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Squatters Legal Network

June 27 2013
SLN provides legal advice on the recent anti-squatting law, court support and a 24-hour emergency phone line

New to The List (in London and the West Midlands) in The Pavement this month is the Squatters Legal Network (SLN), a volunteer organisation providing advice and support to those affected by the recent changes to squatting law. Following new legislation passed in September 2012, squatting in residential properties in England and Wales is now illegal - punishable by up to six months’ jail and fines of up to £5,000.

The change in the law does not affect commercial premises.

The SLN provides legal advice regarding this new law (known as Section 44) as well as court support and a 24-hour emergency phone for people to call who need advice - from squatters to homeless people and anyone else in a precarious housing situation.

During the last six months following the implementation of Section 44, there have been 33 known arrests of squatters living in residential property, ultimately leading to 10 convictions and three prison sentences.

Pro-squatting campaign group Squash claims the cost of criminalising squatting will be as high as £790m over the next five years.