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How to best deal with squatters and avoid a kitchen nightmare like gordon ramsay

A property expert has shared his tips for dealing with squatters as celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay grapples with the nightmare at one of his posh London pubs.

A group of squatters took over the York & Albany near Regent’s Park last week.

They were evicted on Monday after the chef company was successful in applying to the High Court for an order to kick them out.

Six security staff arrived at 5am in two vans with specialists who changed all the locks.

But Ramsay is not the only celebrity chef to suffer with squatter: Marco Pierre White faced the same issue at a restaurant on Leicester Square around the same time.

Commenting on how to avoid attracting squatters, property expert Jonathan Rolande, founder of House Buy Fast, said: “Prevention is better than the cure.

“It is better potential squatters are deterred before entering as eviction can be a messy business, requiring court orders with associated legal expenses.

“During the time of occupation, the property will almost certainly be damaged. The risk of serious damage and fire is ever-present.

Rolande said they can be deterred if the property has a lived-in look so it is kept tidy and junk mail is collected.

Property owners are also best advised to remove appliances, and gas and electricity meters, plus ensure that water is drained down.

He recommends checking that all windows and doors are secure – sash windows are vulnerable so they should be screwed shut from the inside.

Rolande said it is also worth considering a grill and shuttering, installing CCTV and an alarm, inspecing the property regularly and informing insurers it is vacant.

He added: “I have seen properties where Georgian bannisters and door frames have been ripped out and burnt as firewood.

“Where there is no functioning toilet, well – you can imagine.

Tip for dealing with squatters 

Maintain the property to give a ‘lived-in’ look so keep it tidy outside and remove junk mail.

Decommission all appliances, drain water down and (if empty long term) remove meters for gas and electricity.

Ensure all windows and doors are secure – sash windows are vulnerable so screw them shut from the inside.

Consider a grill and shuttering.

Install CCTV and an alarm that is monitored.

Specialist anti-squatter devices exist – tamper proof internal sirens that make it an unpleasant place to be.

Inspect regularly and keep a record of visits.

Inform insurers its vacant and check for special terms