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Eviction of travellers using common law or a writ of possession

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From our heritage as Sheriffs we have developed our property services for the benefit of our community so they have a one-stop shop of protection.

As a landowner in England or Wales, the last thing you want to see is travellers trespassing your premises. Believe us when we say it’s a stressful experience for landlords causing them all kinds of problems for businesses, local authorities, and private property or landowners. You simply want to get rid of them as quickly as you can with minimum hassles.

The UK housing crisis and the shortage of authorised sites for travellers have led to a dramatic increase in the number of travellers setting up on unauthorised encampments. As a landowner in England and Wales, you are entitled to evict travellers from your land under the Common Law. You can go down the court route to do so but that is a costly and time-consuming affair.

Shergroup can solve the problem by acting on your behalf, removing travellers that are trespassing on your land. Once we get a signed authority from you our eviction experts will move the gypsies immediately, usually clearing the site within 24 hours.

When travellers set up their camp on a council land then the council can evict them, but if the encampment is on private land, it is entirely the landlord’s responsibility.

What should you do if gypsies or travellers arrive on your property?

The first thing you should do is talk to them; tell them this is your land. Inquire as to why they are there and how long they intend to stay. Check to see if they’re causing a problem. If they have spread their camp onto a right of way or highway, you should seek legal advice and ask what’s it likely to cost.

What if the gypsies or travellers refuse to talk?

The majority of gypsy and traveller families appreciate the chance to interact with other members of the community. Keep in mind that they may be wary of speaking openly at first because they face a lot of intolerance and racism. If you don’t think the negotiations are going well, put them on hold for the time being and consult with your lawyer.

What should you do to reclaim the possession of your property?

Possession should be sought in the civil courts under Part 55 of the Civil Procedure Rules, according to your solicitor.

This will involve:

  1. Asking the gipsies to leave
  2. Issuing or serving a court order
  3. Seeking a possession order in court
  4. Serving a possession order if necessary
  5. Executing a warrant for possession with county court bailiffs

If the travellers and Gypsies have no wrong intentions, they will vacate once the order is served. If not, you can hire private bailiffs to remove them without a possession order.

There should be a minimum of two clear days between service of notice and the court hearing if the proceedings are undertaken in the county court under the Civil Procedure Rules 1998 to obtain a court order for eviction.

Legal Options

A Bailiff can be instructed to take the vacant possession of the land under the common law rights of the landowners. As per the common law there are two ways landowners can get rid of travellers, they are:

  1. The landowner can issue a claim for damages, but this does not necessarily end the problem of trespass
  2. Individuals can use self-help methods to protect their property, such as taking steps to end the trespass or reduce the nuisance.

A court order is not required.

Bailiffs are only allowed to use minimal force and are not allowed to break locks or break down caravan doors. The travellers will not be fined if they return to the land after they have left. This can be done by a Certificated Enforcement Agent if they have the necessary experience and training in common law and other eviction laws, as well as the use of force and conflict resolution.

Part 55 Civil Procedures Rules in County Court

Landowners need to engage the services of a solicitor and that’s why they’d have to bear some legal costs. For a successful conclusion for the eviction to come through, it may take a minimum of 10-14 days. Again, the travellers won’t be penalized if they return to the property. High Court Enforcement Officers are typically used to enforce traveller evictions because they have more resources and can complete the process faster than County Court Bailiffs.

Part 55 Civil Procedures Rules Emergency High Court Order

This section of the law is for the landowners. This is when you need a quick eviction. You’d have to hire a high court solicitor and bear the cost of hiring them. An eviction under this section of the law must be based on a very specific set of circumstances, and you must have gathered evidence to support your claim.

The travellers will not face any consequences if they return to your property.

How Long Can Travellers Stay on Council Land?

Travellers typically cannot stay on council land long-term. There’s no set timeframe, but it depends on whether an agreement is reached with the council. Councils must follow a legal process to remove travellers, which can take time. However, travellers who cause disruptions or trespass on council land will likely face eviction swifter than those who cooperate.


Shergroup uses their highly experienced eviction officers who know how to appropriately manage an eviction situation. We begin by serving the travellers with an eviction notice. This usually gives them until the next day to leave the location on their own.

Our bailiffs will conduct a risk assessment when they visit the location to serve notices. This allows us to plan the best resources if an eviction is necessary.

At Shergroup we understand the problems that can incur on the site and our trained officers know how to deal with cases effectively. We ensure that traveller groups are evicted from your site quickly and using the correct resources.

We work with local agencies, such as the police department, to ensure that illegal encampments are removed quickly and peacefully. We can typically be on-site within hours of receiving instructions and have the site cleared the same day.

If you have problems with travellers on your land, contact Shergroup today on 8458909200 or email [email protected]

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Last updated | 19 July 2023

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