Squatting always illegal, says ministry

9th June 2006, Comments 0 comments

9 June 2006AMSTERDAM – Squatting of any kind will soon be made illegal, the ministry of housing, spatial planning and the environment announced on Friday.

9 June 2006

AMSTERDAM – Squatting of any kind will soon be made illegal, the ministry of housing, spatial planning and the environment announced on Friday.

Ministers Sybilla Dekker (housing, spatial planning and environment) and Piet Hein Donner (Justice) said they had decided to present to the Dutch parliament a proposal on revising the Dutch penal code some time in the summer. Until now it was only illegal to squat a building that had been unoccupied for less than a year.

The measure making it always illegal to squat a building will be added to others available to the owners of occupied buildings, the ministers said in a letter to parliament.

The public ministry would propose the revision of the penal code, the ministers said. The revision would include criteria for deciding when to prosecute squatters. Among the criteria were: the measures already taken by the owner to prevent squatting (temporary letting, anti-squatters); the length of time the building had stood unoccupied; and the length of time it took the owner to act against the occupation.

The ministers said squatting deprived owners of their rights to their own property, but they also wanted to take measures against long vacancies, which did not serve neighbourhoods well. Their approach would ensure that owners did everything possible to prevent squatting before moving to prosecution, they said.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]

Subject: Dutch news

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