Contents

 

Trespassing:

– Definition of Trespassing
– Is Trespassing Actually Illegal?
– Trespass and Criminal Law
– Asking Trespassers to Leave
– Preventing Trespassing
– Help with Evicting Trespassers

Law:

– What is Common Law and How Can It Help?
– How Certified Enforcement Agents Can Assist You
– Do I Need to Inform The Police?
– Police Roles in Tackling Trespassers?
– Two Main Processes Available For Eviction
– Why Would Someone Wish to Avoid a Court Order?

Handling a Case:

– Specified Case Handlers
– What Happens When We Arrive on Your Site?
– How Events Are Recorded By Our Agents
– Threatening and Taking Court Action
– Does Trespass Result In Jail Time?

More Information:

– Other Forms of Trespassing
– Is Your Neighbour’s Behaviour Impacting On Your Quality of Life?
– Illegal Trading and Advertising
– Swift Land Clearance
– Removing Illegal Traders and Their Products
– Abandoned Vehicles on Private Land
– Remove Unwanted Vehicles Today
– What Else Do Collect My Debt Do?


The Ultimate Guide To Evicting Travellers

At Collect My Debt, we have vast experience to draw upon when it comes to evicting travellers from private land. The presence of travellers can be incredibly stressful, but we have the expertise and resources to put things right as quickly as possible, normally on the same day as you provide your instruction. If you want to learn more about the process of removing travellers from your land, read our complete guide right now.

Traveller Trespass Evictions

The definition of trespassing

To trespass is to illegally enter someone else’s property. Entering such property can be lawful when permission is given but becomes illegal once the permission is withdrawn. All UK land belongs to someone. Unless you have right of access, you are trespassing when you enter someone else’s land without permission. Many people assume because they are on public land they can enter it whenever they like. This is not the case. If someone stays in a public park after its closing time, they are trespassing. They will also be trespassing if they are instructed to leave due to unruly behaviour but refuse to do so.

The following statement appears in Halsburys Law of England; volume 45 (Fourth Edition),

“If a trespasser peacefully enters or is on land, the person who is entitled to possession may result him to leave, and if he refuses to leave, remove him from the land using no more force than is reasonably necessary”.


Is trespassing actually illegal?

Because trespassing is a civil wrong rather than a criminal offence, the police normally have no jurisdiction. However, common law entitles landowners to re-entry on their land. Ejecting trespassers can be very dangerous, and landlords could face tough penalties if they cause injuries to others in the process, which is why it is so important to hand over the task to highly-experienced professionals who are able to complete the challenge professionally and keep risk to a minimum. In many cases, occupiers exit land as soon as they are asked to do so, with problems arising in the rare instances that they refuse to vacate it.


Trespass and criminal law

Some forms of trespassing are covered by criminal law, and these can include squatting, attending illegal raves and attempts to sabotage hunts. The Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 was introduced to criminalise such activities. If you find a neighbour trespassing on your land, the first thing you should do is ask them to cease the activity. It’s often wise to also request they do this in writing if the problem persists. If they rent their property, you can complain to their landlord and may be able to get an injunction against them via the courts if they continue to enter your property without permission.


Asking trespassers to leave

In many cases, travellers leave sites as soon as notice is served on them. If the travellers do exit your premises when asked to do so, you will only need to pay the costs of attendance and the serving of the eviction notice. We are able to remove unwanted trespassers efficiently and quickly without solicitor instructions and court orders in many cases.


Preventing trespassing

There are many steps you can take to stop the act of trespassing occurring in the first place. These can include adding deterrents to your property like spikes or barbed wire, though you may be asked to take this down if your local authority deems it to be a danger to the public. You will also need to avoid blocking public rights of way. Any walls and fences you add to your property need to comply with the rules around planning, and if your wall borders on a public highway or footpath are higher than one meter you will need permission. You will need permission for any wall over two metres high, whether it borders a highway or footpath or not. If trespassing continues to be a problem, it’s a good idea to keep a record of incidents so you can use it as evidence in a dispute.


What to do if you need help with evicting trespassers

If you do need to instruct Collect My Debt to remove trespassers from your site, the first step to take is to give us a call or complete the form on our website. When you use our site to fill in the form, you will be asked to give information such as your site address, a site plan if you have one available and tell us about the type of premises travellers need to be removed from.

These can include open land, retail parks, warehouses, factories, shops, offices and more. We have regional offices in London, County Durham and Worcestershire but are able to serve clients across England and Wales. We also have Focused Area Support Teams in towns and cities such as London, Southampton, Bristol, Nottingham, Birmingham, Cardiff, Leeds, Liverpool and Manchester. You can find the telephone numbers for each FAST team on our website.


