Homeowners must follow the law on squatters – Law Society

A significant number of people in the UK live in otherwise empty buildings and many argue this an example of sustainable living and a solution to the problems of homelessness and vacant properties. A squatter is not committing a criminal offence by being in another person’s property without their permission. However they are subject to criminal charges if they commit offences such as damage or theft to or in that property. 

If an owner attempts to use force in order to remove the squatters, they could be accused of a criminal act under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977. People can be tempted to take the law into their own hands, but violence on either side can result in prosecution.

However, by seeking the services of a solicitor and following the correct legal procedures, in many cases the situation can be resolved easily and peacefully for both sides. A solicitor can advise you on what steps to take and what documents you will need to proceed with an eviction or to obtain the necessary court orders.

Law Society President Robert Heslett said: "The law surrounding this issue is undeniably complex and this is why people can often feel confused as to what are the legal rights of all concerned. It is essential to consult the services of a qualified legal professional if you are a landlord or property owner who seeks an eviction.

"In these cases, time is of the essence and a solicitor can help the procedure move as quickly and painlessly as possible.

"Equally, if someone feels their eviction is unfair or unlawful, they should seek immediate advice in order to be fully aware of their rights. The law exists to protect all parties and it is extremely important these issues are dealt with in a peaceful and legal manner."

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3 thoughts on “Homeowners must follow the law on squatters – Law Society

  1. Major Landlord

    I am sick of this country, and the way in which we continue to uphold the rights of those who steal and sponge off society, leaving the honest and the hard working to pick up the tab.

    Make squatting illegal, and enable property owners to use any reasonable measures to regain possession of their property. We don’t need these selfish scum in our society, and we certainly should not protect them.

  2. Mark Robertson

    When you let out your premises, you may have to deal with a number of different people. You may come across honest tenants who pay their rent on time and or come across problem tenants who may not be paying rent on time or may not be taking proper care of the accommodation provided to them. In the case of the latter, you can choose to evict problem tenants. In order to How to Evict Squatters or, problem tenants, a notice is served on the tenants for the breach of the agreement. Many a time, the notice itself helps you to evict problem tenants or get the dues. But in case, the tenant continues to be a nuisance and does not vacate or, pay the rent then the next step is to issue proceedings against your tenant. Fore more information Click Here.

  3. Anthony

    The problem with the law, is that while it may tick the boxes, the delay involved, particularly for contested evictions, can run into months, never mind weeks. Theft and vandalism, never mind loss of potential letting income can run into tens of thousands. It should always be remembered that the wriggles that squatters use to squat in the first place can always be turned back against them. A good resource for evicting squatters, the law and how to get rid of them can be found at this top site for evicting squatters

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