How to remove squatters

Finding that squatters have illegally occupied your vacant commercial unit, or business premise can be challenging. The law considers squatting a civil matter, although court-ordered evictions are legally enforceable, and non-compliance is a criminal offence.
Squatters, also known as trespassers, are individuals who intentionally enter a property without permission with the intention to reside or occupy it. It is possible that your tenant may have allowed unauthorised individuals into the property, or the squatters may have gained access themselves while the property was unoccupied, vacant, or inadequately secured. It is important to note that squatting in commercial property is not considered a criminal offence. To remove squatters from commercial property, you will need to take legal action and seek a court order.
A landlord, whether individual or commercial, has the option to apply for an Interim Possession Order (IPO) from the Court when unauthorised occupants are found occupying their premises without consent. If the Court grants an IPO, the squatters are legally required to vacate the premises within 24 hours of being served a copy of the IPO. Failure to comply with the IPO constitutes a criminal offence.

Before applying for an Interim Possession Order (IPO), it is important to fulfill specific legal requirements. The occupied premises must meet certain criteria, including being a building or a part of a building (such as a self-contained flat) or land directly associated with the building. Additionally, you must demonstrate to the court that you have an immediate right to possession of the premises and that this right has been continuously in effect throughout the period of illegal occupation. It is crucial to initiate the claim within 28 days of becoming aware of the occupation of the premises. 

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