What is Common Law and how can it help?

The ancient remedy of Common Law provides private landlords with a range of choices when it comes to removing trespassers from private land. It is possible to obtain a possession order via the Court, which can then be passed to the High Court so a writ of possession can be secured. This writ can be enforced by a High Court Enforcement Officer. If trespassers refuse to vacate private land after being asked to do so, the landlord is permitted to remove them “using no more force than what is reasonably necessary”.


How Certified Enforcement Agents can assist you

It’s normally best and safer to use Certified Enforcement Agents to remove trespassers than to take action yourself. This is because experienced agents know the right procedures inside out and can conduct the eviction without breaking the law, complying with health and safety regulations in the process. They can also carry out thorough risk assessments prior to evictions taking place.


Do I need to inform the police?

In some cases, it is necessary for us to inform the police before a physical eviction takes place. The Department for Communities and Local Government (February 2004) advises that the police are called upon when evictions are required so a breach of the peace can be avoided. The police will assess the situation when they arrive on site and may decide the eviction should be delayed until an agreed time if it is not safe or appropriate to take immediate action. Those that ignore the advice given to them by the police could cause damage to property as well as injury.


What other roles do the police play in tackling trespassers?

When police attend incidents of trespassing, they do so as observers, though they can take action if criminal offences take place as events unfold. Though the police cannot normally assist with removing trespassers, they do have powers against sizeable groups of occupiers when damage to property occurs. Laws surrounding trespassing can be very complex and confusing, which is just one reason why it makes sense to call upon the professionals when someone is on your private land.


Two main processes available for eviction

We offer two processes to our clients when eviction action is required. In the first process, we serve a 24-hour self-help notice to clear your land, requesting that the trespassers leave prior to forceful action being taken against them. In the second process, we serve a 2-4 hour self-help eviction notice, remaining on site until the packing up the site is completed and the land cleared. It is not always possible to clear illegal and traveller encampments within four hours, and our agents may need to stay on site for up to 12 hours to complete the task, using tow trucks and other resources.


Why would someone wish to avoid a court order?

You can apply for a court order to remove the travellers, but this can be costly, and the whole process can last for up to 21 days. This is why so many landlords are reluctant to head down this route, knowing that costs could rise to a potential £5,500. We can act incredibly quickly, restoring harmony and clearing your site in a much shorter time frame at a much lower cost. If trespassers do not leave immediately and we need to use vehicles including tow trucks you will pay more, though the final figure will be considerably less than the cost attached to a court order. When you opt for a Common Law solution, you can spend substantially less time and money clearing trespassers from your property.


Specified case handlers

As soon as we receive instruction from you, we will assign your case to a suitable case handler who will remain your first point of call from start to end. You will be able to contact your case handler at any point, via the phone and email, in and out of normal office hours. Should field activity be necessary, your enforcement agent will keep the office updated in real-time.


What happens when we arrive on your site?

Once we arrive on site, we can compile a detailed report including in-depth information about the situation, how many trespassers and vehicles are on your property and the behaviour of the trespassers. The report will be sent out to you via e-mail, and updates will be provided in real-time. Chances are you’ll be eager to prevent the situation from happening again, which is why we offer valuable information and advice on stopping such an event re-occurring. Steps you may wish to take to prevent future trespassing can include investing in height restriction barriers and concrete bollards, purchasing 24-hour security services and reinforcing any gates to entrances.


How events are recorded by our agents

We always provide full detailed reports to our clients, whether we are evicting trespassers or carrying out any other kind of service. These detailed reports are normally provided on the same day the action was taken. Reports can include information such as the date and time of our agents’ arrival and departure, who they spoke to during their visit, the outcome of the instruction including information about payments, agreements, forfeitures, evictions and more.

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If payment is sought, we provide information about when the transfer took place as well as the method used. We always aim to ensure payment reaches your account on the same day or the next day if the transfer is made outside of normal banking hours. Our enforcement agents also take photographs when carrying out your instructions. These photographs can provide vital evidence of property damage, security issues and the behaviour of debtors and trespassers.

Your report may also contain information about recommendations made by our agents, which in eviction cases may include advice on enhancing your security measures to prevent future trespassing. We look at how the trespassers are behaving, their attitudes towards our agents and nearby tenants before passing the information onto you. We use our findings to decide what type of extra assistance will be needed and ensure our agents’ time on your site is well spent. We always recommend that landlords take action to enhance the security of their site as soon as they can, so trespassers cannot return.

We have provided high calibre eviction services for some of the UK’s most prominent landlords and managing agents in this area.


