Squatters can be evicted and easily arrested in Southend-on-Sea.
The term squatting means occupying land or property in Southend-on-Sea without the consent of the tenant or the owner.
Squatting is usually the last resort in Rochford, Rayleigh, or Canvey Island when you are homeless.
If you're poor, it's not a long-term solution as you're almost certainly going to be evicted from the Southend-on-Sea property and charged.
If you have continued to live in the property in Essex after your lease ended, you are not a squatter.
Squatting in a residential property in Southend-on-Sea is considered a criminal offence.
You may be arrested and if you are convicted, you could:
Go to jail in Southend-on-Sea for about 6 months
Be fined a maximum of £5,000
However, you won't be arrested in Essex if you are:
Stayed on the property in Southend-on-Sea following the end of your tenancy or license
You were deceived by a bogus letting agent into believing that you are a tenant of the Essex premises
You are a traveller or nomad living on unauthorised land in Southend-on-Sea
Eviction of squatters in Southend-on-Sea is possible if:
The Essex police are not ready to carry out an arrest
The owner in Canvey Island, Rochford, or Rayleigh does not report to the police
You are staying in a commercial property in Southend-on-Sea
The Southend-on-Sea property owner may change the locks to the squatter's room(s) while the latter is away.
The owner can get a court order in Essex if you or another squatter refuse to leave the property in Southend-on-Sea.
The owner cannot use violence against you or threaten you.
The property owner must give a copy of possession claim papers either through the letterbox or post it on the squatter's door at least five days prior to the court proceedings in Essex or two days for those living in a commercial building.
The information provided must include a defence form as well as giving the knowledge of the place and time of the hearing.
You can challenge the case to confirm you are not a squatter in Southend-on-Sea.
Do this by going to the court hearing in Southend-on-Sea on the date specified and return the defence forms to the court.
The Essex court will usually order you to immediately vacate the premises in Southend-on-Sea if you are a squatter.
Failure to vacate, the owner must ask the court bailiffs in Essex to remove you.
Squatters in Rayleigh, Rochford, or Canvey Island are generally regarded as homeless people since they do not have any right to stay at the place which belongs o you.
If you are a squatter, apply to the local council in Southend-on-Sea to receive help as homeless individual.
If you are homeless and unmarried, the Essex council would advise you on how to find a place to live in Southend-on-Sea.
You may also receive emergency help from specialist services in some areas in Essex rather than sleeping outside.
If you have children or if you are pregnant, the council in Southend-on-Sea will provide you with emergency housing as well and the same applies to the vulnerable.
But if you are under immigration or residency restrictions, for instance, you are seeking asylum in Canvey Island, Rochford, or Rayleigh or immigration status is showing that you don't have any access to public funds then Council is not bound to provide you with emergency or long-term housing solution.
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