Recently, this noticed arrived through the letterbox from Southwark Council. Given there are one or two more empty flats in my building alone every couple of weeks, it's not hard to see why this is happening:
RE: SQUATTING PROBLEMS ON THE HEYGATE ESTATE
As many of you are aware, there has been an increase in illegal squatters on the Heygate. This is causing problems for residents and has been marked by an increase in both crime and nuisance.
The London Borough of Southwark will not tolerate squatting in any of its properties, and will always take action against squatters. However we do need your assistance. If you see anyone in the act of breaking into a property, please call the police on 999. If you suspect that a property has been squatted, please contact your housing officer. You can also contact Southwark anti-social behaviour unit on . . .
We have also noticed an increase in deception crimes. Some residents have received a notice which is sometimes used to remove squatters from properties.
We do not know who has served this notice, but we suspect it is being used by squatters in an attempt to move into tenanted properties to squat them.
If you receive such a notice, please contact your housing officer, or any member of temporary accommodation staff. If someone visits your property and claims to work for Southwark Council, please always ask for identification.