Traveller Encampment Eviction Law

Traveller Encampment Eviction Law

At Quality Bailiffs one of the most common questions we get asked is; how do we remove travellers from private land?

In this article we are going to get down to the nitty gritty and explain the relevant parts of the law that can be applied to removing travellers from private land.

Giving Notice to Trespassers

To give notice to trespassers we serve a common law notice that has been correctly drafted telling the travellers to leave. We use a body camera to film this so there is a record of the service.

At this stage we also carry out a health and safety risk assessment in accordance with health and safety law.

Then it is a waiting game for the notice period to end.

If the travellers have not left by the end of the notice period we are able to advise you which of the following points of law it would be best to invoke.

Legal Options

Common Law Power

The common law rights of landowners, allows a Bailiff to be instructed to take vacant possession of the land. There is no requirement for a court order. The Bailiffs are allowed to use only minimal force. There is no penalty to the travellers if they return to the land after they have left.

This can be carried out by a Certificated Enforcement Agent.

Part 55 Civil Procedures Rules in County Court

This section of law is used by the landowner. You normally need to engage the services of a solicitor and therefore you are likely to incur legal costs. It can take 10 to 14 days minimally for this eviction to come to a successful conclusion. Again there is no penalty if the travellers return to the land.

The traveller eviction is usually enforced by county court bailiffs, or High Court Enforcement Officer.

Part 55 Civil Procedures Rules Emergency High Court Order

Again this section of the law is used by the landowner. This is a quicker method of eviction, (taking 3-4 days) however you will need to consider the legal costs as you need to hire a solicitor for the high court. An eviction using this section of law needs to fit a very tight set of circumstances and you will need to have collected evidence to back up your case. There is no penalty to the travellers should they return to your land.

The traveller eviction is usually enforced by a High Court Enforcement Officer.

Sections 77-78 Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994

This section of law can only be used by a local authority for removal of unauthorised encampments. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the local authority has to own the land though. The land just has to be within the local authority’s area. There are criminal sanctions that can be imposed on the travellers if they return to the site within 3 months. You would only need to involve the courts if the travellers do not leave as directed.

This type of eviction is carried out by Certificated Enforcement Agents.

Sections 61-62 Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994

This is the type of eviction that is used by the police. They can use it to evict travellers from any land except the highway. There must be at least two people that need to be evicted. The police can remove both identified people and/or their vehicles from the land. There is no need for a court order to enforce this section of law.

Use a bona fide enforcement agency

Before you instruct your chosen Enforcement Agent Company, make sure your using a bona fide enforcement agency.

If you are using a reputable Enforcement Agent Company they will carry at least £5,000,000 worth of Public Liability insurance as well as professional indemnity insurance.

Of course we all realise this can be a dangerous and confrontational job. With this mind a reputable company will carry employer’s liability insurance because if the bailiffs are under their control as sub-contractors or employees, we believe it should be a requirement.

They should also be a member of a recognised trade association like CEAA or CIVEA.

We can help

Quality Bailiffs has over 25 years of experience in completing fast traveller eviction.

If you need the eviction of an unauthorised encampment then contact Quality Bailiffs.

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