Squatting becomes criminal act in England and Wales
31 August 2012 Last updated at 15:22 BST
Squatting in a residential building in England and Wales will become a criminal offence on Saturday, meaning squatters could face jail or a fine.
Ministers said it would offer better protection for homeowners and "slam shut the door on squatters once and for all".
The maximum penalty will be six months in jail, a £5,000 fine, or both.
But campaigners warned the new law could criminalise vulnerable people and lead to an increase in rough sleeping.
John Maguire reports.