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Hypothetical question Re Squatters.

#1
Blame Smiffy the Ferret, but this is a question that has puzzled me on and off for ages.

Every now and then in the news there are stories of people going away for the week end, or on holiday and coming home to find squatters have moved in. All well and bad, but is there any time minimum for squatters to claim squatting rights?

E.g you go out shopping for an hour or two, and come back, locks are changed and squatters are changing the curtains. Or you are putting the bins out on the street, so are off the premises albeit by a couple of yards, door open or not locked, chummy leaps in whilst your back is turned, and again new curtains are on the agenda.

So is that the case? Round these parts it is an unlikely scenario, but the legal world is always full of expensive suprises.
 
#2
I don't even understand how they get away with occupying a property thats clearly furnished and lived in by an existing resident.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#5
I had a squatter problem, in fact it was an illegal sublet that I waited for them to be at work and emptied the place changing the locks. Police were called but agreed it was a civil matter and they couldnt prove they actually lived there so were out of luck. I had the place rented next day!
 
#6
I think the law differs depending on whether you occupy your premises when the squatters move in. i.e in your hypothetical scenario of popping out (or going away for a few days) and returning to find squatters in residence you could knock down your own door in order to secure entry to evict them. However if it's an empty property that you own you could be committing the offence of using violence to secure entry if you kick down the door even though you own the property.

Happy to be corrected by someone though.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#7
I think the law differs depending on whether you occupy your premises when the squatters move in. i.e in your hypothetical scenario of popping out (or going away for a few days) and returning to find squatters in residence you could knock down your own door in order to secure entry to evict them. However if it's an empty property that you own you could be committing the offence of using violence to secure entry if you kick down the door even though you own the property.

Happy to be corrected by someone though.
You need to kick the door in and geet in calling the plod at the same time. Make it look like they broke in whilst you were in there and they are done for breaking and entering.
Once the plod are aware you have squatters you break the law if you evict them without going through the courts. sad but do them over then call the plod. Current policy means the householder is the victim!
 
#8
IIRC they could only claim squatter's rights if the building wasn't occupied and they hadn't forced entry, but I'm certainly no expert.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#10
IIRC they could only claim squatter's rights if the building wasn't occupied and they hadn't forced entry, but I'm certainly no expert.
Squatters dont actually have rights, they are seen as tenants without an agreement in the law which is why you have to go to court to get them out in the same way you do with a tenant that wont pay the rent!
Your word against theirs in court so Police cant intervene unless you force an entry and claim to have been inside when they broke in!
I know a bloke that evicts people for a small considerationn and he taught me a few tricks. If you work from home then its a business premises and squatters are then clearly breaking and entering. You call the police and dont ever mention the squatter word, just say you have burglars on your premises!
 
#12
My mate bought an old Police Station to turn into 4 flats, they were in within the week (which is suprising as the building had been unoccupied for years), usual toing and froing with legals until he had them chased out by a few hammer wielding idiots, no one got a *******, plod werent particularly arsed so job done. Granted others arent so lucky and lose a lot of money, strikes me as odd that you can now comfortably get away with cleaving the head open of a burglar in your house but you cant stick it all over some post grad honking ***** cooking mung bean suprise on the ornately tiled deck of your rightful property. Whether you are residing in or not.
 
#16
Heres a question with a twist. If squatters break in and you've got your shot guns or rifles in the house are they unlawfully in possession of fire arms?
 
#17
Heres a question with a twist. If squatters break in and you've got your shot guns or rifles in the house are they unlawfully in possession of fire arms?
Presumably, yes. Although I imagine the Police would prosecute the FAC holder first, for losing the guns.

Again, I don't understand how squatters can occupy a property that contains someone's personal possessions. Isn't that some sort of theft?
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#18
I would be reasonably comfortable in calling the pointyheads in armed unit the lot as they advised me at my last Crime prevention visit to have an escape route for the family should naughty boys boot down the door. I'd claim that scenario. Theyd possibly cack themselves (Squatters) thinking theyd found a crack den when they see the door to my ahem "office!"
 
#19
I think the law differs depending on whether you occupy your premises when the squatters move in. i.e in your hypothetical scenario of popping out (or going away for a few days) and returning to find squatters in residence you could knock down your own door in order to secure entry to evict them. However if it's an empty property that you own you could be committing the offence of using violence to secure entry if you kick down the door even though you own the property.

Happy to be corrected by someone though.
I believe that's correct, but I'm not a lawyer. The recent cases, including the lady who'd been at the theatre for the night, involved Roma squatters, who either claimed they'd found the doors open or had forged tenancy documents. There was no proof of breaking and entering and trespass alone is not a criminal offence. Tht's pretty much SOP for all the pikies, one bunch break the locks or gates and get on the mobile to the squatters. They had posted some sign on the door which was a misrepresentation of the law, saying it would be an offence to force an entry. . Mr. Plod, being faced with two conflicting stories and the prospect of arresting several families of Roma and their gopping unwashed sprogs, decided it was a civil matter and not his concern. The Roma men were hovering in the vicinity. SFAIK they are burglars; you'd have to turn up mob handed to reclaim your property, but the law would be on your side.

There was an incident in the papers in about 1978 where some lady returned home to find a bunch of hippies had moved in her house claiming they were squatters. She was somewhat befuddled and went into the street where she flagged down a passing landrover from some unidentified para unit. The paras went into the house and told the hippies to leave. And they did.
 

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