What is Trespass?
Trespass to land is when someone enters onto another person’s land, without permission. Examples of trespass include walking on or across another person’s land without permission, placing objects on another person’s land without permission, for example fly tipping, or occupying another person’s land without permission, for example squatting.
Trespass is not a criminal offence but, in legal terminology, is referred to as a tort which means that it can be tried in the civil courts. If Trespass is proved, then there are a number of remedies available for example an injunction (to stop any further trespass in the future), damages (when there has been damage to land), or a claim to recover possession of your land (when someone has been occupying land, without permission).
Trespass can however also turn into a criminal offence if any party causes criminal damage, threatens to use violence, or does use violence. It is therefore very important to stay calm if faced with potential trespassers and to stop and think calmly about the best cause of action before doing anything.
What should I do if someone is trespassing on my land?
Calmly, and in a non-confrontational manner, you should ask the trespasser to leave and try explaining to the trespasser why you think that they are trespassing on your land. This will help them understand the reasons why you are asking them to stay off your land. If the trespasser has a vehicle, make a note of the make and model of the vehicle, as well as the registration number plate. You should also make a note of the date and time of the incident, and any further incidences if the trespassing continues. If the trespassing continues after you have asked them to stop, you should obtain legal advice.
It is very important that you do not take matters into your own hands to try and deal with the trespassers yourselves as this might lead to criminal prosecution against you.
If you have any concerns about trespassing and would like to speak to one of our Solicitors about it, then please give us a call on 01558 650381 and a member of staff will be happy to assist you with your enquiry.