This is a story that makes for disturbing reading.
A 101-year-old woman had a stroke and needed 24-hour medical care.
Her home in Peterborough, where she has lived for 65 years, was the obvious source of finance and her family planned to let out the property.
The property was redecorated and the agent instructed.
But when the agent went to do a viewing on October 3, 14 squatters thought to be East Europeans were found in situ.
The firm (un-named in the local newspaper report, link below) and the family seem to have been initially told it was a civil matter, and started the ball rolling on eviction procedures (costly and time consuming).
In the end, the police DID intervene and chucked the squatters out. But it took three weeks.
The way the case was handled is now to be the subject of a police review.
But surely, the police of all people should know that squatting in domestic properties is now a criminal offence – and has been since September 1, 2012.
It means offenders can be arrested, fined and imprisoned.
The criminalisation of squatting was achieved by Brighton and Hove MP Mike Weatherley, sickened after a case of squatting on his patch.
Should any letting agent be put in the same position as in this latest case – well, it is just possible you may have to tell the old bill what’s what.
The local paper report is here