Section 144 of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 comes into force on the 1st September 2012. The section creates a new offence of squatting in a residential building, which will apply throughout England and Wales. The section aims to protect owners and lawful occupiers of any type of residential building. This includes homeowners and tenants who have been excluded from their homes by trespassers. It also aims to protect landlords, second homeowners and local authorities who discover trespassers living in a residential building that they own or control, even if vacant at the time the trespassers occupied the building.

A full outline can be obtained by clicking on the link below:

http://www.justice.gov.uk/downloads/legislation/bills-acts/circulars/squatting-circular.pdf