What changes in the legal position between trespassing occupiers claiming squatters rights who have been in occupation for less than 28 days and those who have for more than 28 days?

How do the respective processes that a landlord must go through to evict them from the land differ?

  • 2
    Could you clarify where the 28 day limit comes from? Oct 30, 2022 at 9:40
  • Conversation with someone who was discussing their case but wasn't so knowledgeable on terminology but I mentioned if it was an IPO and they said it was well past an IPO because they'd been in occupation for over 28 days so it was a "regular" PO. Oct 30, 2022 at 9:54

1 Answer 1


What changes after 28 days is that you cannot apply for an interim possession order. You would start with rules of civil procedure, part 55.21, which says:

(1) An application for an IPO may be made where the following conditions are satisfied –

(a) the only claim made is a possession claim against trespassers for the recovery of premises;

(b) the claimant –

(i) has an immediate right to possession of the premises; and

(ii) has had such a right throughout the period of alleged unlawful occupation; and

(c) the claim is made within 28 days of the date on which the claimant first knew, or ought reasonably to have known, that the defendant (or any of the defendants), was in occupation.

(2) An application for an IPO may not be made against a defendant who entered or remained on the premises with the consent of a person who, at the time consent was given, had an immediate right to possession of the premises.

Accordingly, you can apply for an IPO under UK law if you do so subject to these conditions, one of which is the 28 day time limit. Fill in this form, sent it to the local court, they'll confirm and send you some documents which you give to the squatter (48 hour timeframe), etc. then they can be arrested if they don't go away (for at least a year). Otherwise, you file a "claim for possession". This page will start you on your quest to discover what that involves – money, court hearing, and time.

  • Yes, but precisely what is so puzzling, and interesting, about this whole question is that the possession action process page you links to seems to deal with possession actions that are for ending shorthold tenancies under sections 8 & 21 of the housing act. Do squatters essentially become non paying tenants after 28 days? Is it really the same process to evict them as for actual tenants? Oct 30, 2022 at 18:08

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