The holiday season is a prime one for squatters to occupy commercial buildings without permission, given that the owners are likely to be away for extended periods of time. If you find yourself in the position to have to deal with post-holiday squatters, here is a quick overview of your rights.
Getting the police involved
Squatting in a commercial building isn’t technically a crime, even without the owner’s permission. This means that the police cannot / will not attend to evict the commercial squatters. Luckily in these situations, enforcement agencies such as Able Investigations can come to your aid.
Situations where the police can get involved are limited to the following: Cases where the squatters have caused damage while entering or living in the property, if the squatters have stolen from the property, squatters have used utilities in the property like electricity or gas without permission from the owner, not leaving after they have been ordered to by the court or if they are stealing from the property.
As the owner of a commercial property, you are well within your rights to be worried about all the red tape associated with squatter eviction. If you are unfortunate enough to discover that squatters have taken over your property while you were away on holiday, then there are certain steps that will need to be undertaken to regain possession of your property.
What rights do the squatters have?
Unlike before 2012, squatters can no longer claim squatters’ rights, but this doesn’t mean that you are able to evict them on your own. Taking into account the fact that speed is of the essence when it comes to dealing with squatters because you want to reduce the risks of damage to your property, you may want to have a team of experts on your side to deal with the problem on your behalf.
How can Able help?
Able Investigations has years of valuable experience when it comes to dealing with squatter eviction, and we are proud to hold a 100% success record with returning the properties to their rightful owners as quickly as possible. In the majority of cases we can have the commercial squatters evicted and the property returned within 48 hours.
How will the eviction happen?
There are two quick options available for our certificated enforcement officers when it comes to evicting commercial squatters: Common Law and an Interim Possession Order.
Common law is the simplest procedure in that it does not require a court order to carry out the removal. The enforcement officers simply require the ability to access the property without confrontation and from this point can carry out a Peaceful Possession. A Peaceful Possession means that the enforcement officers remove the squatters from the commercial property with no more than reasonable force. This is the quickest method of removal as it can occur as soon as possible after the agency has been instructed.
Interim Possession Order
An Interim Possession Order is obtained by application to your local County Court. A judge will consider your application a minimum of three days after submission. If the order is granted, the enforcement officers must then serve the order to the squatters by fixing them to the main entrance. Once the order has been received the squatters must leave the premises within 24 hours, if they do not then the police can remove them as they will have committed a criminal offence.