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 Solving the housing problem: squatters in Park Lane -rainforest evictions

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PostSubject: Solving the housing problem: squatters in Park Lane -rainforest evictions   Thu Jan 22, 2009 5:02 pm

We have tens of thousands of empty houses, empty and deteriorating, and a lot of people living in substandard and overcrowded accommodation. Squatting, the classic solution to housing crises, seems to be coming back in again. With very few people able to get mortgages, a local authority waiting list of over 50,000 and little being built by the public sector, I think people would be right to occupy and use housing left vacant for over two years.

Quote :

Squatters are holed up in two £15m (€16m) mansions on one of London’s most exclusive roads, it was reported today. According to The Sun, around 20 “hippies” have set up home in the seven-storey properties in London’s Park Lane, famous for its super-rich residents, luxury car dealers and hotels. The group told the paper they spent their time strumming guitars, creating artworks and taking their dogs for walks in Hyde Park opposite.

One of the squatters, called Martin, said: “The view at Sunset over Hyde Park is just magic – especially from the penthouse. I really love it here.” Another, 21-year-old Meg, added: “It’s much better when squatters move into a rich person’s home like this, as the owner can obviously afford to have us here.” The squatters claim the properties – thought to be owned by the Duke of Westminster – have stood empty for about two years.

Outside the mansions, 20-year-old Daniel Moreira said today: “It feels pretty good. It’s the dream of everyone in London to live for a little bit in Park Lane.” In response to being dubbed “scroungers”, the Portuguese student said: “I think it’s fair. We are invading a house. But if people come and see what we’ve got to give them – lots of art, lots of good energies – I think they will change their minds.”
Breaking News


Last edited by cactus flower on Tue Feb 17, 2009 11:59 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Solving the housing problem: squatters in Park Lane -rainforest evictions   Thu Jan 22, 2009 5:32 pm

Do you know "Park Lane" ? Is it like Ballsbridge ?

I wouldn't mind squatting in Ballsbridge.
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PostSubject: Re: Solving the housing problem: squatters in Park Lane -rainforest evictions   Thu Jan 22, 2009 5:56 pm

Auditor #9 wrote:
Do you know "Park Lane" ? Is it like Ballsbridge ?

I wouldn't mind squatting in Ballsbridge.

Park Lane is like Killiney, if you moved it to overlook the Phoenix Park and shifted Grafton Street right next to it. Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Solving the housing problem: squatters in Park Lane -rainforest evictions   Thu Jan 22, 2009 9:01 pm

In that case you can keep it
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PostSubject: Re: Solving the housing problem: squatters in Park Lane -rainforest evictions   Thu Jan 22, 2009 11:15 pm

Unfortunately we don't have any laws protecting squatters here. They were adjusted in the early 70's to oust the occupiers of Hume Street in Dublin.
In Britain,there are squatters rights which makes a huge difference. If someone tried to squat here they would be out on their ears quicktime!
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PostSubject: Re: Solving the housing problem: squatters in Park Lane -rainforest evictions   Thu Jan 22, 2009 11:17 pm

We actually have alot of laws which protect squatters. Oddly a squatter can in fact bring another squatter to court to have them ejected from a building as all one needs to have to bring a property action is a better right to title over the land compared to the person you are actioning against. Twelve years adverse possession of property will give you squatters rights and entirely extinguish the proprietary rights of the original owners. Thirty years in the context of State owned land. Such actions are quite rare before the courts but of course we had a high profile one recently enough with Pat Kenny and Mr Charlton, though no judgement was given the law is already fairly clear on the matter.
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PostSubject: Re: Solving the housing problem: squatters in Park Lane -rainforest evictions   Fri Jan 23, 2009 1:53 am

I disagree. The two main laws that stop squatters before they get started are 1. The Trespass act
and 2.Prohibition of Forcible Entry and Occupation Act, 1971
It would be highly unlikely that someone would get away with 12 days never mind 12 years!
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PostSubject: Re: Solving the housing problem: squatters in Park Lane -rainforest evictions   Fri Jan 23, 2009 1:55 am

No they can certainly be ejected by the owner of the property, but they do still retain proprietary rights over the property in comparison to anyone else who enters the property with lesser proprietary rights. They can also gain title of the land through adverse possession, however difficult it is. They are two considerable rights over property which is not theirs in a system whose constitution protects private property.
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PostSubject: Re: Solving the housing problem: squatters in Park Lane -rainforest evictions   Fri Jan 23, 2009 2:04 am

Auditor #9 wrote:
Do you know "Park Lane" ? Is it like Ballsbridge ?

I wouldn't mind squatting in Ballsbridge.

lots of traffic but the view west is over Hyde poark on towards Kensington. Its city centre , Mayfair behind, Osford St at the North end and some of the most impressive houses and top hotels. There have been other big squats in the area. However the cops can get you out fast these days, not like in my youth when changeing the lock on an empty quananteed a minimum of 6 months occupancy as due process on an eviction took that as a minimum.
The downside of a big squat like that is the other squatters and their dogs Very Happy !!!
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PostSubject: Re: Solving the housing problem: squatters in Park Lane -rainforest evictions   Sat Jan 24, 2009 3:50 pm

Were there not also recent "Anti-traveller" laws that make it criminal to set up camp even on publicly owned lands?
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PostSubject: Re: Solving the housing problem: squatters in Park Lane -rainforest evictions   Wed Feb 18, 2009 12:19 am

A woman resisting eviction this year in Brazil








A sheriff in Ohio, mid-eviction





Some sheriffs have refused to evict.
Some others apparently try to evict nicely.

