Every day across the UK commercial landlords exercise their right to instruct their bailiff to peacefully re-enter their property and gain possession. This can be for:
Once forfeiture is complete the possession and occupation of the property should revert back to the landlord until a new lease is assigned.
However over the last 12 months we have noticed a 25% increase in cases where the former tenants break back into the property; securing peaceable re-entry themselves.
On some occasions the Police will treat this as a criminal offence; “breaking and entering or criminal damage”.
However we are now finding more instances where the Police are saying this is a civil matter and refusing to get involved, especially if no one is there to witness this act.
If the Police will not get involved then then the landlord is faced with a civil trespass against their property.
The landlord could get a court order for possession which is both expensive and will not be quick.
The alternative solution would be to again instruct their bailiff to take peaceable possession of the property, and this time secure it from further forced re-entry.
The bailiff can do this peaceable possession either against the property or against the person. In practice the bailiff will use peaceable entry against the person.
If you have this situation where a tenant has re-entered the property and the Police decline to deal with it as a criminal matter then instruct Enforcement Bailiffs to carry out a peaceable entry against the person.
The bailiff attends when there is no person present to object to the bailiff taking possession. The bailiff breaks in and changes the locks.
The bailiff will be accompanied by a security company to put a security officer/s into the property to stop any unauthorised people from entering the property.
The security officers should remain in place for the first 24/48 hours, as this seems to take the heat out of the situation.
If the tenant attempts to break in again they will be arrested for aggravated trespass.
Although the occupation by security is generally short-term the tenant does not know how long the occupation is going to last. This discourages them from trying.
The tenant is usually then forced to negotiate with the landlord; or to at least calm down and review their options.
If the situation does not improve this gives the landlord time to arrange other security measures, such as shutters or alarms.
Quality Bailiffs has over twenty five years of experience in property repossession, commercial and residential.
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