Action in Trespass
Trespass may be a civil offence – or a criminal offence if criminal damage is caused to the property or land. Current law defines trespass as “any unjustifiable intrusion by a person upon the land in possession of another”.
Types of trespass can be categorised;
- involve squatting
- boundary disputes – or members of the public using private land as a short cut, which may constitute a claim for nuisance.
A private owner-occupier can request the police to act against a trespasser and request the trespasser to leave the land / property. If the owner of the land has already requested the trespasser to leave and the trespasser has:
- caused damage to the land
- has used threatening or abusive behaviour to the occupier of the land, or the occupier’s family, employees, or agents.
Once a trespasser has left the land it is an offence to return within three months – and police may even be able to seize any vehicles involved at this stage.
The government made squatting in a residential building a specific criminal offence under Section 144 of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LAPOA), which means police can become involved in a case of trespass involving squatters if the squatter:
is in a residential building as a trespasser and entered as a trespasser
knows – or ought to know – they are trespassing
(a) is living in the building
(b) or intends to live there – for any period.
Squatters are protected from threats and intimidation in the eviction process under The Protection from Eviction Act 1977.
It is therefore vital that householders / land owner seek good legal advice in any trespass claim involving squatters. You must make sure the trespassers are not evicted unlawfully because of harassment or intimidation. This still applies even if the owner of the property / land did not intentionally mean to harass or intimidate squatters in their home.
Damages for trespass may also involve a sum for nuisance caused by the trespasser.
Landlord Advice UK property can assist and advise you on making a claim in court for trespass – including assessing the value of any claim for damages and expert advice on taking legal action for trespass, including applying for injunctions and preventing trespass on commercial property.
Making a Claim for Trespass
Landlord Advice UK property eviction specialists can advise landowners or homeowners who are dealing with a situation involving trespass on their land or property to get in touch as soon as possible for advice on how to deal with the situation before it escalates.
Landlord Advice UK can advise on whether police involvement may be needed – or whether sending an initial pre-action letter detailing a claim for trespass might be the best way forward, especially if you have already tried to negotiate with trespassers on your property without success.
Landlord Advice UK can also advise on alternatives to legal action for trespass, including dispute resolution and mediation.
Landlord Advice UK fees are fixed for trespass, Landlord Advice UK clients know exactly how much they will be paying from the outset.
For expert free advice on urgent actions in Trespass, call Landlord Advice uk on 020 3903 2000
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