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Squatters and unauthorised occupants

This page gives details about squatters and unauthorised occupants in council properties.


A squatter is someone who occupies the property without getting permission from the owner or the person legally entitled to be occupying it. The Housing Section only deal with squatters in council properties.

When one of our properties is vacant it is usually because it is undergoing repairs before offering it to someone from our housing waiting list. We aim to let our properties within 14 days, however this can be longer if there are major repairs to be done.

If you become aware of squatters in a property that you know should be vacant we would be grateful if you could contact us so that we can commence legal action to remove them.

Unauthorised occupants

Unauthorised occupants are people 'left behind' in a tenancy when the tenant leaves. The tenancy is still in existence although the tenant is no longer resident.

If an unauthorised person is occupying a tenancy without the permission of the Council, we need to find out where the tenant is and whether they have given permission to the person to be there.

If the unauthorised occupant is occupying the property with the permission of the tenant, then it will be necessary to establish the reason for this and whether permission should have been or can be granted; if not it may be necessary to consider legal action to repossess the tenancy.

If the unauthorised occupant is occupying the tenancy without the tenant's permission then legal action will be taken to repossess the property.

We are committed to making sure that only people who are supposed to be living in our properties are living there. It is not possible for us to know what is happening in all our properties so we need your help to stop the abuse of the system.

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