We know from talking to our unoccupied property insurance clients that one of their main worries is that squatters might take over their empty house. If this happens it is essential to apply to the local court immediately for an Interim Possession Order. It should only take a few days to obtain and once it is served on the squatters they must leave within 24 hours. If they fail to do so they are committing a criminal offence and the police should be involved.
The idea of squatters’ rights comes from the fact that landlords cannot force their way in to their properties against the occupants’ wishes. It also refers to the fact that several years of squatting could give the occupier the opportunity to try to claim a possessory title to the land.