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Eviction of squatters

This content applies to England

Rights of squatters, eviction without a court order, and the procedure for acquiring ownership of the property through adverse possession.

Rights of squatters

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

Squatting offences

Squatters may take action against violence or harassment they suffer but may themselves be committing a criminal offence by squatting. 

Possession claims against squatters

Procedure for bringing a possession claim against trespassers (squatters), the court powers and enforcement of a warrant for possession by court bailiffs. 

Squatters defences to possession claims

Squatters may have defences allowing them to win time to find alternative accommodation or, in a small number of cases, win the possession proceedings. 

Squatters eviction by interim possession order

Procedure for getting an interim possession order (IPO), which requires the squatters to leave the premises within 24 hours of service. 

Squatters eviction without a court order

Squatters can be evicted without a court order and commit a criminal offence when they refuse to leave when asked to do so. 

Adverse possession

Squatters may be able to acquire ownership of a property through adverse possession if they act as an owner, unchallenged over long time. 

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