By David Farmer
Wilson Browne Solicitors
EMPTY commercial or business premises can be a very real worry for any landlord - and a very real risk.
It was estimated in February 2016 by Policy Exchange (a leading UK think tank and educational charity) that there are more than 500 hectares of empty or under-utilised industrial land across London which is equivalent to over 750 football pitches. It is likely to be a similar picture across much of the country.
A very real threat during this time is that empty commercial premises can become occupied by squatters. Highly organised and equally disruptive, they often move from one industrial unit to another, costing landlords time, money, and stress. There are even groups set up to advise squatters of their legal rights such as the Advisory Service For Squatters and inevitably, local police forces are stretched and often reluctant to get involved in removing them.
The only safe remedy is to take action in the civil courts, which for anyone not familiar or expert, is time consuming and potentially frustrating, adding increased legal costs, further loss of income and risking potential further damage to the premises.
Wilson Browne Solicitors are experts in the commercial property arena, having been awarded the title of Large Law firm of the Year by the Northamptonshire Law Society, as well as being shortlisted for two national Law Society awards. The firm is also recognised in the Legal 500 - a Who's Who of the legal world.
The firm offers an efficient, cost effective one-stop shop for landlords (and agents) that gives access to Chambers and High Court Enforcement Officers: this ensures the process is dealt with quickly and efficiently; that squatters are removed; and the premises secured to prevent re-entry.
Very recently a Possession Order from a county court was obtained in the morning; an application to be made to the High Court two hours later; and a Writ of Possession obtained, meaning that the squatters were evicted from the premises shortly afterwards by High Court enforcement officers.
Talk to David Farmer on 0800 088 6004. An initial discussion is free and without obligation.
David is an Associate in the Commercial Litigation team and member of the Property Litigation Association.