Westminster council has become the first local authority to use a new anti-squatting law to reclaim a home from an unauthorised occupant.
Westminster City Council's housing management provider CityWest Homes contacted the police about a squatted flat on the Lisson Green estate.
Police asked for the squatter to be given prior warning before officers arrived at the flat to take possession, a council spokesman said.
But when they arrived at the flat in north-west London, the occupant had left.
Under the new law squatters on even disused residential property may face a fine or up to six months imprisonment.
If you appreciated this article then please consider donating to the Morning Star's Fighting Fund to ensure we can keep developing your paper.
Donate to the Fighting Fund here
George Osborne's advice from the International Monetary Fund is like the curate's egg - good in parts.
The government wants to ramp up Western involvement in the Syrian conflict but the cost will be more violence and instability in the region
PCS general secretary urges the trade union movement to step up the fight against the Tory cuts