Could this be love?

Inside of the House of Lords

House of Lords: showdown on squatting looms large...

Ok, ok, love for the Lords is a bit much, but could it be that our campaign of common sense and compassion is beginning to have an effect?

On Friday,  the Evening Standard reported that four peers – Baroness Miller, Baroness Linklater, Lord Thomas and former party president Lord Dholakia – will oppose clause 130 outright.

Baroness Miller has also tabled an additional amendment, which states that where landlords and second home owners leave their property to rot for six months or more (while the rest of the country’s being stretched over the rack of austerity), squatting will not be criminal offence.

If either of these amendments are passed, the usual civil remedies – which the Law Society has said are perfectly robust – will still apply.

Don’t forget, we’re entering the final stages of lobbying, the big push, and you can find out how to do your bit for common sense and compassion here:

Lobbying the Lords – it’s not over yet

You can also read the full article (though it does include the usual bile from Mad Mike Weatherley). Pertinent parts are below:

The Coalition was hit by a fresh rift today as senior Liberal Democrat peers vowed to oppose plans to make squatting a criminal offence.

They threatened to vote against the new offence or water down the squatting clause in the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill – sparking a backlash from Tory MPs.

Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer tabled an amendment meaning that squatting would not be a criminal offence in homes empty for at least six months and where there are no “significant steps” being taken to refurbish, let or sell the building at the time. Fellow Lib-Dem peers Baroness Linklater of Butterstone and Lord Thomas of Gresford and former party president Lord Dholakia, have also signalled their intent to oppose the squatting clause.

Baroness Miller argued that making squatting a crime was unnecessary as police and homeowners already had sufficient powers, and said it would cost millions of pounds a year to enforce. “Past governments have an appalling record in bringing empty homes back into use – and dealing with homeless people and squatters is one result of that,” she said.

Image licensed under the Open Government Licence v1.0.