Landlord’s insurance and squatters’ rights.
Many landlord insurance policies have the option of taking out cover against squatters; in many lets, particularly in the larger cities, this can be a wise investment. Getting rid of squatters can be difficult, expensive and stressful, but with squatters’ cover the whole process can be handed over to solicitors.
Squatting is a curse on all property owners, though landlords are particularly vulnerable to them especially during the times when the property is vacant. However, you can get some help with a good landlord insurance such as Endsleigh’s – you can go to the site now for more information.“
Although it is against the law for squatters to force entry into the building, squatting itself is not against the law and unfortunately squatters enjoy considerable legal protection. If as a landlord you report squatters to the police, you will find that even if they are sympathetic, there is nothing they can do.
Anybody who is occupying the property without any documentation to demonstrate that they have a right to do so is a squatter. Once you have squatters you cannot legally evict them unless you obtain a possession order from a court of law.
If the landlord is able to reoccupy the property when the squatters have left it empty he can change the locks, but any threat of violence or force is against the law. Sometimes landlords have resorted to paying squatters to leave, but generally it is very difficult to persuade them to do so.
The first thing you need to do is to obtain an Interim Possession Order from the courts. Many landlords use a solicitor at this stage. The application must be made within 28 days of becoming aware that there are squatters and is in lieu of a full possession order being granted. An Interim Possession Order is granted subject to the conditions that should the application for a full possession order fall through then the squatters will be allowed to reoccupy the property and that the property will not be let or sold while the case is being considered.
There are specific rules governing how the order is presented to the squatters but once it is done so, they must leave within 24 hours or they will be breaking the law and can be forcibly evicted and arrested.