Dealing with Squatters

publication date: Feb 10, 2011
author/source: Kate Faulkner, Property Expert and Author of Which? Property Books

Dealing with Squatters

Evicting Squatters

With some recent horrific headlines of the man walking his dog who lost his home to squatters and a family coming back home from holiday only to find overseas students living in it and the locks changed, it might be worth knowing what you can do if you get home one day and someone has entered your property!

If you are the owner that lives there permanently:-

  1. Get a video camera and a friend/witness and show that you have asked the people to leave.
  2. DON’T resort to any violence or abuse at all, which could make you vulnerable.
  3. Secure a ‘statement or certificate’ to prove that you are the owner and request they leave.
  4. Call the police.
  5. Only ever approach the property/people when you have another witness with you.

For more information on squatters and what to do if you have them, visit HM Courts Service

If you are a landlord/commercial premises or entered a property you are due to move into:-

  1. If the people entering the property are classed as ‘trespassers’ apply for an ‘IPO’ = interim possession order in the courts
  2. This CAN BE secured within a few days
  3. It can’t be used against tenants/licensees
  4. Once served with the IPO, they must leave within 24 hours
  5. If they don’t they can be arrested.

For more information visit Landlord Zone

If you are a tenant living in the property, then contact your landlord and/or letting agent immediately and agree a course of action to take.

Also take a look at our other articles:-

What can you do to avoid squatters taking over your property and Adverse Possession

For more information on how to keep your property safe, evicting squatters or buying/selling a home, contact the Designs on Property team at


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