Britain's conservative government wants to tilt the nation's laws against squatters, The New York Times reports. But at what cost. While some landlords may find ejecting squatters legally a cumbersome process, the article also notes that "Housing advocates say there are an estimated 762,000 empty and abandoned properties in Britain that would actually benefit by having tenants. And with homelessness likely to increase in the next few years, as deep cuts in housing allowances for welfare recipients take affect, advocates say it would make sense to match tenantless homes with homeless tenants
After all, as one housing lawyer told the paper, squatting is hard work and most people are serious about needing a home. “Most squatters who are actually looking for a place to live are doing it on entirely rational grounds, and not looking for somewhere where there’s a homeowner likely to turn up at any moment,” that attorney, Giles Peaker, said. “They’re looking for something that’s long-term vacant, where the owner has dropped the ball."