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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 25358
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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I keep seeing people say I can remove squatters from my commercial

Customer Question

I keep seeing people say I can remove squatters from my commercial property under common law but what is this?
Submitted: 1 year ago via InBrief.
Category: UK Law
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am in uk so under england and wales law
Expert:  Joshua replied 1 year ago.
Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 10 years experience. May I ask how the squatter(s) came to be in occupation please? Are they a former tenant that has remainded in occupation or have the entered unlawfully and are squatting without any previous tenancy with you?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The property is a commercial office which was recently purchased by us and due to be converted into apartments however the process has not started. The building was secure last night and being monitored by a mobile securty patrol. when they arrived at 1 am this morning they found they could not gain entry at the usual point. In daylight we can now see there are two persons unknown in the property and they are claiming the section 144 to identify that it is not yet a residential property. They have gained entry through the rear of the property but police are reluctant to act unless we can give them the correct common law grounds?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The property has CCTV but this is inside so at the moment we cannot access it to review if there is eveidence that they broke in but we see the rear door has signs of forced entry
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What about
Halsbury’s Laws of England, Paragraph 1400, Volume 45 of the Fourth Edition.
Expert:  Joshua replied 1 year ago.
My apologies for the delay in reverting to you. I had to step into a meeting. It is possible to use the common law of the tort of trespass in order to evict the squatters by using a certificate bailiff to carry out the eviction. However this approach is fragile despite what some bailiffs might have you belive in advertising their services. This is becuase The Criminal Law Act 1977 provides that it is a criminal offence to enter property occupied by someone opposed to that entry and this right extends to squatters. ThereforeBailiffs are well trained and will often be able to obtain entry peaceably and therefby remove squatters using the common law tort of trepass but experienced squatters will know all the tricks and can resist entry which can make it impossible for the enforcement officers to proceed without committing a criminal offence by virtue of the above Act. Therefore the safest way to proceed is to obtain an interim possession order (this can usually be obtained within a few days) and then if they still do not leave apply for a warrant from the High Court to allow enforcement officers to evict using appropriate force. If you wish to attempt this approach nevertheless you will have to contact a certificated bailiff who offers this service - not all do due to the risk involved e.g.:http://www.csbailiffs.co.uk If you prefer this safer route rather than the slightly tenuous comon law approach you can apply for an interim possession order using the following form:http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/HMCTS/GetForm.do?court_forms_id=379 If they refuse to leave you can then apply for a warrant using the following form:http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/HMCTS/GetForm.do?court_forms_id=536 Finally if the squatters caused damage in entering the building then the police have powers to act on the basis of criminal damage and breaking and entering and could make an arrest without a warrant. However squatters are often careful in how they enter for this reason. The police will not assist in eviction of squatters under the above common law approach as they have no specific powers to do so. I hope the above is of assistance? If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to click to rate my service to you today or just reply back to let me know if the above is helpful. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me I'd be very grateful
Expert:  Joshua replied 1 year ago.
I hope the above is helpful? Can I help you with anything else or has the above answered your questions satisfactorily? If you could drop me a quick message to let me know I'd be very grateful.
Expert:  Joshua replied 1 year ago.
Have I been able to help you with all your questions on the above?
Expert:  Joshua replied 1 year ago.
If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to click to rate my service to you. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me though

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