The authorities in Chelmsford can arrest or evict you if you're squatting.
This term squatting is used if someone enters and lives in a property in Chelmsford without having permission from the owner or tenant.
Usually when you are homeless in Battlesbridge, Chalk End, or Danbury, squatting is a last resort.
It can not prove to be a long-standing option for homeless people as they are most likely to be evicted from Chelmsford or arrested by police.
You are not considered a squatter if you still live on land or property in Essex once your tenancy or license has ended.
It is a criminal offence in Chelmsford to squat on a private property.
It will result in an arrest and if found guilty you will be:
Sentenced for 6 months in prison in Chelmsford
Be fined a maximum of £5,000
However, you won't be arrested in Essex if you are:
Remained in the rental property in Chelmsford after the end of your tenancy or license
You were cheated by a bogus renting agent while you genuinely moved into a property in Essex thinking you were a tenant
Are a Traveller residing on an unauthorised land in Chelmsford
As a Chelmsford squatter, you can be evicted if:
The Essex police feel there is no need for an arrest
The owner of the property in Danbury, Chalk End, or Battlesbridge does not feel the need to involve the police
You stay on a commercial property in Chelmsford
Locks can be changed by the owner in Chelmsford while you were not in the property.
If you're refusing to leave the Chelmsford property, the owner must get the Essex court order to carry out the eviction.
It is against the law to harass or threaten you.
The copy of possession claim form is posted through the letterbox or attached to the front door, which should be done by the property owner at least 5 days ahead of court hearing in Essex for squatting in residential property or 2 days earlier commercial building.
The forms must have a defence form and information about the venue and time of the court hearing.
In case you are not a unlawful tenant in Chelmsford, you may decide to challenge the property holder.
You must return the defence form to the court and attend the court hearing in Chelmsford.
But if you are a squatter, the Essex court will instantly require you to leave the premises in Chelmsford.
If you don't leave the property, the owner can ask the Essex court bailiffs to evict you.
If you are a Squatter in Battlesbridge, Chalk End, or Danbury, you are deemed to be homeless as you have no right to live in another person's property illegally.
Go to your local council in Chelmsford if you are homeless and ask for help.
If you are single and homeless, the council in Essex will give you advice about finding a place to live in Chelmsford.
There are certain areas in Essex with specialist services to provide emergency assistance to eliminate sleeping rough.
In some situation, the council in Chelmsford may need to give you emergency shelter if you are deemed as a priority case (pregnant, with children, or in danger).
The council does not have to offer emergency or long term housing if restrictions of residences or immigration apply to you, for instance if you are seeking asylum in Danbury, Chalk End, or Battlesbridge or your immigration status means you have 'no recourse to public funds'.
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