Squatters can be easily evicted, charged, and arrested in Somerset.
When you start living on a property in Somerset without the owner's permission, it will be considered as Squatting.
In most cases, squatting comes in as the last choice for someone who is homeless in Yeovil, Taunton, or Bridgwater.
It's not a long-term alternative for homeless persons and you'll most like be removed from Somerset and probably arrested by the police.
You are not a squatter if you stayed on the property in Somerset after the end of license or tenancy.
Squatting in a residential property in Somerset is a criminal act.
If found guilty after an arrest, you must:
Prison in Somerset for up to 6 months
Fines up to £5,000
They will not arrest you in Somerset if you:
Remaining on the property in Somerset after the expiration of your license or tenancy
Entered the property in Somerset believing that you were a tenant - for instance, if you were rented by a bogus letting agent, they had no right to it
Living on an unauthorized site in Somerset as a traveller or gypsy
Squatters in Somerset may be removed if:
The Somerset police aren't interested in arresting anyone
The owner of the property in Bridgwater, Yeovil, or Taunton doesn't want the police to be involved
You live in business premises in Somerset
Locks can be changed by the owner in Somerset while you were not in the property.
The owner can get a court order in Somerset if you or another squatter refuse to leave the property in Somerset.
The owner cannot use violence against you or threaten you.
The owner must post a copy of their claim form through the letterbox or attach it to the front door at least 5 days before the court hearing in Somerset (or 2 days if you squat in a property that is commercial).
This must include a form for defence, and the date and other court hearing details.
If you are wrongly accused of squatting in Somerset, challenge the case by returning the defence form to the court.
You can challenge this by giving back the defence form and attending the court hearing in Somerset to provide your side to the story.
In case you're indeed a squatter, you will be ordered to vacate the Somerset property right away by the court in Somerset.
Failure to vacate, the owner must ask the court bailiffs in Somerset to remove you.
Squatters in Yeovil, Bridgwater, or Taunton are referred to as homeless due to the fact that you are living in a place you do not have the rights.
You can seek for assistance as a homeless person from your local council in Somerset.
The Somerset council should provide you with advice on how to find somewhere to stay in Somerset.
In some areas in Somerset, special services may provide emergency help as an alternative to sleeping rough.
The council in Somerset can provide emergency housing to the people who are vulnerable, have children or are pregnant.
You don't have access to such provision if you are affected by residences or immigration restrictions, such as people whose immigration status doesn't give them access to public funds and asylum seekers in Bridgwater, Taunton, or Yeovil are examples of people under such restrictions.
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