Squatting made illegal
Squatting has been made a criminal offence.
Under new laws introduced today, anyone found to be living in another person's property without a tenancy agreement could face up to six months in prison.
The news is likely to be welcomed by Britain's buy-to-let landlords or anyone with a second home. No longer will getting rid of squatters be more complicated than evicting tenants.
In fact, the new laws state that police will be allowed to arrest squatters as soon as they are convinced that a complaint from a homeowner is genuine.
In an interview with bbc.co.uk, housing minister Grant Shapps said that the new law had been a long time coming.
He stated: "For too long, hardworking people have faced long legal battles to get their homes back from squatters, and repair bills reaching into the thousands when they finally leave.
"No longer will there be so-called squatters' rights. Instead, from next week, we're tipping the scales of justice back in favour of the homeowner and making the law crystal clear: entering a property with the intention of squatting will be a criminal offence."
Thesun.co.uk reports that the law also takes into account those living in warehouses or commercial buildings. Persistent offenders could also face fines of up to £5,000.