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How to Remove Travellers from Private Land

Legal Steps to Remove Travellers from Private Land

As a landowner, you might have a vision for the land you own that you’ve yet to develop. You might be planning to build a house, convert it into commercial land, or sell it when the right offer comes. You’ll be unable to do any of these, however, if there are outsiders who set up camp on your land. If you find yourself in this situation, you need to find out how to remove travellers from private land.

Illegal Encampments on Privately-Owned Land

Travelling performers and travellers often make their way into undeveloped land and set up encampments until they decide that it’s time to move again. Most landowners are understandably uncomfortable having them in their property: these people rarely declare how long they intend to stay. Some even outstay their welcome.

The fact that unwelcome people enter and stay in a property illegally is reason enough to seek eviction. However, councils may only evict those who illegally stay in council-owned land. If travellers set up encampments on private land, the responsibility of removing them falls on the property owner.

Travellers are normally open to discussing the length of their stay with landowners. If, however, you’re dealing with a group that refuses to leave, traveller eviction will be the best option.

Evicting Travellers from Private Land

There are a few things you first need to know:

  1. Camping on private property without authorisation is not a criminal offence.

  2. Trespassing is not a criminal offence but a civil offence.

  3. The police are not responsible for preventing trespassing or removing trespassers from private land. This is the responsibility of the landowner.

  4. Landowners, with the help of the local authorities, can exercise their right to repossess their land.

No matter how distressing the situation becomes, the best way to deal with this situation is to keep a cool mind and maintain a civil attitude. It won’t take you anywhere to bluster and yell and throw weight around when not even your council is allowed to use force to evict unauthorised settlers from your land.

Follow the legal processes to get travellers moved out of your property. Here are your options:

1. Eviction through Common Law

This process requires the help enforcement agents like bailiffs. It begins with serving the travellers with a notice that requests they leave the property in the next 24 hours. This is often enough for caravans to break camp and vacate the area. If, however, they are still on the site after the window passes, the bailiffs are now allowed to return — with equipment and the local police, if necessary — and use reasonable force to remove any remaining travellers.

2. Eviction through Writ of Possession

The second method of removing travellers from your land is to seek a writ of possession or possession order from the local court. Once you obtain the order, transfer it to the High Court so that a High Court Enforcement Officer or HCEO can carry it out. The HCEO may enforce the possession order without giving the travellers prior notice. This can happen when dealing with a rowdy group of travellers who are likely to resist eviction. The element of surprise usually helps when dealing with difficult people.

Evict illegal occupants from your property in a safe and legal way. If you’re unsure which eviction process will work best for your situation, talk to our bailiffs at MS Webb. Our company has been providing bailiff and security services and helping recover assets for clients all over England and Wales. We have over 25 years of field experience, so you can expect the highest level of professionalism and dependability from our bailiffs.

Contact us today to learn more about our traveller eviction service.

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