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Squatters in apartment block communal area

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I run a company looking after maintenance/management of an apartment block (10 flats) of which one is mine.

There appear to be squatter(s) within the apartment block cellar where the gas, electric meters and water isolation valves are located. It appears that someone has stolen part of the lock on the main communal door and fitted it to the cellar door effectively converting it to a private room. Indeed one of the other flat owners discovered a sleeping bag saturated in urine suggesting that someone had been sleeping there not so long ago.

I suspect this has arisen because there has been a problem tenant (ex-criminal) residing in one of of the other apartment blocks for the last 9 months and he has given them access.

None of us have any idea as to whether these squatters are likely to return as this is the first we have noticed, only time will tell. My biggest concern is damage/theft of copper pipes for the gas and the safety of the 10 residents living in the block, this is not just a case of one dwelling but 10.

I am rather concerned as to how we should proceed with this matter. For example we could change the communal door locks whilst the squatters are out, however we would still have to give new keys to the problem tenant who could then let them in again (he has been given notice to leave end of July).

21/06/2011 00:00

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