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Squatters: thieves who should pay

As a landlord, Connexion reader Tom Flynn feels that squatters are thieves that shouldn't go unpunished

26 March 2014

THANK you for the interesting article in February’s edition regarding squatters and banning their eviction during the winter.

As a landlord, I would like to share my feelings and would love to hear from your readers on their ideas of solving the housing crisis.

If I were to go into a supermarket and steal food because I was hungry, I would risk being stopped and required to pay for what I took illegally. I also might risk being arrested and serving a prison sentence.

However if I squatted in someone’s home or if I didn’t pay rent I owed to my landlord, I could probably stay there for months or years without any consequences.

Why is it that people who work and save to invest in property, and provide housing for tenants, are then given no rights when people steal from them?
Most owners have to repay their loan and are unable to go months without their rents being paid. After paying charges, repairs and taxes, there is little left.

Now we have organisations who think that a person who needs shelter can take it without giving anything back to the owner. Where did we get the idea that society owes people food, work and housing?

Events arrive in one’s life that make us re-evaluate our situation and make changes. Fortunately, there are individuals and organisations who assist the needy in making their problems easier to bear. But shouldn’t giving to the needy be a voluntary effort, rather than a forced one through obligatory government charges and taxes?

If owners of rental units were assured that they would be paid or recover their investment when their renters couldn’t or wouldn’t pay, France would see plenty of housing come on the market.

Why doesn’t the French government encourage private charity by allowing a 100% reduction in giving to non-profit organisations?

As an immigrant to France, I couldn’t imagine the French taxpayer giving me subventions through allocations familiales, free healthcare, subsidising my rent, or receiving unemployment benefits.

All non-French guests wishing to visit France should easily be admitted. They should have sufficient resources to support themselves and have a return ticket to their country.
If this was impossible, they should have a sponsor in France who would guarantee that they were fed and sheltered.

Tom FLYNN,
by email

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