The importance of acting quickly when squatters or travellers move onto land


Last week Howard Kennedy's Real Estate Dispute Resolution Team were instructed to evict travellers urgently from a client's land.

The travellers broke into the land on Friday and a common law eviction was attempted by bailiffs over the weekend. This was unsuccessful due to the extreme threat of violence from the travellers. Instructions to evict by Court Order were received on Monday morning. By Monday afternoon an application for short service of the claim and permission to issue in the High Court had been granted. The possession hearing took place on Tuesday afternoon and the travellers were evicted from the land on Wednesday morning by Enforcement Officers following the issue of a High Court writ of possession.

Acting quickly is essential where a squatter has moved onto land, and in this case even more so due to the potential for fly tipping and damage to the property, which can result in significant repair and clearance costs to the the landowner. 

The team's knowledge and experience of the High Court procedure ensured that we were able to protect the client's interest and secure the eviction within 48 hours of receiving instructions to go to Court .

The High Court procedure is not suitable in all cases and it is important to understand the criteria for it to apply, such as where there is a real risk of harm to property and persons. Where the criteria isn't met, the County Court procedure must be used instead.