..when you could squat
To The Guardian
One reason why sleeping rough was a rare sight in the 1970s was because squatting was then legitimate, with about 30,000 squatters in London alone in 1979. Subsequent governments made things harder, and the enactment of section 144 of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 effectively made squatting illegal.
Kevin Bannon (former squatter), London
Squatting is not illegal in non- residential properties. On Fair Street here in Cambridge squatters have taken over a public house where the tenant landlord moved out when trade collapsed during the pandemic. They have put a notice on the pub wall to say that the premises are not within the 2012 Act