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How to Stop Squatters Entering Your Property

While squatting is generally frowned upon, in the UK, it is only considered illegal if it happens in a residential property. If this is the case, the act can be punishable with fines and prison time. However, for business owners, this is especially problematic—since the start of the pandemic, many have had no choice but to close the doors of their commercial properties.

Unless commercial property squatters damage the building, steal from it, use the utilities without permission, fly-tip or disobey court notices, the police may not be able to take action.

This is why commercial property owners are better off preventing squatters from entering their buildings in the first place. This article focuses on such prevention steps.

How to Stop Squatters from Entering Your Property

The best way to keep squatters out of your commercial property is to make the building less appealing to them.

If the property will only be vacant for short periods, an effective strategy is to make the building look occupied by doing the following:

Automatic Fixtures

There are products on the market right now that allow owners to set automatic operations. You can automate lights, blinds or even speakers so they’ll turn on and off during certain times. This will create the illusion that someone is using the property.

Smarter features even allow for more options, like light dimming or volume adjustment for speakers.

Fake Flora

Another way to double down on the previous strategy is to place convincingly realistic fake plants where they can be seen from the outside. If the plants look real enough, they can convince squatters that people are at least coming and going to take care of them.


If you know people living or doing business around your vacant property, you can ask them to check in periodically. They can collect your post, so they don’t stack up in a pile and make your building look even more vacant.

To make this task more appealing to your neighbours, you can offer them the use of an empty parking space or similar amenities. Aside from sweetening the deal, this also helps make your property look occupied.

Long-term Strategies

While the steps above are effective in keeping squatters out in the short term, longer-term vacancies need a different approach.

Cut Utilities

Opposite to what was suggested above, it would be wiser to cut utilities altogether for longer-term vacancies. While this will make it evident that the property is empty, shutting off the power and water will reduce the property’s appeal to squatters.


Preventing squatters from entering your property also means making sure that all the locks on your windows and doors are reliable and up to date. Even entry points on higher floors should be protected by strong and durable locks.

Security system

There is no substitute for a comprehensive security system. Even commercial properties that are not vacant can always use modern security coverage. These systems have become a must for businesses and homes alike.

MS Webb offers a range of security services to help protect commercial properties, not just from squatters, but also from all kinds of threats. Blocks, bollards, CCTVs, alarm systems and more will keep squatters away from your property.

Find out more about protecting your property from squatters and other security risks when you call us at 0844 544 4804.


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