Mike Weatherley, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Hove and Portslade, has tabled an Early Day Motion (EDM) that highlights the need for owners of commercial property to have the same rights as owners of residential premises when it comes to removing squatters.
EDM 912 (Commercial Squatting) draws attention to the distinction between the homeless and squatters, who actively choose to occupy other people’s property. As well as highlighting the need to encourage owners of empty building back into use, the EDM stresses that owners of commercial property deserve the same level of protection as owners of residential property.
Mike has frequently discussed the damage that squatters inflict on the buildings that they occupy – at great expense to owners – and how this often has an impact on the local economy. One such example came up recently in Brighton, as squatters occupied a building in the centre of the city, which stopped a new company from creating dozens of jobs for local people.
Commenting, Mike said: “After the success of the criminalisation of squatting in residential properties, I felt that it was important that commercial property owners were protected by the law in the same way as residential owners. My colleagues in parliament have been very supportive of the rights of property owners over those who choose squatting – and its destructive consequences – as a way of life.”