In the United Kingdom, the laws regarding squatters have undergone significant changes in recent years. The legal status of squatters is now more clearly defined, and property owners have more options for dealing with them.
What are the squatter laws in the UK?
Under current UK law, squatters have limited rights and can be evicted by property owners under certain circumstances. The first step in evicting squatters is to issue them with a notice to leave the property. This can be done by the property owner, a representative of the owner, or by the police. The notice must give the squatters a minimum of two days to vacate the property, and it must be posted on the property or given to the squatters directly.
If the squatters refuse to leave the property after receiving the notice, the property owner can apply to the court for a possession order. The court may grant the possession order if it is satisfied that the property is not the squatters’ home, that the property owner is entitled to possession, and that the notice to leave was validly given.
Once the possession order is granted, the property owner can ask the court to issue a warrant of possession. This authorizes the property owner to use reasonable force to evict the squatters and regain possession of the property. It is important to note that the use of force must be proportionate and should not put the safety of the squatters or anyone else at risk.
Related Reading: Read more about our squatter eviction services here.
There are some circumstances in which squatters may have greater rights and may be more difficult to evict. For example, if the squatters have been living in the property for a long period of time, they may be able to claim adverse possession. This means that they may be able to gain legal ownership of the property if they have occupied it openly and continuously for a certain period of time.
In addition, if the property is a residential property and the squatters are living there as their home, the property owner must obtain a court order before evicting them. The court will only grant the order if it is satisfied that it is reasonable to do so, taking into account the rights of the squatters and any other relevant circumstances.
Overall, the laws regarding squatters in the UK are designed to balance the rights of property owners with the rights of squatters. Property owners have legal options for dealing with squatters, but they must follow the proper legal procedures and ensure that they do not use excessive force or otherwise violate the squatters’ rights. Squatters, on the other hand, have limited legal rights and can be evicted if they do not have a valid claim to the property.