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How to Get Rid of Squatters on Your Property

Squatters make use of property and utilities without permission or payment, leaving landlords to spend money on repairs for the damage caused, or for water and power that the squatters have consumed. Whatever their reason for squatting, they don’t have a right to be on your property. This article explains how you can prevent squatters from staying illegally on your land.

Are They Really Squatting?

First, you need to determine if these people are actually squatting on your property. According to the UK government’s official definition, squatting is when someone enters your property on purpose and dwells, or intends to live there, without your permission. This means that renters who are late on their payments cannot be called squatters.

Rules also differ depending on the type of property you have. Squatting in residential property may be subject to six months in prison or a fine of £5,000, or both. Squatting in commercial land, however, isn’t a crime unless the dweller damages the property.

Ways to Deter Squatters

Once you’ve determined that people are squatting in your land or building, it’s time to get them off your property.

Ask nicely – Even if they are causing you trouble, remember that squatters are still human. Tell them that you’re the owner of the property and you’d like them to vacate the premises and find another place to live. If they do so, great! If they don’t want to, warn them that it’s a crime to stay on your property and that you have no choice but to report them.

File an IPO – If the squatters insist on staying on your land, try filing an interim possession order (IPO). You may file this if it’s been almost a month since you discovered the squatting. Fill out your IPO application and submit it to the local court. Once served the IPO, squatters have 24 hours to leave your property and stay away from it for a year. If they still refuse to leave or leave and come back within less than a year, they will automatically go to jail.

Prevent future instances of squatting – If you’ve cleared your property of squatters, either by asking or serving an IPO, you shouldn’t let the same thing happen again. Keep your property clear of any squatters by hiring bailiffs like MS Webb. Bailiffs help secure your land by providing security guards and dog handlers who will stay on-site 24/7. They will clean up the property, getting rid of fly-tippers and acquiring court orders and serving notices for possible violators.

Squatters may cost you thousands of pounds in property damage and utility usage. As such, you should do the best you can as a property owner or manager to protect your land from them. Never use force, however. Deter squatters the right way by following these steps.

Hire Experienced Bailiffs

If you’re looking for a reliable bailiff to help with squatter eviction, choose MS Webb. We’ll help you prevent and get rid of squatters on your property, acquiring court orders, serving notices, cleaning up your site, removing fly-tippers and assigning security guards to protect your property. We have over 25 years of experience in providing bailiff services across the UK. Expect us to keep your land safe with proper security measures.

Contact us today to book a consultation.

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