What are the differences between using an IPO, a Court Order, and Common Law to evict squatters?

If you are currently dealing with squatters occupying your commercial premises, then it is likely that you want to evict them quickly and legally so that you can regain possession of your premises. Familiarising yourself with the different procedures that can be used to get squatters to leave your property means that you can use the best process for your situation. There are three ways to evict squatters from a commercial premises: using an IPO, using a Court Order, and evicting under Common Law.

How do you evict under Common Law?

Depending on your circumstances, you may not be required to use court procedures to evict squatters from your property and can instead evict using Common Law. Enlisting an enforcement agency to evict squatters using Peaceful Possession can mean that you avoid the courts altogether and is the quickest way to regain possession of your property.

If a certificated enforcement officer can obtain access to the property without being accosted by a squatter, then they can legally evict the squatters providing that no more than reasonable force is used. This process doesn’t require a Court Order and an enforcement agency can begin procedures as soon as possible after being instructed.

What is an IPO?

An IPO, or Interim Possession Order, can be a quick way to evict squatters from your property. You can apply for an IPO through your County Court and the application will be considered by the judge a minimum of 3 days after you issued the application.

If the order is granted, then you can ask enforcement officers, also known as bailiffs, to serve the order to the squatters. The order can be served either by fixing them to the main entrance, or posting them through the letter box in a sealed, clear envelope. Once the order is received by the squatters, they then must vacate the premises within 24 hours. Should the squatters refuse to leave within these 24 hours, then they are guilty of a criminal offence and you can request that the police arrest them.

While an IPO is a quicker way to evict squatters using court procedures, you must also apply for a claim for possession at the same time, which will give you final possession of the property. The IPO application form contains a section for this application. Alternatively, you can fill out a separate form.

If choosing to apply for an IPO, you must complete the application within 28 days of discovering squatters inhabiting your premises, and the granted IPO must be served within 48 hours of being approved by a judge.

What is a Court Order?

You can apply for a Court Order at the same time of applying for an IPO, or you can submit an application for possession without claiming for an IPO.

Applying for a final order for possession of the property will take longer to process than an IPO, which is why property owners may also want to apply for an IPO or consider using Common Law to evict commercial squatters. After a final order for possession is issued, then you can instruct an enforcement officer to evict squatters from your premises.

If you require assistance evicting squatters from your commercial premises and are unsure on which procedure is most suited to your needs, then please get in touch. Able Investigations is an experienced, qualified enforcement agency that can help you regain possession of your property quickly and legally. Our team can advise on the best route to take when evicting squatters from your commercial premises and can enforce evictions upon instruction. Speak to a member of our team today by calling 0345 366 0000.

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