Squatters in East Sussex can be at risk of being arrested.
When you start living on a property in East Sussex without the owner's permission, it will be considered as Squatting.
If you're homeless, the squatting in Eastbourne, Bexhill, or Hastings isn't a long-term option for you.
It can not prove to be a long-standing option for homeless people as they are most likely to be evicted from East Sussex or arrested by police.
One is not regarded as a squatter when still staying on the property or land in East Sussex upon expiry of the leasehold or license.
If you are squatting in a residentially owned property in East Sussex, it is considered as a criminal offence.
Squatting can get you arrested and if convicted, you may:
Sent to prison in East Sussex for a maximum of six months
Having to pay a fine up to £5,000
However, you cannot be arrested as a squatter in East Sussex if:
Went to stay in the property in East Sussex after your tenancy or licence expired
Genuinely moved into a property in East Sussex thinking you were a tenant, but you were cheated by a bogus renting agent
Living on an unauthorized site in East Sussex as a traveller or gypsy
You can be removed as a squatter in East Sussex if:
The East Sussex police aren't interested in arresting anyone
The owner of the property in Hastings, Eastbourne, or Bexhill is not interested in involving the police
They are living in business premises in East Sussex
Locks can be changed by the owner in East Sussex while you were not in the property.
In case the squatter has declined to vacate the property in East Sussex, and is still inside, the landlord can obtain court order in East Sussex to vacate.
However, the usage of threats or being violent for evicting someone is not legalized.
The property owner must attach a copy of their possession claim to the front door of the house or post it through the letterbox at least five days before the court hearing in East Sussex.
The papers must bear defence form, place and court hearing date.
You have a right to contest the landowner's case if you are not squatting on the property in East Sussex.
Do this by applying to trial the defensive form and heading to court hearing in East Sussex.
In case you're indeed a squatter, you will be ordered to vacate the East Sussex property right away by the court in East Sussex.
If you refuse to move on the property owner will request bailiffs from the East Sussex court to remove you.
Squatters in Bexhill, Hastings, or Eastbourne are categorized as homeless since they don't have the right to be staying where they are.
If you seek assistance as a homeless person from your local council in East Sussex, you may likely be considered.
The East Sussex council will find alternative accommodation in East Sussex for you if homeless and single.
Specialist emergency services are also available in some areas in East Sussex to avoid rough sleeping.
The council in East Sussex can provide emergency housing to the people who are vulnerable, have children or are pregnant.
The council cannot provide you with an emergency residence or long-term housing if you are under immigration or residence restrictions, e.g. If you are an asylum seeker in Hastings, Eastbourne, or Bexhill and you have no rights on the public funds.
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