Gordon Ramsay’s Property Taken Over by Squatters

(RepublicanDaily.org) – Firebrand celebrity chef Gordon Ramsey is having his own version of “Hell’s Kitchen” after one of his pubs in London was invaded by squatters.

Gordon’s York & Albany hotel and restaurant, located in Camden, one of the more upscale areas of London, was unoccupied at the time, as the property was reportedly for sale. Ramsay was reportedly in the process of securing a new lease on the property when the squatters took over the space.

While squatting is illegal in the U.K. it is often a civil matter, with professional squatters exploiting loopholes in the law that make the eviction process a lengthy and costly enterprise for the property owner.

Their modus operandi was apparent in their takeover of the property, where they even put up a legal notice indicating that they had a “right to prosecute” any who would enter the building. The notice, signed by “the occupiers” also stated that since the building was not classified as a residential space, they had “the right” to take over the property and were not committing any criminal offense. Legislators passed a law in 2012 that made squatting in residential buildings a criminal offense.

Any “attempt to enter by violence or by threatening violence,” the squatters’ notice read, will be met with prosecution. The notice further threatened that entering the building “without our [squatters] permission is therefore a criminal offence” and that anyone who does so could face “six months’ imprisonment and/or a fine of up to £5,000 (roughly $6,200).”

“If you want to get us out you will have to issue a claim for possession in the county court or in the high court,” the squatters’ further stated in their notice. Another notice also asked passerby for donations for food, clothing, and other essential items.

The illegal occupiers also barricaded the entryways into the property using the restaurant’s expensive equipment. Ramsay had called police to have the squatters removed, but the eviction attempt failed. The celebrity chef is reportedly in the middle of negotiations for a multi-million dollar deal that would resurrect the space.

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