Trespassers, commonly known as squatters, can cause significant issues for land and homeowners. Not only do they pose a security risk but they can damage the land and property and obstruct its use.
Squatting itself is not considered a crime. Therefore unless the trespassers are damaging the property or there is public disorder, the police will not intervene.
If you discover that trespassers are squatting within a residential property then legal support is needed at the outset. To have them removed legally from the site you must gain a ‘possession order’ to which there are clear procedural steps which must be followed.
Once the claim has been issued, the court will set a hearing date and the proceedings must be served on the trespassers at least two full days before the hearing. If the proceedings were not served on them as the law dictates, they can use this as a defence in court.
Once granted, the possession order will usually require the trespassers to leave the land immediately. If they fail to vacate the land you may proceed to instruct bailiffs to deal with their removal.
To ensure trespassers are removed swiftly and legally you need to ensure that the correct steps are followed. Contact GA Solicitors’ experienced property litigation team to provide the advice you need. Call 01752 203500, email enquiries@GAsolicitors.com or use our online enquiry form.
It is worth noting that a possession claim against trespassers can only be brought against those who entered and remained on the property without the consent of the owner/landlord. It does not apply to a claim against a tenant or subtenant when their tenancy has been terminated. If you are a landlord and need to evict past or existing tenants, then please read our landlord and tenant section.