Empty council properties are usually awaiting repair, redecoration or re-letting and we are keen to ensure that they stay empty so someone on the waiting list has the opportunity to find a new home.

The laws on squatting are complex and the council cannot simply evict a person who is squatting. However, if you become aware of squatters in a council property that you know should be vacant, please tell us so we can begin action. This applies generally to unknown and suspicious occupants.

If you see anyone suspicious or who appears to be squatting in a council property, please contact your local housing office or give us the property address anonymously using our on-line form, and we will try to resolve the matter as quickly as possible. Any contact will be strictly confidential.

The council's ability to deal with squatters in privately-owned properties is limited, but if you have concerns about squatters behaving in an anti-social manner, you can contact the Community Safety Casework Team on (01273) 292929 or e-mail communitysafety.casework@brighton-hove.gov.uk.

You can also contact the council's Empty Property Officer (for empty privately-owned properties) who will attempt to contact the owner directly. The Empty Property Officer can be reached on (01273) 293297 or 293035.