How should lenders, landlords and LPA receivers deal with squatters?
The process of dealing with squatters is one of the most complex areas of UK law and anyone who is a property owner really needs to know the lay of the land in this regard.
This is particularly true for LPA receivers if they encounter squatters during a case involving property insolvency.
In May 2012, the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act introduced a new criminal offence which centred on the idea of squatting in a residential building.
It was a landmark move in the government’s attempt to deal with squatters and was welcomed by receivers and landlords alike.
How have things changed for receivers and landlords?
Before the introduction of the act, the process of attempting to remove squatters was potentially frustrating. Civil possession proceedings in the County Court were the only legal route which receivers could take, a process which was as expensive as it was complicated.
The criminalisation of squatters has altered the process of lpa receivership, giving receivers and landlords the power back in a situation which can often be notably complicated.
The speed of the process is less certain under the new legislation though. Landlords and receivers will have to abide by the system in place which may involve using the services of the police.
Although it may be preferable to the situation before the act came into force, it is also likely to take longer overall.
Any case which involves squatters represents a particular challenge for receivers. Contacting the insolvency specialists such as Moorfields can assist business leaders, financial directors and stakeholders to deliver pro-active solutions for their business, as well as advice on how to adapt to the ever-changing economic landscape.
This could be particularly useful given how uncertain the immediate future could be for companies across the UK in 2013.