Sep 222010

Short form: 72-year-old man leaves his house to take his dogs for a walk on Thursday. Has arthritis problems, stays at a friends house. Returns home on Saturday to find that all his locks have been changed (after a back door had been pried open) and a family of squatters has moved in. Contacts the cops who basically say “meh.” New family, apparently Lithuanian immigrants, toss all his stuff out onto the lawn.

Finally was able to move back in last night since the invaders fled (cause unknown), takign with thema  cooker, the washing machine and some of the houses electrical wiring. Whole neighborhood is basically on self-imposed lockdown since this guys neighbors place is *also* occupied by squatters, and the neighborhood has seen that the police’s response to a home invasion is to tell the rightful occupants to, in essence, get bent and try suing the invaders in civil court.

Had the invaders not fled for causes unknown, it could have been many months before the feller could’ve moved back into his place. And he apparently would have been on the hook for rent/mortgage, as well as water, gas and electricity.

 Posted by at 8:25 pm
  • Pat Flannery

    Hooligan Lithuanians! Comrade Stalin knew how to deal with _their_ type!
    If they were looking for a place to live, the Great Helmsman would find them one, and a job also…one of the advantages of living in a salt mine is that the walls stay white with no need for repainting! 😉

  • sferrin

    This is the kind of thing that makes your head explode with rage. Worthless cops over there. Even worse, had the guy tried to force his way into his own house and been shot by the squatters, the courts would probably side with the squatters.

  • Michael Holt

    I checked with my British Internet friends. They didn’t deny it, but one claimed that the Daily Mail invents stories to sell more newspapers. I suspect it’s true — and very embarrassing.

  • OK, this needs some expanation. The reason that the cops did nothing is because the law forbids it. Stop screaming; it’s a Brit thing! Y’see, back in the 14th century, evil landlords used to throw peasants and their families out into the snow, so a law got passed that you couldn’t just eject somebody from a property, even if it belonged to you, without a court order. In recent decades, those trying to get in out of the rain have used this law to occupy empty buildings, ie, houses scheduled to be demolished but left empty for years, holiday cottages, etc. The most dramatic case of this is where Westminster Council, in gratitude for a few favours, gave a man named Harry Hyams title to a traffic island. They thought he’d just put a billboard on it, but he built a huge office block, Centre Point, and left it empty for years as it increased in value! Protesters squatted in it, turning it into an impromptu homeless refuge, and the name still remains as part of the name of a homelessness charity. Oh, BTW, the Daily Express has reported this story, too. I’ve heard of this racket before – the Eastern Europeans do genuinely think they’ve got title to the place, by way of whoever they gave their money to…Something must be done about this!

  • Pat Flannery

    Brother! And something _shall_ be done about this!
    Even as I write, all the reporters from The Daily Mail and the Daily Express are being rounded up and sent to Room 101 for their counterrevolutionary activities in regards to lies about Airstrip One not being the perfect place to live.
    And now our doubleplusgood page 3 girl acting doubleplusungood:

  • peterh

    Griff, sounds like a well intended law gone bad for lack of a simple clause about lawful occupancy.

  • Huron

    Grif Ingram Says:
    September 23rd, 2010 at 8:03 am

    Yep, it is very true. It’s actually amusingly difficult to eject someone from a property that you own and they have no right to be on. At least from my experience from serving on a Co-op housing board of directors.

    To give you an extreme example…four months. From the time the tenant received the eviction notice to the time of actual court ordered eviction.

  • @Huron – well evicting tenants who were lawful tenants isn’t in quite the same category as getting rid of squatters.

  • Pat Flannery

    Although the link doesn’t work, the reason I put the “page 3” girl thing in there was because it’s the best example of a style of British “Popular Press” writing I’ve ever seen; I mean, they must have _schools_ to learn how to write like this.
    Photo is a BW paparazzi view of Billie Piper raising herself off of a beach to reveal her naked breasts in side view; headline in huge letters is: “Billie Piper pops a peek of pretty pukka perkies.”
    God, to be able to write like that!
    Shakespeare, meet your master! 😀