The Telegraph reported on Saturday that Labour-run Lambeth Council has handed over a list of all its empty properties to the Advisory Service for Squatters under a Freedom of Information Request.

There is a dispute over whether the need to hand over the list was dies to "grave incompetence" by Lambeth in having published a list of their properties in an appendix to a Council document. Or whether they would have had to hand it over anyway.

In any event must the best way to avoid squatting is for Councils not to have so many empty properties in the first place. The Empty Homes Agency give the figures for each Council here – just click on your region for the list. There should be some cut off point – say that if a property has been left empty for over six months it goes up for auction.