Dealing with unauthorised encampments on private land

We are sometimes asked for advice regarding the powers that we, the police or landowners have to remove people who have moved onto land without permission.

The following information is for guidance only and is not to be construed as legal advice. You are recommended to take your own legal advice.

Neither we, nor the police are under a duty to take any action on privately owned land. However, both have discretionary powers to do so although these powers are very seldom used.

Private landowners can seek a possession order from the County Court under Part 55 of the Civil Procedure Rules.

Under common law a private landowner has the right to remove trespassers from their land. The police must be notified prior to the common law eviction and called in to stand by to prevent a breach of the peace. If the police advise against this action it should be delayed until an agreed time.

 

When this content has been updated

Last updated 7 April 2017