UK: S144 arrest figures

Another 25 people were prosecuted under S144 last year.
Prosecuted for being homeless and housing themselves.
It would be good to hear from more of the people involved so we can advise, and learn more.

Other Trespass figures also interesting.

Via A.S.S.

Tags: , ,

UK: How to Challenge a Section 21 Notice

Despite the government’s temporary pause on eviction proceedings the system is going to be back soon enough — here’s what you need to know if you’re facing it.

We are likely to see a wave of evictions sweep the country come the end of next month, following the end of a suspension of nearly all court possession cases until (currently) September 20th. Whether or not this will be temporarily extended again, unless substantial legislative changes are instituted, Shelter anticipates that over 230,000 renters are at risk of eviction, in large part due to falling into rent arrears linked to job losses, reductions in income, and shielding during the Covid-19 outbreak. What this means is that it is still vital that renters understand their legal rights and the ways in which they can challenge an eviction notice.

Of greatest notoriety are Section 21 notices, commonly referred to as “no fault” evictions. These only apply to assured shorthold tenancies, which are the most common kind of private rented tenancy. They are the most common kind of eviction in the private rented sector, used for more than 80% of evictions against private tenants. And such notices are a delight to landlords as they do not have to offer a reason for evicting their tenant — no matter if you paid the bills on time, fixed up the plug sockets, bought the landlord a bouquet of flowers for Christmas (gross, don’t do this) — despite all the good behaviour in the world, a Section 21 eviction notice can still arrive at your door. [Read More]

UK: Notes for New Squatters

The government’s U-turn on evictions is merely a temporary reprieve — and today Freedom is publishing this newly updated Advisory Service for Squatters guide, which will only get more relevant as the year wears on.

Squatting means occupying empty buildings, or land, without permission. Normally, it means homeless people finding somewhere to live, for a while at least, but what people do with the space they occupy is up to them. The following is a very basic guide. For more information or if you have any problems contact the Advisory Service for Squatters (ASS).

Non-residential squatting is still legal

Squatting in non-residential buildings, or where there has been an agreement, is still a civil matter. To resolve it the owner has to take you to court. The owners have legal ways and procedures to have squatters evicted and cannot legally use force or threats. Section 6 of the Criminal Law Act 1977 makes it an offence to force entry to a building which is occupied, and this includes squats. This will no longer help against the police if they are enforcing the new law against squatters in residential properties, but is otherwise still valid. This is explained in the Legal Warnings, which squatters have either on display or ready to show people. [Read More]

London: Squatter’s Digest: The Fight To Remain

No, no, not that fight to Remain. You’re here for the squatting right?

Well if you read last month’s entry (this is something of a journal I guess, rather than journalism), then you’ll be pleased to know that I write to you from the comfort of my squat, the same one as before. With 30 fellow squatters outside the barricaded front door, serving breakfast, tea and coffee, and a free shop to the public, the resistance to our eviction was handled with ease. So, here I remain.

Further resistance to the bailiffs was seen within a few days time in London, this time in the south, in Deptford. Expecting a somewhat firmer attempt from the bailiffs, people gathered from 7 in the morning to barricade (although some were still up from doing this the night before) and to protect the entrance-way. High court bailiffs arrived, and it seemed like it was on. However, despite the posturing of the initial few enforcers, and the entrance of another half-dozen reinforcements, the bailiffs had no success in removing the squatters. With the squatters being an integral part of local campaigns such as the oft-mentioned Tidemill Garden, scores of local residents and campaigners came down to show their displeasure at the attempt, and the police and bailiffs caved to the pressure and retreated. [Read More]

London: Check out that A.S.S.

Squatters beware – there have been multiple cases in the last few weeks of people being arrested for burglary when squatting a place. With that in mind the Advisory Service for Squatters (A.S.S.) would like to remind people a few things to keep them safe if faced with arrest:

  1. No comment – You might be able to explain your situation to the police, but in 99% of cases what you say to them will not get you out of the cells any faster, and can be used to incriminate you or any other people arrested. If you go to court it can all be used against you, especially if you are caught fibbing to the rozzers. Say NO COMMENT to any questions the police ask you and keep you and your crew safe.
  2. Have a bail address – someone who doesn’t mind telling the police that you stay with them sometimes and that you can possibly stay with for a bit if the police do put any bail conditions on you. You don’t want to give them an excuse to keep you in prison.
  3. Know a legal firm to call – don’t in any circumstances take the duty solicitor provided by the police. Remember the name of one of the solicitor firms on the bust card, available at all good anarchist soical centres and refuse t have an interview until your lawyers are called.

Good luck out there! Feed the pigeons!

From Squatters of London Action Paper Issue 9 (pdf) – back issues here

NFA Antifascists

UK: Advisory Service for Squatters is 40!

We’re not sure how it happened but it did, and there seems to still be need for ASS, or something like it.

As part of our celebrations, we are planning a day of reminiscing, planning and partying, on the 12th September. Not a particularly momentous date as far as we know – the decision to start was around February and the actual opening was in October.
[Read More]