Squatting, without a doubt, can lead to an eviction and arrest in Southampton.
If you enter someone's property in Southampton and live there without their consent and permission, you are squatting.
Squatting is often a last resort kind of thing for people who are homeless in Hillyfields, Eling, or Marchwood.
For the homeless, it is not a long-term alternative as you will be evicted from the Southampton premises and most probably an arrest.
Your cannot be considered a squatter if you still live on a property or land in Hampshire at the end of your tenancy.
It is considered a criminal offence in Southampton to be squatting in a residential building.
You can be arrested and if convicted can be:
Sent to jail in Southampton for up to 6 months
Get a fine of £5000 maximum
You are exempted from an arrest in Hampshire in case you:
Stayed on in the house in Southampton after your tenancy ended
Gained access to the Hampshire property lawfully believing you were a tenant - for instance, if a rogue letting agent rented you a property they had no right to
You are a traveller or gypsy encamping on an unauthorised site in Southampton
As a squatter in Southampton, you can easily be expelled if:
The police refuse to make any arrests in Hampshire
The owner of the property in Hillyfields, Eling, or Marchwood doesn't want the police to be involved
You are living in commercial premises in Southampton
And the property owner in Southampton may change the locks when you are not around.
When you or any other squatter continue to remain on the property in Southampton against the landowner's wishes, a Hampshire court order will be gotten.
Harassment and threats of violence are against the law.
The owner must send a copy of their possession claim documents via the letterbox or attach it to the front door at least 5 days to the court hearing in Hampshire (or 2 days for squatters in commercial sites).
The forms must have a defence form and information about the venue and time of the court hearing.
You can challenge the case to confirm you are not a squatter in Southampton.
You can challenge this by giving back the defence form and attending the court hearing in Southampton to provide your side to the story.
If you are a squatter, you will be ordered by the court in Hampshire to leave the land in Southampton on the earliest basis.
Failure to vacate, the owner must ask the court bailiffs in Hampshire to remove you.
Squatters in Hillyfields, Marchwood, or Eling are classed as homeless as they have no where to stay.
So, as a homeless individual, you can ask their local Council for help in Southampton.
If you are homeless and unmarried, the Hampshire council would advise you on how to find a place to live in Southampton.
Those who are priority can also get emergency housing from the council in Hampshire as opposed to sleeping rough.
If you at risk, for instance if you have young children, or are pregnant, the Southampton council may make emergency housing provisions for you.
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 Hillyfields, Eling, or Marchwood or your immigration status means you have 'no recourse to public funds'.
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