Many HLPA members signed the open letter on the misrepresentation of squatting circulated last week. HLPA as an organisation also signed, by the Executive Committee. Many non-HLPA members also signed.
In total there were 158 individual signatures and that of HLPA as an organisation, which shows a considerable strength of feeling on the issue.
The letter was sent to all major newspapers and news organisations on 26 September 2011.
The Guardian published both an edited version of the letter and an article on the issues raised in the paper edition of 26 September. The letter in full, with signature list, was published on the Guardian website here, and the article on the issues raised can be found here.
The article contains a response from the Housing Minster, Grants Shapps. The minster does not address the criticisms made in the letter, but is quoted as saying:
“The guidance I published earlier this year makes clear to homeowners where the law stands on squatters, however commonsense suggests there should be quick and tough sanctions available when someone’s home is squatted, without the homeowner necessarily needing to bring a civil case.
“That’s why we’re consulting on making squatting a criminal offence, to shut the door on so-called ‘squatters rights’ once and for all, and end the misery and expense that homeowners can endure.
This appears to amount to a repetition of the misleading statements complained of in the letter.
For response to the letter and article on other websites, see: