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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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My question concerns how to recover possession of a house from

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My question concerns how to recover possession of a house from people occupying it. I had better explain the situation in some detail I am afraid!
A while ago, friends of mine allowed their adult daughter, her husband and their young children to go and live in their house while my friends effectively "moved into" living accommodation situated above the shop where they work and which they own. No rent has ever been paid, requested or expected. There was never any intention to create a tenancy. There has been nothing in writing at all about the arrangement at all.
The daughter and her husband do actually own a house of their own, but they have let this out to tenants, so they have been receiving rent from their tenants while having the benefit of living rent-free in my friend's house! (They are as you may gather inveterate spongers and have been taking my friends for a ride for years!)
The initial intention was that this would be a very temporary arrangement for a year or so, butt hat period has now stretched to four years and they show no signs of being willing to go. Whenever my friends have broached the subject they have met with a hostile response. It looks as though they are not planning to leave.
I understand that if my friends terminate their permission at this stage for the daughter and her family to live in the house that would now make them "trespassers". However since they initially took up occupation by invitation and not as trespassers, it seems they are not "squatters" within the definition of the Legal Aid, Sentencing & Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 so there is no help to be had there.
The main point in my friends' favour seems to be that since no rent has ever been paid, requested or expected, the occupers are "excluded" under Section 3A (7) of the Protection from Eviction Act 1977 (as amended by Secion 31 of the Housing Act 1988) and therefore in theory the occupiers can be evicted without the dismal prospect of having to go through the courts.
My question however is, how exactly could this lawfully be achieved? Is there some recognised and approved way of doing it without resorting to the law courts?
I am particularly conscious of the need for my friends not to fall foul of the criminal provisions of Section 6 of the Ciminal Law Act (using violence to obtain entry). My friends would never use violence against the occupiers themselves, but I believe that "violence" in this legislation may also extend to include violence against property, so that if the occupiers should change the locks for example this would mean my friends are unable to effect entry withut either forcing a lock or breaking a window - and could then find themselves charged with an offence under Secition 6 !
It would appear incidentally that my friends would be unable to claim the status of "displaced residential occupiers" under that Act since once again in order for that to apply the requirement under section 12 (3) is for the occupiers to have taken possession initially as trespassers, which as I have explained was not the case here.
I would be grateful for your advice how my friends can go about recovering their house without falling foul of the law.
when they first took up occupation but did so by invitation, it appears they cannot be considered "squatters" for the purposes of the criminal provisions of the Legal Aid, Sentencing & Punishment of Offenders Act
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.Is there any written agreement please?Alex
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No, nothing was ever put in writing. My friends being trusting and perhaps rather naïve never thought this would be necessary or that any such problem would arise
OK, you need to write and ask them to quit or say you will get a Court order. If that does not work then you need to apply for possession of the property. You can do this by completing form n5: N119: Court will list the matter down and decide whether to give you possession. When the Court does and if they refuse to leave, then and only then can they be evicted.You MUST get a Court order for them to be evicted by a bailiff.Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?Alex
Ash and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No, I think that's clear. Many thanks for your prompt and valuable assistance.