UK landlords have been facing the problem of squatters since time immemorial. There have been historical references to squatting since the time of World War II. Landlords have to deal with this sticky situation on a regular basis and use professional services to get rid of the squatters.
What is Squatting?
When someone occupies your property without permission and starts living there, with no ownership documents, lease, tenancy agreement, or record of having paid rent this is called squatting. The legal term for ‘squatting’ is ‘adverse possession. And you can only remove squatters with a court order.
What Can be the outcome of Squatting for a Squatter?
It is illegal to squat in residential buildings (such as a house or flats). It can result in a six-month prison sentence, a £5,000 fine, or both.
Squatting is a serious problem for landlords, and you must deal with it wisely. Squatters moving in and dealing with them legally is a time-consuming, unpleasant, and potentially costly procedure, but it is often the only way to reclaim your home. It is, nevertheless, vital that everything is accomplished correctly. So, how can you legally evict squatters in the UK?
Whether the order is for the eviction of designated tenants or the removal of squatters, Shergroup can help you recover your property or land.
You must first send an Eviction Notice to begin the eviction procedure (Notice To Quit). This involves ensuring that your Eviction Notice is clear, short, and contains all of the information you and your tenant require for a successful eviction process.
How Can I Remove Squatters Legally?
If you want to evict your tenants from your land or property, you’ll need to get a possession order. Non-payment of rent or possession without permission could be reasons for evicting your tenant.
After you’ve successfully secured a Possession order, you’ll seek a solution that allows you to avoid losing any more rent or incurring possibly costly repair fees. The county court usually takes 8 to 12 weeks to execute a Possession Order. You could prefer a much faster resolution to your issue.
Here’s the Process You Need to Follow |
An interim possession order is issued first, followed by a full possession order. You must apply for both, and final order for possession is usually issued at a hearing soon after the interim order is issued.
If squatters are occupying a building, a component of a building that is a self-contained room or apartment within it, or the land next to a building without your agreement, you can apply for an interim possession order. It doesn’t apply to open land.
You must also have an immediate right to possession of the occupied property (and have had that right for the whole time the property was illegally occupied), and you must file your claim for possession within 28 days of discovering your property was being occupied without your consent.
Even if you don’t know the squatters’ names, you can nevertheless seek a possession order by referring to the defendant as ‘Persons unknown.’
Give a Reason for the Eviction
The next piece of information you should include in your letter is the reason for eviction. If required, you may want to offer more than one justification. Common reasons for eviction include |
- Non-payment of rent
- Intentional substantial damage to the premises
- Violence or threats towards the landlord or other tenants
- Noise violations
- Performing illegal activity on the premises
Each reason you list should be accompanied by thorough details. List the dates that your renter missed rent payments and the total amount owed, including any relevant late fees, if you’re evicting your tenant because they didn’t pay their rent.
Make certain that the reason for the eviction is valid and legal in your jurisdiction. You can’t evict someone based on their ethnicity, national origin, skin colour, religion, sex, disability, or family status, for example (e.g., married or single tenants, tenants with children).
Serving eviction notice
When the court issues your application for an interim possession order, you must serve the documents to the squatters within 24 hours by posting a copy on the premises’ door and mailing them to ‘the occupiers’ in a sealed, transparent envelope.
You must serve your interim possession order and date for the ultimate possession order hearing within 48 hours of receiving it (in the same way you served the notice of application). The squatters can present their case at the hearing, but if your claim is successful, you will be granted an order for possession, which directs the squatters to vacate the property.
Shergroup’s Eviction Process
Before we can proceed with our application, we must first acquire clearance from the issuing County Court to transfer the case to the High Court for enforcement under Section 42 of the County Courts Act 1984. This should be requested throughout the Order for the Possession application process. You can utilise form N244 to make this request if you already have an Order for Possession.
Once this authorization is obtained, we will execute the necessary supplementary petitions to allow the High Court Writ of Possession to be sealed. We will schedule our Agents to return to your property to regain ownership once this has occurred (within seven days).
How long does it take to get squatters evicted?
The eviction process for squatters can take a long time depending on the conditions. If they’ve been in your commercial property for less than 28 days, the eviction might be done in a day or two.
If the matter must be taken to court, however, it could take a lengthy time, depending on the court’s punctuality — backlogs being a serious worry in the post-pandemic period.
Landlords in the UK – are often worried about squatters. While there are simple ways to remove squatters, the best way to deal with this problem is to take steps to restrict their entry.
If you need assistance removing squatters from your property in the UK, contact Shergroup right away. We’ve earned a reputation as one of the UK’s most ethical and successful enforcement solution providers, specialising in evictions and trespasser removal. Our enforcement officers and strong legal expertise enable us to analyse and securely remove unauthorised trespassers from your land or property in as little as 24 hours. For additional information, please contact one of our helpful business solutions advisers.
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