Evicting Squatters.

Squatters. Get them out.

Squatting is a legal term that is often misused. To be clear: if your tenant has an agreement or used to have an agreement with you, they are not squatting. To remove these types of tenants, you have to use the process described here.

In law, squatters are people who have no right to be in your property. They are also called trespassers. Possibly your tenant has let them in (people not on the tenancy agreement) or they let themselves in while the property was left empty, unoccupied and unsecured.

The Police

It is now a criminal offence to trespass in a residential property (thanks to a Landlord Action campaign). That means you can ask the Police to remove the squatters. However, many Police forces have been slow to recognise this law and often don’t want to get involved. If the Police won’t act, it can take you a long time to go through all the procedures the Police require before they will. During that time, you will still be without rent and your property may be damaged further.

The Court

Courts and lawyers charge fees, but the result can be quicker and so more cost-effective. The whole process can be done within three or four weeks. Landlord Action in-house solicitors will advise you, draft all the documentation, issue the claim, serve the papers and represent you at court.

Speed is important

There are two types of court procedures to get squatters out. The quicker method can only be used if you have just become aware that you have a squatter in your property and you can recall the last time you visited the property. You have up to 28 days to act.

The Fee

Interim Possession Order (quicker) – £2,250 including VAT
Standard Trespass procedure – £2,000 including VAT

Fee includes: Drafting the paperwork for issuing at court. Attending court to personally issue the proceedings. Serving the proceedings and any subsequent order on the property by personal attendance. Representation at court at the interim and final hearings. Court fee. VAT.

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Precise Treatment Reduces Pain

Detail needs experts. Expert time is worth it when it saves you a costly mistake. Main objective: Get the property back. Best action: Very precise treatment.

Serving a notice is actually the most important part of the possession process.

It isn’t complicated but one tiny error can cause dreadful problems.

That’s why we say, don’t DIY and don’t use internet amateurs. It’s not worth it.

1. Compliance Errors
If the tenant doesn’t leave at Step1, the notice had better be valid. Because then it has to go to court. Any little error can get a case thrown out. And you have to start all over again.

2. Attempting Short-Cuts.
In an effort to be quick, some internet services aimed at landlords are using short-cuts around the process. But if the tenant doesn’t leave (50%) these practices can backfire at court and the case thrown out.

3. Trying to Save Pennies.
Internet services have mushroomed and landlords can expect to get what they pay for. To get the process done PROPERLY it takes a certain amount of time for an expert to look over a file and be accurate. Our fees cover that expert time.

Chasing courts for dates, arranging advocates and preparing court papers is time consuming. Especially if you’ve never done it before.

Some landlord and agents have served notices themselves. They believed they were saving a few pounds but it often ended up costing them more.

If you lose a claim, the court can order you to pay the tenant’s defence cost, which can run to hundreds or thousands of pounds.

Our in-house Solicitors are there to get your property back as fast as they can. And we protect landlords and agents from themselves.

As experts, we know that in the rush to get things done, errors can happen. And those errors can can come back later to mess up your case – and the whole process has to start again.

You can speed things up – give us accurate information quickly. Help us to help you.

There are services on the web who will prepare papers BUT they get you to pay the court-fee separately and get you to sign the court papers – so in fact they don’t represent you!

If your notice (at Step1) wasn’t drafted or served correctly you risk wasting your court fees and losing a whole lot of time because of a small error.

We won’t let your case anywhere near a court until we have checked every little detail. To make sure you don’t waste time or money, at Step-2 we first only charge part of the fee.

If your notice is fine, then you just pay the balance of the fee and we issue the claim. If there is a problem with your notice or paperwork, we will advise you what to do next.

Courts take the view that possession proceedings can make someone homeless. So they are very careful. If there’s any error in the notice, they throw the case out. It’s the process. Get it right or lose.

If the notice is invalid, you have to start all over again. The weeks or months you’ve waited are wasted. If there were rent arrears, there are now more.

If there weren’t rent arrears, they might now start. More fees. More lost rent. And still no possession. Tenants can be alerted to making a counter-claim.

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