Eviction of Gypsies and Travellers from private land

If you are staying on a privately run Gypsy/Traveller site, your rights depend on what kind of site it is and if it is a protected site with planning permission.

Eviction of Gypsies and Travellers from protected sites

A protected site has planning permission that allows people to live on the site all year round.

People who live in a caravan or mobile home on a protected site have more rights than residents who live on an unprotected site.

Find out more about these rights, including protection against eviction.

Eviction of Gypsies and Travellers from unprotected sites

An unprotected site usually only has planning permission and a site licence for holiday use.

You can be easily evicted from an unprotected site. If you're told to leave, you have the right to at least four weeks' notice.

Get advice if you're told to leave an unprotected site.

Use Shelter's directory to find help and advice in your local area.

Trespassing on private land

Landowners may be happy for you to stay if your camp is not causing any problems and they don't need the land for anything else. 

But the owner or legal occupier of private land can take steps to evict you if you camp on their land without consent.

If the landowner or occupier does decide 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 take action
  • move you on (evict you) themselves

Get advice from a solicitor or a law centre immediately. Because you are trespassing, you won't have any defence when the case comes to court. However a solicitor may be able to help you delay the eviction on humanitarian grounds, for example if you can't move on because someone in your household is ill.

Use Shelter's directory to find help and advice in your local area. 

Taking legal action

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.

More advice and information

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

Other organisations that can provide advice and assistance for members of the Gypsy and Traveller communities include:

Find out more about mobile home rights.


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