In the middle of completely refurbishing his five-bedroom house, Connan Gupta felt he deserved a week off.
It is a decision he is now regretting because 15 squatters took advantage of his short absence to occupy the £700,000 property.
The jobless Italians changed the locks and have taken up residence along with their three dogs and two cats.
They claim the fact they cannot afford to rent gives them the right to take over the Victorian property in Camberwell, South-East London.
Police are powerless to intervene because squatting is a civil rather than criminal offence.
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