Travellers setting up unauthorised camps on private land can cause problems for your business. It is inconvenient and disruptive for employees and customers when travellers arrive on disused land or business car parks. Acting quickly to evict travellers from your land is the key to minimising the damage they cause and the cost to your business.
I have travellers on my property
Talking to the traveller families is often the first step, but only if you feel it is safe and appropriate. Tell them that it is private property, ask what they are doing and how long they’re staying. Use your own judgement and, if you feel unsafe or intimidated by the group, don’t put yourself at risk.
Do I have to go to court to evict travellers?
It’s often presumed that you require a court order to take back possession of your land. However, this is not the case and, in many instances, travellers can be removed on the same day.
Instructing a bailiff to remove travellers
Private landowners, under Common Law, can evict travellers and regain possession of their land. This doesn’t require any court action and can be enforced by a Certified Enforcement Agent (bailiff).,
A bailiff will typically visit the site on the same day and serve an eviction notice on the travellers. They will speak to the group and encourage them to leave before the end of the notice period.
Bailiffs will attend again where they have not left by the next day (or sooner if necessary) and use a tow trick to evict the travellers.
Can travellers be evicted the same day?
Unauthorised encampments can, in some cases, be served with notice and evicted on the same day. This is beneficial for sites that are open to the public, such as pub and restaurant car parks, where the encampment would be disruptive to the business.
Bailiffs visit the site with tow trucks, post notices of eviction and give reasonable time to move. This is typically two hours, but can be as little as one.
Do police evict travellers?
Trespass is a civil, rather than a criminal, matter. The police tend to only be involved in cases of public disorder or where a criminal offence occurs.
When bailiffs attend to evict travellers who refuse to leave they will wait for police attendance in order to prevent a breach of the peace.