Squatters who have been living in a £1million townhouse in Archway, North London, have been given free legal representation, much to the chagrin of the property owner who is representing himself in court to try and get them out of his house.
The group of 12 squatters, who are from France, Spain and Poland, broke into the three-story townhouse on 21st January 2011, not long after the owner, John Hamilton-Brown, brought the property.
As the squatters are EU citizens and are currently unemployed, they are entitled to legal aid. They have put a legal notice in the window of the property stating that anyone who enters without their permission could face six months in jail and a £5,000 fine.
Neighbours of the property have reported substantial damage caused by the squatters and the parties they hold there. The police have been called out several times because of the noise.
Meanwhile, Hamilton-Brown has been forced to rent a two-bedroom flat nearby with his family while he tries to remove the squatters from his property. He has applied to the county court for an interim possession order so he can remove the squatters and reclaim his house.
Hamilton-Brown said: "I was horrified they were given legal representation. As I work and pay taxes, I'm at a disadvantage."
"I've saved up for 10 years to move into this house and this is what I get. It's remarkable that they can get away with this."
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