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Business owner forced to spend thousands to evict illegal ravers
The owner of a warehouse was left in despair after a group of ravers broke into her property and claimed “squatters’ rights”.
The property holder, who wishes to remain unnamed, spent hours cleaning the building in Markfield Road, Tottenham, after a group locked themselves in and threw a party, before continuing to live there for a week.
The owner described having spent hours cleaning up human excrement and graffiti.
She added: “When they left, they stole everything they could get their hands on – including the light bulbs, the plug sockets and the lock from the door.”
The warehouse, previously the Markfield Arts Centre, is owned by a textiles company that is using it as a store-room after evicting the previous tenants, Markfield Arts, in March.
Police arrived at the warehouse in the early hours of Sunday morning after an intruder alarm was triggered, but were unable to make any arrests as squatting in commercial buildings is legal.
The textiles company then spent more than £4,000 trying to get the party evicted.
The warehouse owner said: “The police have done nothing so far. They should have arrested them for breaking and entering, but they said I had to contact my solicitor.
“In the mean time, they’d started a rave on my property. The police did nothing about it, they were just watching.
“There were complaints about the noise and so they came, with the council, into the property and took the music equipment and escorted them off the property and lined them up against the wall, but then they just let them back in again.”
The owner said that she was told she would have to get an eviction notice and pay for a minimum of eight sheriffs, each costing £395, to attend and evict the ravers.
She was forced to pay for solicitors, barristers, sheriffs and court administrators, all amounting to more than £6,000.
Describing the events of Friday morning, when the group eventually left, she said: “This morning, I came down here and they were outside the warehouse. I had my camera and filmed them and said ‘you’re going to be on the BBC’ and they did just drop everything and leave.”
She added: “They’ve done this to other properties in the area. They just break in and say they’ve got squatters rights.
“They even came back to say that they’d left something in there and asked if they could come in a get it back.
“There’s nothing much we can do. We’re victims in this. They’ll leave from here and go elsewhere and do it again.”
Haringey Council confirmed it confiscated £4,000 worth of sound equipment from the property on Sunday, June 29, the day after the ravers broke in.
It described the haul as the “biggest ever”, and said that it had served a noise abatement notice to the party following “a flood of complaints” from neighbours.
It estimated that hundreds of people had attended the rave.
It also confirmed that a similar rave had taken place the weekend before, in another property in the same street, but said that the crowd had left the building by the time the police and council arrived.