On Friday, The Sheriffs Office cleared a large squat in East London removing twenty adult squatters from a shop and four flats.
Acting on behalf of our client, who was recently bequeathed the premises as part of a legacy, we used a Writ of Possession to gain High Court approval to enter the building, by force if necessary, and take possession of the property by evicting the squatters who had been squatting for up to a year.
The premises were linked and had at one time been one large shop with living accommodation above in a parade of shops. Although the squatters had installed a CCTV system to warn them of possible eviction, the eviction team bypassed the cameras and surprised them in the early hours of the morning, clearing all of the properties simultaneously.
Supported by a police presence of eight officers, we had removed all but two of the squatters by 7:40 am. We also helped the squatters to remove all of their personal belongings. One female squatter tried to re-enter the premises and was restrained by a Police Officer while another refused to leave and had to be physically escorted from the premises. The premises were restored to their proper owners by 9 am that morning.
I’m delighted that the eviction went smoothly. The Police were supportive and, as usual, worked with our own enforcement officers in unison, assisting where necessary. Unlike other enforcement companies, The Sheriffs Office is very much in support of the proposed new laws to make squatting a criminal offence in England and Wales.