In July, new laws were enacted to deal with unauthorised encampments, or in other words, people “residing on land without permission”. In his latest article, Jonothan Moss, principal lawyer in B P Collins’ dispute resolution practice provides an overview of the new laws and warns that they do not cover ramblers or rough sleepers.

The whole intention behind reviewing and strengthening the law was to make it, in theory, easier for landowners to be able to move on an unauthorised encampment. The police now have, in limited circumstances, the power to arrest and also serve notice upon the encampment and to move on the encampment when it may or have caused damage, disruption or distress.

What is going to be key is the time and resources the police will give to the new laws to allow for the proper protection of landowners. In the past, when a landowner has reported an encampment, in many cases, the police have incorrectly said they could not help and that it was a civil matter. That advice was wrong and it is even more erroneous now, given the new powers available.

Any landowners who are faced with an unauthorised encampment on their land should contact B P Collins to obtain speedy legal advice. For every hour an encampment is in situ, businesses can lose a huge amount of revenue, not to mention the additional clear up costs once the encampment has moved away. Time is of the essence and our guidance is simple – get the best advice at the earliest possible time.

To contact Jonothan Moss, please email, or call 01753 889995.

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Jonothan Moss
Principal Lawyer

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