On a day to day basis we are evicting
Tenants who have been made the subject of a Possession Order – usually in the County Court
Travelers who refuse to leave sites where they have set up unauthorized encampments
Squatters who have set up refuge in disused commercial premises or just ordinary homes
Protesters who have set up camps and come together to voice their protest
The most frequent eviction instruction we receive is a county court order for possession that gives permission to transfer the judgment to the High Court for enforcement. A claimant will have to persuade a District Judge to use his or her discretion to make the order allowing for the transfer. Often this will be based on the claimant’s need to have the property returned to them as quickly as possible, so they can re-let, or re-develop the property.
Once the county court order is made, permission has to be obtained from the High Court for a Writ of Possession to be issued. This step offers a breathing space to a person or family who are about to be evicted. They can at least start to pack up their belongings and plan for alternative accommodation. This leaflet from Shelter offers a plan for a person in this situation (see https://bit.ly/2QUpehP).
People with nomadic lifestyles can end up in possession proceedings, where they have set up an unauthorized encampment and the landowner wants to move them on. Whilst the police have their own powers to give the same result, they too are under pressure to deliver within the timescale needed by the landowner and so High Court Enforcement Officers are a parallel service.
Some landowners prefer not to go to Court to get an Order for Possession against travelers – and so using common law powers, High Court Enforcement Officers swap out to “agents of the landowner” and using their presence and negotiation skills encourage the travelers to leave. This is a far less intense and expensive way to manage the problem of unauthorized traveler sites and possession can be achieved without hours or planned for a specific date.
This type of trespasser falls under the same sort of approach as travelers and can be evicted under common law from commercial premises such as warehouses, offices, railway arches, community centers and schools. If the property has a residential element such as a pub with a flat upstairs, we don’t recommend using common law eviction. We prefer to work under the authority of a Writ of Possession, so we cannot be accused of wrongful eviction and nor can our client!
Protest situations are much less common, but they offer interesting projects which have to be solved in the civil, rather than the criminal arena. The police are heavily involved with these projects, but it the Authorized High Court Enforcement Officer, whose name is the on the Writ of Possession that ultimately carries the responsibility for the enforcement of the Order, and the safety of everyone on the site. Protesters are well known for putting themselves and others in jeopardy by building tree-houses, tunnels, and other structures such as tripods, where they prevent easy access and slow up the eviction process.
Occasionally a Compulsory Purchase Order will be issued by a local authority or other government agency. Over the years we have carried out some ground-breaking evictions relating to the building of the Olympic Village in Stratford, London, and road clearance projects such as a the M11 Link Road and the Bexhill-Hastings Link Road. Each project has its own risk assessment and method statement and requires intense planning and preparation by all the stakeholder agencies.
Using our considerable risk assessment experience, we offer advice and support to all our clients to achieve a safe and satisfactory outcome for all the parties involved. Our experienced Business Solutions Advisors will be able to answer your queries and help you plan out your project in greater detail. For significant projects, our Authorized High Court Enforcement Officer, Mrs Claire Sandbrook, will ask to be included in the discussion to ensure she is satisfied that the safety and risk assessment has been carried out in line with insurance requirements. To use Shergroup Enforcement to enforce your next possession instruction you can either:
· email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your specific request
· call us on 0845 890 9200 and talk to us about your timetable and what you require