Squatters rights legal battle forces Camden Council to list empty homes

A judge has ordered Camden Council to publicise a list of empty homes in the borough – after a squatting campaigner challenged its refusal to reveal the list under a Freedom of Information (FOI) request.

Yiannis Voyias, of the Advisory Service For Squatters, took the council to court after it refused to provide him with the list.

He said that it would rejuvenate the debate on empty homes and would benefit homelessness charities and English Heritage to know the number and location of empty homes.

On Monday (September 5), Judge Fiona Henderson said it was in the public interest for empty properties to be returned to use.

Camden now has 28 days to respond to the FOI request, but a spokeswoman said it plans to appeal.

She said: “This judgement arguably leaves councils and property owners as hostages to fortune.

“In our opinion, it will lead to an increase in squatting and additional security and legal costs will be incurred that ultimately will be borne by taxpayers, council tenants and the owners of private property.”