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Squatters and unauthorised occupants

Squatters and unauthorised occupants

The law in squatting is complex, and we cannot just ‘throw a person out’ who is squatting: there is a legal process that we must go through to repossess a property.  We regard a squatter as someone who occupies the property without obtaining the Council’s permission. 

If there are squatters in a Council property, we need to know about it so that we can start action to get them out, and then offer the property to a household on the waiting list.  A Court Order issued by the County Court is required to repossess a property from squatters. Once a ‘possession order’ is obtained a bailiff’s appointment will be requested and the squatters will be notified of the date of eviction.

If the squatter or occupant of the premises at any time makes representation or an application for re-housing, then they will be referred to the Council’s Housing Needs Team.

Unauthorised occupants

Unauthorised occupants are in the main ‘left behind’ in a tenancy following the departure of the tenant. The tenancy is still in existence although the tenant is no longer resident.

Unauthorised occupation covers a multitude of situations including unauthorised assignment / exchange, people staying on following death of tenant, residents who have no right to succeed, children remaining after the parents have moved.

Please let us know

The Council cannot be expected to know what is happening in all the properties that it owns and we greatly appreciate the information we receive from our tenants. If you believe that a Council property is being used by squatters or unauthorised occupiers, please contact us and let us know. We will be extremely grateful for the information and you do not need to give your name and address.