Here, the Master of the Courts says we face an avalanche of reposessions and that "there is no point in having streets of shuttered houses"

We have a good stock of new houses and I think we should make sure that people can stay living in them. Where houses are an eyesore, Councils can use legislation to CPO them. Perhaps we need new legislation so they can CPO new houses that are standing empty.
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PostSubject: Re: Solving the housing problem: squatters in Park Lane -rainforest evictions   Wed Feb 18, 2009 3:38 am

cactus flower wrote:
Perhaps we need new legislation so they can CPO new houses that are standing empty.

Indeed, not sure that we would need new legislation though. The State just needs to show that it is in the interests of the public good and that fair compensation is given, otherwise it would likely be held an unjust attack on the Constitutional Rights of the owner, save in very limited circumstances. Interesting thing about compensation is that it is a bit of a double edged sword at the moment... half the developers probably owe their money to Anglo so the less we pay for the properties the worse the bad debts at our National Bank are Razz.
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PostSubject: Re: Solving the housing problem: squatters in Park Lane -rainforest evictions   Wed Feb 18, 2009 7:57 am

johnfás wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
Perhaps we need new legislation so they can CPO new houses that are standing empty.

Indeed, not sure that we would need new legislation though. The State just needs to show that it is in the interests of the public good and that fair compensation is given, otherwise it would likely be held an unjust attack on the Constitutional Rights of the owner, save in very limited circumstances. Interesting thing about compensation is that it is a bit of a double edged sword at the moment... half the developers probably owe their money to Anglo so the less we pay for the properties the worse the bad debts at our National Bank are Razz.

Theres good legislation for dealing with empty commercial property (Derelict Sites Act) and for stuff that is in very poor condition, but it would be very wasteful to let houses deteriorate first and then take them over. Nothing should be paid beyond cost imo. As you say, in Guaranteeing the Banks we probably made ourselves liable for it anyway. Completing half built stuff would give some work for people who are on the dole at the moment.

There must have been people hanging back from getting a house for a couple of years now. No harm in renting particularly with rents falling. It is much more flexible than buying and easier to move. Perhaps we will give up our obsession with home ownership now.
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PostSubject: Re: Solving the housing problem: squatters in Park Lane -rainforest evictions   Wed Feb 18, 2009 8:39 am

floatingingalway wrote:
I disagree. The two main laws that stop squatters before they get started are 1. The Trespass act
and 2.Prohibition of Forcible Entry and Occupation Act, 1971
It would be highly unlikely that someone would get away with 12 days never mind 12 years!

So, squatters can be arrested for breach of the above laws? is that
correct. But if the owner chooses not to press charges/complain to the
police they have the same squatters rights as in the UK?

I've always wondered why there is more of a squatting culture in the UK than Ireland. My brother works in construction in London and he's always complaining about the 'dangers' of squatters and the difficulties his company has with it. (I sympathised but secretly found it hilarious). I could never imagine that happening in Dublin, but put it down to the prosperity in Ireland.

Slightly off topic, but perhaps one of you legal eagles can help me. My partner's mum inherited some land but there is a dispute with relatives over the terms of the will. One of the relatives moved a caravan onto the land in question and is claiming to live ther even though he isn't and the caravan is clearly rotting away. Is there a real danger that she'll loose title under squatters right (presuming the will is settled to her advantage)?
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PostSubject: Re: Solving the housing problem: squatters in Park Lane -rainforest evictions   Wed Feb 18, 2009 8:40 am

cactus flower wrote:
A woman resisting eviction this year in Brazil




Truly terrible picture.
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PostSubject: Re: Solving the housing problem: squatters in Park Lane -rainforest evictions   Wed Feb 18, 2009 8:59 am

It is terrible.

There have been shocking evictions here of Traveller families, but I can't find any photographs.

There is middle class homelessness now right across the US, with people living in their cars.
This is a homeless couple in Sheffield. Sub prime mortgage, cant get private rental because of of their credit record, Council say they are intentionally homeless.



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PostSubject: Re: Solving the housing problem: squatters in Park Lane -rainforest evictions   Wed Feb 18, 2009 10:01 am

Funnily enough I was just watching a doc on Joe Strummer and there wa a bit on the squatting scene in the early to mid 1970's in London. Economic malaise and an overabundance of empty housing stock were basically the reasons behind the rise of squatting - along with a healthy attitude to authority. There was even an 'estate agent' who provided details of premisis that would be suitable for squatting in along with advice on how to gain entrance to the building.
Thing is though, I can never see this sort of thing happening in Ireland - besides the anti-trespassing laws (presuming I've interpreted them correctly) Irish people are always more likely to emmigrate.
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