. Studies have suggested that it was common to respond to homelessness by squatting, with at least 40 percent of the homeless opting to squat. More recently in the early 1970s, a conflict grew between the initial Family Squatting Movement activists and a newer group of squatters who were simply opposed to the landlords’ right to demand rent. They claimed the seizing of property and staying without rent was their right and a revolutionary political action (Reeve 2011). They were actually young and single anarchists, not truly homeless families, strongly against the idea of seeking agreement with local councils on the use of idle property. In 1977, the Protection from Eviction Act and the Criminal Law Act were introduced, and amended in 1994 after media campaigns that claimed homes were squatted when the owners were away, tightening the law ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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