Squatter Possession Claims

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Squatting occurs when a person (the “squatter”) knowingly enters a building as a trespasser with the intention of living there.

Since 1 October 2012 squatting in a residential property has been a criminal offence in England and Wales and can lead to 6 months in prison or a fine of £5,000 or both. The police should simply remove squatters from a residential property so long as they have been notified them as soon as the squatters have been discovered.

Squatting in a non-residential property is not a criminal offence and you should not attempt to try and remove them yourself, but possession proceedings should be commenced as soon as possible. The Court can in theory list the matter for a hearing within 48 hours and once the possession order has been obtained the local county court bailiffs or a High Court Enforcement Officer can be instructed and remove them.

It is important to move quickly whether or not the property is residential or commercial property. At Hanne & Co we have experience of dealing with possession claims against squatters and can act quickly to recover your property. Please contact Victoria Copeland to discuss.

Contact our Property team on 020 7228 0017.

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