Interim Possession Order Or an IPO for short- from the Court is an option available to a landlord (both individually and commercially) who finds anybody occupying their premises without their consent.
Should an IPO be granted by the Court the squatters must leave the premises within 24 hours after being served a copy of the IPO, or they will be guilty of a criminal offence.
In order to apply to the Court for an IPO there are a number of requirements that need to be met. It is important to note that the procedure for an IPO does not apply to open land and the application needs to be made within 28 days of the date the landlord became aware of the unauthorised occupation.
The Court will urgently set the case for an interim hearing. The notice must be served on the squatters. If you meet the criteria an order will be made for an IPO.
Interim Possession Order
This order must be served on the squatters and it will tell them when they have to leave by (24 hours) and when they should attend the final possession hearing. Once this order is served the Squatters must leave the premises. If they are still there it will be a Criminal Offence which carries a 6-month prison sentence and or a £5000 fine.
At the final hearing the Judge may make a final Possession Order, dismiss the claim or provide directions. A lot will depend on the circumstances of the matter such as if the squatters are opposing the possession.
IPOs are a quicker method for the recovery of premises, with hearings being listed far quicker than normal possession proceedings (sometimes within a week).
In addition, once an IPO has been granted the landlord can instruct police or private bailiffs to remove the squatters if they have not vacated in accordance with the IPO.
NNE Law recently acted for a Local landlord who had issues with a number of unidentified squatters living in his property. As soon as he identified that the premises had been broken into by squatters, he contact our legal team. With the current Covid-19 pandemic we managed to get a IPO within 9 days. The final possession order was also dealt with swiftly in case the squatters decided to return. Returning to the same premises after an IPO has been executed is a criminal offence which carries a 6-month prison sentence and or a £5000 fine.