Serial squatters to be evicted from Buckingham Gate property

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Members of the Autonomous Nation of Anarchist Libertarians are about to be evicted from a £14 million mansion just opposite Buckingham Palace. The building, 19 Buckingham Gate, is situated opposite Wellington barracks and the roof view look straight into Buckingham Palace Gardens. The property itself is owned by Bahraini banker Abdulrahman Aljasmi via his company 18-19 Buckingham Gate Investments Limited. However, this is no straightforward eviction as it seems to have been fast-track by the courts.

Threat to the Queen

The repossession order and confirmation that the squatters can be evicted was fast tracked in the courts and a possession order granted on Friday. It would appear there have been numerous complaints from the nearby barracks and officials at Buckingham Palace regarding the security of the Queen. It is not clear at this moment in time why a £14 million mansion would appear to be empty and at the beck and call of the infamous squatting community.

Let’s not forget this is a seven story property in the heart of London’s luxury property market, just next door to Buckingham Palace and Wellington barracks. This is no backstreet property which has been bought and forgotten, this is a multi-million pound mansion which is for some reason dormant.

Squatters target London

This property is just the latest of many to be targeted by the Autonomous Nation of Anarchist Libertarians which is looking to highlight the “scandal” that sees thousands of properties across London vacant. The group have also been squatting in a larger property in Grosvenor Gardens and while an eviction notice has been rubberstamped by the courts no attempt has yet been made to reject them from this property. However, it is believed that an eviction attempt is only a matter of days away.

The fact that the group has been accommodating and feeding many homeless people across London in the homes they are occupying has highlighted their cause. It is well-known that there are literally hundreds of thousands of empty properties across the UK, although some are dilapidated, while there is a so-called housing crisis. Councils have for some time now had the ability to compulsory purchase such properties but so far few have exerted this power.

What can the authorities do?

When you bear in mind this particular property in question is valued at around £14 million it is difficult to understand why it has remained vacant. This issue is further compounded when you bear in mind the significant legal costs associated with eviction notices when squatters find their way into an empty property. In the past we have seen cases where multi-million pound properties have effectively been handed to squatters after claiming their rights under law.

It is unlikely that the authorities will in any way try to interfere with vacant multi-million pound properties because of potential legal issues. There is also the fact that it does not bode well for those investing in the London property market to risk any form of action from the authorities if their property was to remain vacant for any length of time. However, maybe the authority should be looking at some of the relatively cheaper properties which are vacant up and down the country as a means of addressing a growing housing crisis? Is there really a need to build more properties when there are so many vacant?

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