Evicting squatters from commercial property is a situation that may affect many landlords who own commercial properties that are left empty due to a number of reasons such as holiday periods. Even though discovering squatters in a commercial property is often distressing, there are methods to remove them as quickly as possible.
Since the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 was introduced, squatting in residential buildings has been made a legal offence carrying a prison sentence of up to 51 weeks and/or a fine of around £5000. Due to this act being brought in we have seen a steady increase in the number of commercial squatters we are asked to remove as squatters have realised they will face much harsher consequences for staying in residential properties.
Able Investigations offers multiple solutions to the landlords of commercial properties that are affected by squatters. As a landlord, you need to be aware that there are multiple procedures regarding the eviction of commercial squatters that you need to follow in order to avoid any criminal charges for unlawful eviction.
Our go-to method for eviction is using Common Law for a faster, smoother eviction process. At Able Investigations, we can use this method to evict squatters within 24 to 48 hours of instruction. In this situation, we do not need a court order and can regain possession of your property much quicker than we would do with an Interim Possession Order or a Court Order.
One of the first steps that Able Investigations advises landlords to take is to instruct enforcement officers to visit the location to ask squatters to leave. In many cases, they will comply with your request and there will be no need for further action, using enforcement officers at this step is extremely beneficial as in many cases they will have dealt with the squatters before making the eviction process much smoother. The enforcement officers are permitted to use no more than reasonable force in order to remove the squatters.
As long as no more than reasonable force is used, eviction can happen straight away. When you contact Able Investigations, we can quickly determine the correct way to evict the squatters from your property. If they are unable to complete a successful eviction this way then they will move on to other methods.
There is no legal requirement for the police to be present when the enforcement officers try to evict squatters from a commercial property. However, we would normally request the presence of the police in order to make sure that no breach of peace occurs during the eviction process.
If the squatters have already been evicted from your property or you are seeking to prevent them entering in the first place, we can help you take measures to make sure that they cannot enter or re-enter the property. These steps can range from using specific security measures to disconnecting utilities to deter squatters from occupying your property again.
If you require the services of a professional enforcement team to help you remove commercial squatters from your building, you can talk to a member of our team with a simple phone call. We can help you with your specific requirements and discuss the best solution for you. Able Investigations have a number of hugely experienced certificated enforcement agents across the UK ready to help with commercial squatter issues.