LASPO, The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 made squatting a criminal offence if the squatter is in a residential property as a trespasser, having entered it as a trespasser.
This change in the law made it much easier to evict squatters from residential property, and came as a great relief to many home owners who in the past had great difficulty in removing squatters from their homes.
But LASPO does not apply when the person has entered a property by invitation. That is the situation that our client found themselves in.
How do they evict a friend they allowed to stay in their property when they had over-stayed their welcome?
Recently we had a lady on the telephone who had allowed someone (a friend) to stay in her residential property until the property was sold. It was an informal arrangement to help out her friend who temporarily had no place to stay.
As the person was a friend there was no agreement or contract. It was a good will arrangement.
However when the property was sold the person refused to leave. This meant our client was unable to exchange contracts on the property for the sale.
Legal advice had been given that if peaceable re-entry can be gained by a bailiff then the lady could have her property back as this is a tenancy that sits outside The Protection from Eviction Act 1977.
After the ‘tenant’ had been served suitable notice our bailiffs effected a peaceful re-entry, changed the locks and took possession of the property for the lady.
Enforcement Bailiffs Ltd has over twenty five years experience in property repossession, residential and commercial.
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