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Eviction of squatters

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

This content applies to England
  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 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 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.

  • 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.