This page is targeted at housing professionals. Our main site is at www.shelter.org.uk

Squatters

This content applies to England

The rights of squatters. The definition of a squatter and how squatters can be evicted, with or without a court order. The defences that may be available to squatters, and how squatters may be able to acquire ownership of property through adverse possession.

Definition of a squatter

The distinction between squatters (or 'trespassers') and former licensees. 

Rights of squatters

The security of tenure of squatters, and their rights under homelessness legislation. 

Eviction without a court order

How a squatter can be evicted without a court order. The status of displaced residential occupiers and protected intending occupiers and the penalties for refusing to leave when asked to do so by them. 

Eviction through the courts

How landlords can evict squatters through the courts. 

Criminal offences and squatting

The situations where a squatter may be committing a criminal offence. Situations where a squatter may be able to take action to tackle violence or harassment s/he has suffered. 

Adverse possession

How a squatter may be able to acquire ownership of a property through adverse possession. 

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