Eviction of Gypsies and Travellers from private land

How you can be evicted from a privately run Gypsy and Traveller site and if you can challenge the eviction.

Eviction from protected sites

A protected site has planning permission that allows people to live on the site all year round. You have more rights if you have a caravan or mobile home on a protected site rather than on an unprotected site.

The site owner can only evict you from a protected site if they get a court order.

The court only grants an order if any of the following reasons apply:

  • you are not occupying the mobile home as your only or main residence
  • your mobile home is in such poor condition that it is having a negative effect on the rest of the site
  • you have breached a term of your agreement and haven't fixed it within a reasonable time (such as falling into arrears with your pitch fees)
  • you have seriously breached a term of your agreement and it's something that can't be put right (such as assaulting another resident on the site)

The court also decides if its reasonable for the order to be granted.

Find out more about your rights if you live in a mobile home.

Eviction from unprotected sites

An unprotected site allows caravans to be stationed there but only for holiday use. The site will be closed for a period every year.

You can be easily evicted from an unprotected site. You’re entitled to the notice set out in any occupancy agreement you signed. No court order is needed.

Eviction from other private land

The owner of the land can take steps to evict you if you camp on their land without consent.

If the landowner wants to evict you, they can:

  • apply to the court for an injunction or possession order requiring you to move off the land
  • ask the council to take action
  • ask the police to evict you
  • move you on (evict you) themselves

You can also be evicted by the council if the landowner doesn’t have planning permission to use the site for caravans. This can happen even if the landlord is happy for you to stay.

Legal action if you are hurt during an eviction

Contact the police if the landowner causes any damage to your vehicles or property or if they injure you in any way. The landowner could face charges for assault or criminal damage.

You could take civil action against the landlord and seek compensation. In this situation, it's important to get as much evidence as possible to back up your case, for example by filming the incident or taking photographs.

Where to get advice

Use Shelter's directory to find a local advice centre if you need help with legal or other issues.

Organisations that provide advice the Gypsy and Traveller communities include:

 

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