Letter: Squatting: a problem or a benefit?

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The Independent Online
Sir: Your leading article ('Why eviction is not the solution', 5 November) filled me with dismay. While I can in no way be described as a supporter of this terrible government, in this particular instance, I agree with their new policy on squatting without any reservations.

I am the director of property of a nationwide optical chain. At present we have some squatters in a flat above one of our branches in Crawley, West Sussex.

We have been advised that the only legal way to get these people out is by instructing solicitors, swearing an affidavit, and taking the matter to court. The approximate cost of this is pounds 750, not taking into account our own endeavours, and the probable length of time involved - four weeks. Further it appears that as and when we do get these squatters removed, others can move in, and we would have to repeat the procedure all over again.

Why should squatters be allowed to steal premises in this way, and involve landlords in cost and loss of revenue?

In this matter the Government is absolutely correct in taking steps to simplify the procedure of removing squatters.

MICHAEL GOLDSTONE

Kingston, Surrey

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