Trespassing is a form of nuisance and usually involves incursion onto another person’s property or land without permission or any right to use the land or property. Trespass may also involve adverse possession, where an individual acquires a right over land or property as a result of persistent use over time
Harding Mitchell can advise at any stage of a case involving trespass or unlawful or unlicensed occupation of land and property, including court action such as injunctions to prevent trespass and evictions.
What is Trespass?
Trespass is the wrong (known as a tort in legal terminology) of illegally entering another person’s property. In some cases, the act of entering the property may have been lawful if permission was given originally, but subsequentlbecomesme trespass if that permission ends or is withdrawn. The word trespass covers much more than people usually realise. All land in the UK belongs to someone. If you go on to land without the owner’s permission, you are trespassing unless there is some right of access for the public, or for you specifically (for example, if you have acquired a right to pass over the land to reach some land of your own). An example of this would be the person who has a ticket to attend a performance, enters the theatre and then, having caused a disturbance, refuses to leave the premises.
Trespassing is usually a civil wrong and dealt with accordingly. However, in England and Wales certain forms of trespassing, generally those which involve squatters, raves and hunt saboteurs are covered by criminal law. There are offences under the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 Sections 61 and 62 of trespassing on land and trespassing with vehicles
Neighbours and Trespassing
In most circumstances your neighbor should not go onto your land without your permission. However, in some situations your neighbor may need to access your land in order to make some repairs to their property. Their right to do this may be set out in the title deeds to your property. In England and Wales, the Access to Neighboring Land Act 1992 gives a landowner a right to apply to the county court for an order that they be given access to a neighbor’s garden/land to carry out ‘basic preservation works’. The right given by the Act has strict rules attached to it. Written notification must be given to the next door garden owner. This Act does not extend to Northern Ireland.
The first thing to do is to approach the neighbor and ask them to stop entering your land. The best and safest way of doing things is to put this request in writing and keep a copy of the correspondence for your records. If they continue to trespass on your property and they rent their property rather than own it, you could complain to their landlord (you can find out who the landlord is by contacting the Land Registry). This might have the effect of stopping the problem or lead to the eviction of the tenants. If no action is taken, you may be able to obtain an injunction against them by court action.
It is possible that a criminal offence has taken place, such as a breach of the peace or an assault. If this is the case, then you should call the police
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