Threatening and taking court action

One last resort is to threaten court action against persistent trespassers. This may be enough of a deterrent to end the behaviour. If you need to follow through with such a threat, it’s wise to seek legal advice on the financial consequences of doing so. To prove trespassing has taken place, you must be able to show that someone has attempted to interfere with your right of possession. Trespassing can come in many forms and can include land or property being removed from your land, unwanted objects being placed on your land, remaining on land when permission is no longer granted and even invading the space above your land if actions prevent you from gaining full use of your land. If trespass is deemed to be trivial and you do take legal action, you may only receive minimal damages and could be refused an injunction.


Does trespass result in jail time?

Most people do not go to prison for trespassing, because it is normally a civil matter. However, landowners can still recover nominal damages after someone trespasses, and they can also claim their legal costs. People can face criminal prosecution if they damage property whilst they are on someone else’s land. Those that decide to sue for trespass face complicated legal processes. Trespass is defined in law as “any unjustifiable intrusion by a person upon the land in possession of another”. Private owner-occupiers can ask the police to instruct trespassers to leave if damage has been caused to the land, there are six or more vehicles on the land or if the trespasser has spoken to the occupier or their family with threatening and abusive language. Trespassers are committing an offence if they return to the land within three months, and the police may be able to seize their vehicles if they do come back.


Other forms of trespassing:

Squatting

Section 144 of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 effectively criminalised squatting, the act of trespassing in a residential property without permission. Those that are in a residential building as a trespasser and entered as one, intend to stay for a period of time and knows or should know they are trespassing are officially committing an offence under criminal law. When squatting takes place, the police can force entry and make arrests. Penalties can include jail terms of up to 51 weeks and fines up to level 5.

 

Accidental trespassing

Many people have unwittingly trespassed on private land without realising they have done so. After years of campaigning, the public are now able to explore more open countryside than ever before. However, this does not mean there aren’t any restrictions on roaming in open countryside. To qualify as open to the public, the countryside needs to be officially mapped as uncultivated mountain, heath, door, moor or common land. You will be trespassing if you head into domestic spaces, gardens and farmland. If you stray from a right of way into private land when roaming the countryside, you will be trespassing.

 

Boundary disputes

Home and landowners can also obtain injunctions against neighbours and trespassers when boundary disputes occur. The civil court may award damages if the trespass has resulted in a drop in your property’s value or if a property has been damaged by trespassers. Any damages that you do receive can include a sum for nuisance caused by trespassers. Many property owners have found themselves in disputes with their neighbours over where one piece of land ends and the other begins.


Is your neighbour’s behaviour impacting on your quality of life?

If your neighbour frequently disrespects boundaries, cutting across your property or building a fence on your land, you may need to take action against them. Other trespass-related issues faced by homeowners can include blocking roads and pathways to limit access to your property, dropping litter on your property or vandalising it. Common problems also including neighbours failing to maintain walls that border yours and not maintaining overgrown hedges and trees that are encroaching on your land. People who are embroiled in boundary disputes with their neighbours are advised to do all they can to resolve the situation before they are forced to take legal action, only involving lawyers and solicitors when absolutely necessary.


Illegal trading and advertising

We are also frequently enlisted to help people facing challenges with fly posters, illegal advertising and illegal trading. These are trespass-related issues that we have many years of experience in dealing with. We can come to your assistance if unauthorised traders are selling products on your land or outside your business premises, or if they have placed their own advertising on your premises. Some fly traders even break into empty retail units to sell goods illegally. If you sell similar services, your revenue could take a big hit due to unauthorised retailers offering products and goods at lower rates than yours. The main reason they can afford to sell their offerings for less is that they don’t pay overheads including rent, rates and insurance whilst trading illegally. Fly traders often set up shop on large areas of land, which are often used as car parks, garages and warehouses. Fly trading can have a devastating impact on your brand and reputation, and you could find yourself covering the costs of injuries if such traders sell their products on your property. This is because the traders normally have no liability insurance, which means the responsibility can fall on you.


Swift land clearance

We are able to provide a host of services to ensure your property and land is cleared, including serving legal notices and warnings, vacating the premises or land immediately, liaising with fly traders to instruct them to exit your property and not to return and providing you with in-depth advice on future prevention of trespass. If we feel the police need to be involved, we will contact them when serving a notice of eviction or are carrying out a physical eviction. The Department for Communities and Local Government (February 2004) advises that the police are present during evictions in order to prevent a breach of the peace. It’s never wise to ignore the advice of the police, as the eviction could result in injuries, assault and damage that you may be held responsible for.


