Trespassers & Squatters
Trespassers on Open Land
If Trespassers are occupying open land, then we can assist the Landowner to invoke their ‘Common Law’ rights to return the land back to the rightful owner.
All Landowners can use ‘Common Law’ rights to recover land (Tort of Trespass against Property). This empowers the Landowner to evict persons from their land; seek damages for their trespass on their land; and/or seek an Injunction in order to prevent the trespass from reoccurring.
Any peaceful Trespasser must be asked to leave, or face being forcibly removed. We can arrange for one of our Certificated Enforcement Agents to attend to serve the Trespassers with a 24-hour Notice to Quit. If the Trespassers do not leave the land, then we are entitled to use reasonable force to evict them.
It would be prudent for the Landowner to inform the Police of the intention to invoke their ‘Common Law’ right against the Trespassers so that Police Officers can be present as necessary to prevent any breach of the peace. On certain occasions, the Police may advise that it is inappropriate to attempt an eviction, and action will therefore be delayed until such time as the Police state that it is safe to continue.
Land owned by local authorities are now able to deal with incidents of unauthorised camping under Section 77 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994.
If there is any building or structure on the land, then the Landowner must apply for a Court Order for Possession against Trespassers (Persons Unknown) which would enable us to obtain a Writ of Possession in the High Court and swiftly remove them. Permission to transfer up to the High Court against ‘persons unknown’ is not required. The civil Courts offer an avenue to deal with Trespassers and encampments under Civil Procedures Rules Part 55.
If you have any doubts, for example the Trespassers have set up permanent structures, or may be protesters, then it is always advisable to take action through the Courts to obtain a Possession Order.
Our Team will always be happy to discuss your particular circumstances. We are not ‘one size fits all’. Alternatively, you can simply complete an Instruction Form and email or post this directly to us.
email@example.com or telephone 0300 303 3220
Remedies Against Squatters
‘Squatting’ in residential property is a criminal offence under the Legal Aid, Sentencing & Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 and the Police should be called to arrest them.
If you need to remove Squatters from your commercial property or buildings on land, you will need to obtain an ‘Order for Possession’ through the Courts against ‘Persons Unknown’. Once you have your Possession Order you can either instruct the County Court Bailiffs to remove the Squatters or instruct us to obtain a High Court Writ of Possession.
We will work closely with you and the Police to orchestrate their removal and undertake a risk assessment where necessary.