Having squatters on a property is something that every landowner dreads. Managing a vast property and its tenants is difficult enough; contending with trespassers and squatters is an additional headache. Landowners would naturally want to make the most of their property and rent them to paying tenants or develop their land for commercial purposes, after all. The presence of unauthorised traveller caravans hinders these plans.
For this reason, many landowners are apprehensive about squatters in commercial spaces like parking lots and vacant lots.
A Landowner’s Responsibility
Traveller caravans normally stay in place for a short period only, choosing instead to move from one campsite to another. Sometimes, though, authorised campsites are too far away, and travellers have to set-up camp in privately-owned land. If they overstay their welcome, landowners have the right to evict them from the property.
This is the ‘landowner’s responsibility’, the right of the owner to initiate dialogue or action to get squatters off his or her property. Landowners may also file a civil eviction procedure under Part 55: Possession Claims.
The Unorthodox Method: Welcoming Traveller Caravans
Confronting and removing travellers with hostility and force could be dangerous. MS Webb & Co., an established bailiff and consultancy company in Surrey, agrees. Although a swift eviction is desirable, handling the situation with sensitivity is also important.
Therefore, it’s best to be diplomatic and civil when dealing with squatters. In many cases, speaking with a caravan produces good results: they would only stay long enough to prepare for the next leg of their journey. Landowners and travellers just need to work out between themselves how long one party is welcome on the property of the other.
By Way of Court or through Personal Initiative?
If diplomacy and personal initiatives don’t work, however, and travellers begin to show signs that they intend to stay as long-term squatters, landowners can file for Possession Claims or hire a bailiff and security consultancy firm for assistance. Either process can produce the same outcome, only a bailiff company will take most of the work off the landowners’ hands.