Removing illegal traders and their products

At Collect My Debt, we can provide a quick resolution for problems with unwanted traders. We can safely remove traders and the materials that they are selling. You can instruct us today if you do need to remove unwanted traders from your property. When you choose us, we assign to you a specific case handler who you can even speak to outside of normal office hours if you need to. We are confident that we can provide the solution that you are looking for when people are trading on your premises illegally.


Abandoned vehicles on private land

Abandoned vehicles on private land are also a big problem for many of our customers. At Collect My Debt, we can provide a quick resolution if someone has left their vehicle on your property illegally. Abandoned vehicles can be a problem for many reasons – not only can they take up valuable parking spaces, they can look unsightly, block access and cause a nuisance. We have moved or helped to remove thousands of abandoned vehicles over the years and are able to serve all legal notices and warnings, provide a secure hand-over service, produce risk assessments of the operation to impound, liaise and gain support from the police, sell and dispose of cars.


Remove unwanted vehicles today

You can count on us to complete the process from start to end, with the utmost respect for the law as well as the safety of yourself and the public. You can get things moving right now by providing us with your instruction via our website. In many instances, police involvement is not required, but we will inform them if we deem it necessary to do so. Police are often informed when we are serving a notice of eviction or carrying out a removal. If the vehicles are on your land, you are legally responsible for them. This is why it is so important to follow the advice given by the police. If the vehicle is damaged whilst it is on your property, you could be held responsible for this.


What else do Collect My Debt do?

We are also experts when it comes to Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery under (CRAR), recovering business and non-consumer debts, taking back commercial premises under forfeiture of lease and tracing absconded people and companies. No client in England and Wales is ever too big or small for our team to provide a first-class service to. Each enforcement agent and clerical worker in our team has years of experience to draw upon and is noted for the efficiency and trustworthiness. We leave no stone unturned when it comes to getting the best possible outcome for our clients and are only happy when they are truly satisfied with the work that we have carried out.

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A professional approach

At Collect My Debt, we are noted for our calm, professional approach. Our customer base is home to a wide range of clients, and we are able to remain calm and collected even when faced with particularly aggressive forms of hostility. We have overseen a considerable number of same-day evictions and helped our clients avoid scores of costly, time-consuming possession orders. We are traveller and squatter eviction specialists and cover England and Wales in their entirety. Our team are fully up to date with the latest laws on traveller and squatter eviction and have recovered hundreds of millions of pounds on behalf of our clients. We are here to return what is rightfully yours to you and provide the valuable peace of mind that you are seeking. Our Certified Enforcement Agents have around 15 years of experience on average.

Outstanding feedback

Over the years, we have received glowing praise for our work on removing trespassers from private land. You can read many of the testimonials we have received on our website, where you can learn more about many of the difficult situations we have resolved over the years, including scenarios where travellers have locked themselves inside other people’s property using their own locks. We specialise in obtaining peaceful re-occupation of our clients’ sites and have been recommended to others by a substantial number of satisfied customers. Our Director has around a quarter of a century of enforcement industry experience and is a long-time holder of a Bailiff Certificate/ Enforcement Agent Certificate. We have recovered hundreds of millions of pounds not only for large PLC companies but smaller individuals too.

A wider range of services

We are here for you whether you need commercial rent arrears recovery (CRAR), business debt recovery, High Court enforcement, help with removing vehicles from private land, service charge and insurance arrears, protective controlled goods agreements, forfeiture of lease services, help with removing fly traders and advertising, residential rent arrears recovery, trace and collect services, traveller and squatter evictions and more. With decades of experience behind us, we can be counted to deliver the dependable, high-quality service that you are looking for, every time. No debt is ever too big or small for us, and we welcome you to contact us at any point if you need to give us an instruction or if you simply wish to learn more about the services that we provide before you go ahead and enlist our support.

Contact us

You can reach us today by giving us a call on 0800 612 5161, sending a fax to 0845 643 5162 or by sending an e-mail to info@collectmydebt.co.uk. Alternatively, you can complete the form on our website and we will respond as soon as we possibly can. We can also be found on a host of social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Pinterest and LinkedIn. We offer a wide range of trespass-related services and remain fully committed to returning to you what is rightfully yours. We have some of the best results in the industry when it comes to debt collection, evictions and resolving disputes. What’s more is that we are able to recover many debts other agencies claim cannot be recovered, always complying fully with the FCA’s Treating Customers Fairly principles. Our approach is ethical, honest and human, with each of our agents being noted for their calm, determined and highly professional manner. Why not talk to us today to find out more about our trespass and traveller eviction services?

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