Ex-squaddies to 'squat proof' property for £2 .6K/wk
tony at cultureshop.org.uk
Thu Dec 3 14:02:39 GMT 2009
Security firm will protect properties round the clock for £2,600 a week
Wealthy homeowners are turning to private
security firms to protect their empty London
properties from squatters at a cost of up to £2,600 a week.
One company is set to "squat proof" hundreds of
houses and even offers ways of getting unwanted guests to leave.
It comes after the Standard revealed that
squatters were regularly targeting properties
worth up to £50million in Belgravia and Mayfair,
which are often owned by investors hiding their
identities behind offshore companies.
According to the Empty Homes Agency there are
more than 80,000 empty properties in London, or
2.5 per cent of all homes. A growing number are
properties bought by foreign investors who want a
secure asset but continue to live elsewhere.
Forbes Risk, a security company predominantly
staffed by former members of the armed forces,
offers a range of "squat proofing" measures which
they say will turn a potential squat into an
"inhabited property", making any attempt to enter the property illegal.
For a six-storey Belgravia townhouse, their basic
package would cost about £1,700. The property
would be professionally sealed, meaning squatters
would be unable to gain entry without causing
criminal damage. A client would have to pay
around £2,600 per week for 24-hour protection.
Andrew Walker, a director of Forbes Risk, said:
"We have a lot of wealthy clients who for obvious
reasons do not want squatters in their
properties. Squatting, particularly in wealthier
parts of London, is becoming an epidemic.
"We have some crazy laws in this country and
squatters are realising just how easy it is to
get in very expensive homes. We have ways to get
these people out for our clients."
Last month a group of squatters occupied a house
doors away from the home of the ex-wife of
Abramovich and the couple's five children.
"Squatters cause a lot of hassle. Mrs Abramovich,
for example, has a young family and was
understandably alarmed," said Mr Walker.
Latest figures from the Empty Homes Agency show
that the number of empty properties in
which includes Mayfair, Belgravia and Marylebone,
stood at 3,584 at the end of last year. At least
2,512 homes stood empty in
and Chelsea, 1,654 in
and 3,627 in Barnet.
David Ireland, chief executive with the Empty
Homes Agency, said: "Off-shore account owners are
exploiting a tax loophole. They don't have to pay
capital gains tax and many of them simply treat
these properties as an investment and allow them
to sit empty, never intending to occupy them."
+44 (0)7786 952037
"Capitalism is institutionalised bribery."
"The maintenance of secrets acts like a psychic
poison which alienates the possessor from the community" Carl Jung
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the Diggers350