In cases where a tenant may be in a property unlawfully – as in the case of squatting – a homeowner or landlord will usually serve a Section 21 Notice or will go to court for a possession order if a Section 21 does not result in the tenant or squatter leaving.
Squatters’ rights can be a complicated matter – and may involve a wide range of circumstances, including ex-partners who remain in a property, tenants who stay beyond a tenancy agreement, as well as occupation of commercial property or empty homes in cases of homelessness, occupation as a form of political protest.
It is important to seek legal advice on your rights if you are facing allegations or charges involving squatting – in some cases there may be additional charges involved such as criminal damage, theft or even assault.
From 1 September 2012, squatting in a residential building became a criminal offence under Section 144 of the Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act.
Once a squatter has been asked to leave by a homeowner, legally they are obliged to do so under an earlier piece of legislation – Section 7 of the Criminal Law Act 1977. A squatter who refuses to leave a property once requested to do so by the owner potentially faces criminal charges.
Duncan Lewis criminal solicitors can advise at any stage of a charge involving squatting – even before a charge is brought, or if there is a possibility of arrest or police interview under caution.
Duncan Lewis crime lawyers understand that people become squatters for a wide range of reasons, including homelessness.
Duncan Lewis has successful departments covering Criminal law, Civil Liberties and Human Rights, Housing, Family and Immigration – all or any of which may also be relevant to a case involving squatting.
Our defence lawyers offer robust criminal defence services to those facing charges relating to squatting – and our in-house experts can also advise on any issues which may be relevant to the case, including homelessness and councils’ obligation to house.
The Duncan Lewis Crime Department is ranked in Legal 500 2014 for its General Crime and White Collar Fraud Work.
Duncan Lewis crime lawyers have acknowledged expertise in case building based on a sound knowledge of the criminal justice system – and the ability to assemble compelling evidence and documentation in cases involving squatting charges.
Duncan Lewis represents clients at Police Stations, Magistrates’ Courts, Crown Courts, and at Appeal Courts such as the Court of Appeal – and has highly experienced Higher Court Advocates with a background in conducting serious matters such as murder and rape.
Clients do not have to wait until they have been arrested to contact Duncan Lewis about any criminal charges – our team can advise from the initial stages of a police inquiry, or if it is likely a client may be arrested to face a criminal charge involving squatting and other charges such as theft, assault, nuisance, harassment or criminal damage.
Duncan Lewis crime lawyers can also advise on Civil Liberties matters such as wrongful arrest, false imprisonment and prisoners’ rights in custody – as well as advising on appeals against conviction or sentencing for squatting and other charges.
All Duncan Lewis criminal solicitors are highly trained and highly experienced – and are dedicated to offering the best criminal defence services to our clients at police stations, courts and prisons.
There are Duncan Lewis offices nationwide – including more than 20 offices across London and the southeast and in all major cities across England and Wales.
A member of the Duncan Lewis criminal defence team can usually reach a client at a police station or court within 45 minutes to offer expert legal advice on all criminal charges and for police interview under caution.
We aim for the best possible outcome for clients facing charges involving squatting – call Duncan Lewis any time on 020 7923 4020 for expert legal advice.
For 24/7 help at a police station in England and Wales, call the Duncan Lewis Emergency Hotline on 020 7275 2036.
Duncan Lewis is a leading provider of Legal Aid criminal defence services –Legal Aid is means tested and may only be available in certain circumstances.
Duncan Lewis can advise further on Legal Aid at the initial client meeting.
In cases where a client may not be eligible for Legal Aid, Duncan Lewis criminal solicitors offer competitively-priced fee levels for private client representation – with fixed fees and advance notice of any costs whenever possible.
In some criminal cases, after the event insurance may be an option and Duncan Lewis will advise on an appropriate level of insurance to cover the potential costs of defending a criminal case and to pay any costs imposed by the court.
Call Duncan Lewis Criminal Solicitors to discuss squatting charges on 020 7923 4020.