Remove squatters from commercial property

In 2012, a law was introduced to protect residential property owners by criminalising the act of squatting in a residential building. However, this does not protect commercial property owners, unlike residential squatting; owners of non-residential property can only involve the police if there are clear signs of criminal damage.

Owners of commercial property will have to rely on civil remedies to remove the squatters. A civil case can be a long and potentially confusing process, therefore it is important to seek advice from legal experts at the earliest opportunity. Speak to our team on 0203 816 9303.

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Civil routes to remove squatters

The following civil routes are available to you if you become subject to commercial squatting on your premises:

Summary Possession Order

  • Here a claim is issued in the local county court
  • The squatters must be given 2 days between service of the claim and the hearing date
  • The court will make a possession order requiring the squatters to give up possession of the property immediately


  • Clear procedure and affords protection to the property owner against any claim of improper eviction by squatters
  • It can be possible to rely on the Possession Order at a later date without having to re-issue proceedings
  • Applications can be made to expedite process if justified

Interim Possession Order

  • The procedure for obtaining an IPO involves an initial hearing in which the court will make the IPO.
  • Once served the squatters will have 24 hours to leave the property, and if they fail to do so, they are then committing a criminal offence and may be arrested by the police.
  • A hearing for a Final Possession Order will normally be held within 7 days of the IPO being granted. A final hearing is usually unnecessary as the squatters vacate after service of the IPO, however it is sensible to attend the hearing to obtain the final order.


  • Normally faster that a Summary Possession Order, especially in areas with high volumes of commercial squatting (i.e. London)
  • Once obtained it is enforceable by police

Stephensons can allocate their specialists to each individual matter and recommend which civil route would be the most beneficial for your own individual cases.

Stephensons are a results focused firm and we strive to provide the client with highest standard of work possible, whilst maintaining the integrity of our clients. We aim to help each client as quickly and professionally as possible, if you would like to speak to a member of the team in relation to removing squatters from commercial premises call us on 0203 816 9303.


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