What To Do If Squatters Take Over Your Home?

House With A Garden

Sometimes, people will just come onto your property and begin to live there. A person who does this is called a squatter, meaning that they often just find a place and claim it as their own. This might not be good for you, the homeowner- but under the law, some articles are protecting “squatter’s rights” that might be a little difficult to work around at first glance.

What Are Squatters’ Rights in the UK?

What are squatters’ rights, and what is a squatter? Simply put, squatters’ rights are just the idea that if a person (the squatter) illegally occupies a place for long enough, they have legal ownership of the property. Laws for squatters show, though, that a person must squat in a house for ten years or more- a hefty investment for someone who wants to take your home. Squatters’ rights in the UK are pretty straightforward, but that doesn’t mean that some people don’t take advantage of them.

Why Do Squatters Have Rights?

Squatters have rights because the laws don’t want homes to stand empty for too long. This helps prevent people from purchasing homes just to own land– or, at least, it was supposed to. Today, that’s still possible for landlords and renters. However, if squatters take a residence, they have the full possibility of one day owning it more than the current landlord. Is squatting illegally? Yes. But there are still laws around when and where a squatter may take possession of the land they live on.

Can The Police Remove Squatters?

If a person is unlawfully occupying your residence or even your soon-to-be residence, you can perform a squat eviction. How to remove squatters is an easy enough task if you know the steps, although it may be a little more costly than you’d like. It’s not legal for squatters to be on your property, and therefore the police can help you regain ownership of your estate. To properly and legally be evicting squatters, you must issue them an interim possession order, which means that they have to be off of your property within 24 hours before criminal charges are pressed.

Can A Tenant Claim Squatters’ Rights?

If you’re renting to someone who refuses to leave when evicted, a tenant must be taken to court first. You can’t just kick them out with an interim possession order immediately; instead, a misbehaving tenant must be sued in civil court. Tenants aren’t squatting in houses! Instead, they’ve paid to use the space for a time, and they might not want to move out when that term is over. This makes them an entirely different case in the eyes of the law. Sometimes, squatters will claim to be tenants- that makes them serial squatters, and they’ll skip town the second you try to make them pay rent.

“I Have Squatters In My Property!”

This is the cry of many people across the UK. However, it’s easy enough to dispose of your unwanted guests. Can police remove squatters in the UK? Yes, absolutely! And if you take charge, so can you. Anyone who chooses to be squatting in houses can be taken to court for their crimes, and if they damage or take anything from your home, you can sue them for that too.

We are proud members of...

  • NAPB
  • RICS
  • The Property Ombudsman
  • Trading Standards

We are proud to be the most regulated property buyer operating in the ‘Quick House Sale’ industry. We are an active member of the NAPB (National Association Of Property Buyers) and are RICS regulated, which means you can have every confidence of selling your home with us quickly & easily.