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Property Focus | Invoking article 8 for squatters in commercial properties

In a year which has seen an influx of squatters into commercial buildings, a recent case now suggests that squatters may be permitted to raise article 8 defences, says Lucy McCormick

13 December 2012

On 1 March 2010, a group of squatters, identifying themselves as Grow Heathrow, moved onto the site of an old plant nursery in a village blighted by the threat of a third runway. They cleared the site, and established a community garden which was widely welcomed by the local community. In the words of the local MP: “This inspirational project has not only dramatically improved this derelict site but it has lifted the morale of the whole local community in the campaign against the third runway and in planning a sustainable future for our area.”

Importantly, the squatters also adopted the commercial site as their home. This set in motion a chain of events which has finally brought before the domestic courts the controversial question of whether article 8 can be used as a defence against private as well as public landlords, in the case of Malik v (1) Persons Unknown (2) Reynolds (3) Matthews (Central London County Co...

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