Squatter Evictions

More about squatter evictions


More about squatter evictions

The popular belief that 'squatters rights' exist comes from a law which makes it illegal to threaten or use violence to enter a property where someone is present and opposes the entry. This was introduced to stop some unscrupulous landlords using violence to evict their tenants, but has also been quoted by squatters.

If squatters have taken over possession of your property, clearly you need to review your security arrangements but there are other actions you can take to remove them. Squatting is defined in Section 144(3) (b) of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act (LASPO) as an offence committed by anyone who is in a residential building as a trespasser (even if they entered it before the new law came into effect on September 1st 2012) where they knew (or ought to have known) that they were trespassing and clearly intended to live in the building.

The LASPO Act defines a residential property as a building that has been 'designed or adapted before the time of entry for use as a place to live'. Squatters who squat in what was an office or shop are not committing an offence.

There already are legal procedures that police and councils can use in the rare instances of someone squatting in somebody's home and no-one can have any objections to toughening up the law to deal with people who deliberately enter an obviously occupied property with the intention of squatting.

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