Fancy being the owner of a £3m home on one of the richest streets in London but instead of enjoying your property with all its fancy dressings you find three squatters occupying the place. This is the stark reality at a Hampstead house in north London.
The Bishops Avenue property is being occupied by three guys from France and Romania. Close by lies Lakshmi Mittal’s £40 million gated home and down the road are properties of the Saudi Arabian and Brunei royal families.
The three squatters believe themselves to be of the friendly kind. They have linked up electricity, have running water, and plastered the ceiling in the rundown house since they’ve moved in.
The squatters told news sources they were working in gardening and construction and were fixing the property in their spare time. One of the squatters, a Romanian by the name of Catalin said: “I don’t mind being called a squatter, but I am a good one. We are normal people, we go to work. One of the men fixes violins. We have a good relationship with the neighbors, they can see the difference.”
“We have been cleaning, cleaning, cleaning. There was damp coming through the ceilings.”
But when interviewed, stacks of empty beer cans and empty bottles of whiskey were found outside the bedrooms in the house, clearly indicating that these guys were having a hell of a party in someone’s home without paying rent.
While the property itself is or was derelict when the squatters moved in, the land is considered to be worth a lot of money still.
Found by “professional” squatter Calin Ciufudean, 32, who has set up a company, Prep Ltd, offering property management services to absent owners.
Ciufudean said that their purpose was to look after empty properties on the behalf of owners.
He also stated the owners knew they were living in the house: “To have a property like this is empty is such a waste. We are trying to make the squatting a good thing by looking after it on behalf of the owner.”
Belonging to a Nigerian couple who bought the house a couple of years ago the property was only worth a bit because of its location according to estate agent Trevor Abrahmsohn.
Mr Ciufudean further denied that the men were squatters but admitted that they moved into the house before the owners gave them permission to do so.
Photo credits: Telegraph.co.uk