Squatters are often the nightmare of any landlord or property owner, so it is important to understand what is claimed as squatters’ rights, however in reality, there is no such thing as squatter’s rights. What squatters relay on is Section 7 of the criminal Justice Act, in which one cannot use violence to enter a building if an occupant inside objects. How to prevent them from staying in your commercial property. To put it simply, squatters are people who move into unoccupied commercial premises, or residential properties, but remember that Squatting in a residential property is an offence under Sec 144 of the Legal Aid Crime & Punishment Bill. For example, foreclosed or abandoned ones. Commercial properties are appealing for potential squatters because they are often empty at different times of day, so they can move in easily. This should be ringing alarm bells for commercial landlords.
If squatters have moved into a commercial property you own, it is essential to deal with the situation as quickly as possible. Even though you may imagine that they will be impossible to evict, it is actually possible to take your property back and prevent the squatters from coming back, too.
Removing squatters from a commercial property
The good news is that squatters often do not have the right to be in your property, but you need to make sure nobody has let them in, because the eviction process is different in that case. For example, if a former tenant has let them in, they are not squatters, and they may have rights. Squatters are only people who entered the property by trespassing.
In order to deal with the squatters’ removal, you will need to get in touch with an enforcement agency, such as Able Enforcements Our certificated enforcement officers will then attempt to start by using the process of common law, meaning a court order is not required. As long as they can enter the property without being accosted by the squatters then they can use no more than reasonable force in order to remove them. Once this has been done they can change the locks on your orders, as it is your legal right to do so. The trouble is that you cannot do so if one of the squatters is actually in the property and opposes. Th enforcement officers will never try to use any kind of violence or intimidation tactics, as this is actually against the law.
Since they do not usually have jobs, squatters are likely to be present in the property 24/7, so using common law and changing the locks may prove problematic. Luckily there are other means the enforcement officers can employ.
Preventing squatters from staying in a commercial property with a court process
To remove squatters from a commercial building when they have prevented the enforcement officers from doing so by using no more than reasonable force, you will need a special court order for trespassers. The good news is that the process of getting it is rather quick, so you can have the unwanted guests out in three to four weeks.
How can you prevent squatters from occupying your commercial premises?
Examples of prevention include keeping your property secure all the time, even between tenancies, and relying on reference checks when letting the property, to prevent it from being occupied by people who may abandon it to others.
Able Enforcements can help you with all the legal advice you may need to remove squatters from your property, as well as with solutions to prevent squatting altogether. To find out more about the services we offer to aid you with the removal of commercial squatters, get in touch. You can talk to our hugely experienced team by calling 0845 370 7401 or fill out our contact form and we will get back to you