Landowners can legally evict gipsies and travellers without a court order. However, if there is damage to a traveller’s property, they can report the landowner to the police. For a landowner, these are the things you have to avoid.
There are several methods of evicting travellers from a private land. Landowners can obtain an order of possession, a writ of possession or use a remedy in common law. An advantage of using common law is that court action is unnecessary and you can carry out the eviction within 48 hours.
What are your powers under common law?
Under the common law, landowners can evict gipsies and travellers using reasonable force. Enforcement agents instructed by the landowners normally carry these out. An enforcement agent must provide a written notice to the travellers giving them 24 hours to vacate the area.
Should the travellers fail to leave within the given period, enforcement agents can make use of removal vehicles to remove the travellers and their personal items in the land. The eviction process under common law is fast, and it has a lower amount of damage to the land and property.
What are your powers under the Writ of Possession?
A landowner must first obtain an Order of Possession before a Writ of Possession. A Writ of Possession is enforced by an HCEO or a High Court Enforcement Officer; local authorities and private landowners can utilise this.
The landowner must first ask the travellers to leave the land. If they refuse, the landowner can invoke a claim of possession in the County Court. There will be an issued claim form and a hearing date.
If the travellers do not file a defence or leave the land by the hearing date, the eviction order will be granted resulting in a regaining of possession of the land using an HCEO.
What if the travellers are ignoring me?
If the travellers are ignoring you, you can speak to other members of the community. Keep in mind that these families may experience a lot of intolerance and racism. They may be cautious at first. However, if you feel like negotiations aren’t going anywhere, you can seek the help of the court.
Can I let them stay if there are no caused disturbances or damages?
Some landowners disregard the idea of evicting travellers from a private land as long as there are no troubles. Some are even open to their culture because of their contribution to trade life.
In the summer, the chance of gipsies and travellers to inhabit a private land increases. Knowing the different methods of eviction can help you minimise damages and costs.