Whilst Government guidance to local authorities is that they seek a court order to remove trespassers from land owned or managed by the local authority, private landowners have more choice. They can still go down the court route of obtaining an order for possession, then transferring it to the High Court to obtain a writ of possession that is enforced by High Court Enforcement Officers, or they can use the ancient remedy of Common Law as per the Halsbury’s Laws of England.
Halsbury’s Laws of England provides the only complete narrative statement of the law in England and Wales.
What is Halsbury’s Law on Trespass?
Every landowner has a right to remove trespassers from their land or property, under their ancient rights of Common Law found in Halsburys laws of England, Para 1400, volume 45 of Fourth edition. A person or group of people on land without the landowner’s permission is deemed to be a trespasser.
Authority: Halsbury’s Laws of England, Paragraph 1400, Volume 45, IVth Edition.
“If a trespasser peaceably enters or is on land, the person who is in or entitled to possession may request him to leave, and if he refuses to leave may remove him from the land using no more force than is reasonably necessary. This right is not ousted if the person entitled to possession has succeeded in an action at law for possession but chooses not to sue out his Writ. However, if a trespasser enters with force and violence, the person in possession may remove him without a previous request to depart. An owner of property is also entitled to take reasonable steps to prevent trespassers from entering his property. If the force or violence used in turning out a trespasser is excessive, the person who uses such force himself commits a trespass upon the person of the person removed. To justify the expulsion of a trespasser, the person who uses force must be in possession or acting under the authority of the person in possession. If a trespasser erects a building on the land of another, the person who is entitled to possession of the land may pull down the building, even though the trespasser is in it.”
The landlord must first ask the trespasser to leave his land. If he refuses, the landowner can then remove the trespassers “using no more force than is reasonably necessary”.
However, if the trespasser enters with force and violence, then the landowner can remove them without having previously asked them to leave. Whilst the landowner can conduct the eviction himself, in most cases the landowner or his agent will instruct a Certificated Bailiff to conduct the eviction.
The advantages of this are that the Certificated Bailiff will know the relevant law and procedure and will act within those laws. He will also know how to conduct a risk assessment and follow health and safety procedure before and during the eviction. Finally, he will have the necessary resources and manpower available to conduct the eviction.
Call us now on 01227 750 966 to speak to one of our experienced members of staff to find out how 24 Hour Bailiffs Limited can help you. Alternatively, please feel free to complete our enquiry form and one of our dedicated enforcement agents will contact you to discuss your matter further.