As lockdown is slowly lifted, we have seen an increasing number of instructions coming through for removal of travellers. When you have travellers on your land there are two options available. Travellers can either be removed under a writ of possession or under common law, also known as Halsbury’s.
The advantages of common law or Halsbury’s
- Common law eviction is much quicker: there is no need to fill out court paperwork or to pay court fees
- We would usually give 24 hours for the trespassers to move on, and then after this period has passed, we would proceed with an eviction
The advantages of a writ of possession
- Police can be called upon to assist with the execution of a writ of possession; they cannot stop it due to concerns of a breach of the peace
- No notice needs to be given if there is a writ of possession
What else needs to be considered?
Are there livestock present? If there are animals on your land, you will need to factor in their removal from the land as well.
If the land is not secured properly then you will also run the risk of further traveller encampments. This risk can be mitigated by implementing measures to secure land appropriately, we have written this article about different measures you can take to do this.
Any eviction will need pre-planning, and this includes a thorough risk assessment, and with the current additional silent threat of Covid-19, ensuring that the appropriate protective equipment is used by the enforcement agents you’ve instructed.
At The Sheriffs Office, we ensure that all our enforcement agents are provided with and use appropriate protective equipment. All of our enforcement agents have been fully trained on to how to proceed with traveller evictions and we are following the guidance set out by out the HCEOA which can be viewed here.
David is an authorised High Court Enforcement Officer and our Director of Corporate Governance