As authorised High Court Enforcement Officers (HCEO), The Sheriffs Office regularly conducts squatter evictions throughout England and Wales. These evictions take place under the authority of a High Court writ of possession using our HCEOs. Our Enforcement Officers are supported by our experienced national eviction team which are on call 7 days a week. This team includes specialists in entry, access to height, tunnels, lock-ons and post eviction manned/electronic security and boarding.
Once squatters have been successfully removed and possession is given back to the rightful owner it is this post eviction security that is paramount. We would always advise our clients to keep a security team in place to guard the property and prevent squatters from re-entering, be they the same people as before or a new group. This is especially important in the 48 hours immediately after eviction as this is the most common time for re-entry to be attempted. The Sheriffs Office can provide this ongoing security if required.
If, for whatever reason, squatters do re-enter the premises, the best method of removing them, assuming they were evicted in the first place using a writ of possession, is via a writ of restitution.
Unfortunately once the original writ of possession is signed off it cannot be re-executed.
In these circumstances a ‘writ of restitution’ can be obtained and thankfully the process is quite fast and straightforward. In effect, the writ of restitution is a writ to support another writ of execution. Once it has been issued by the Master (the High Court Enforcement Officer will normally take care of arranging this), then it is executed in the same way as was the original writ of possession.
It doesn’t matter if the new squatters are a different group of people to those originally evicted under the original writ, or even if quite a long time period has elapsed between the two illegal occupations.
Clearly, the key to preventing all of this is the post eviction security.