Norfolk police claim trespasser is a tenant?

by Readers Question

9:04 AM, 25th February 2019
About 3 weeks ago

Norfolk police claim trespasser is a tenant?

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Norfolk police claim trespasser is a tenant?

Trespasser or Tenant? My local Norfolk police are stating a trespasser in my property is a tenant, because the trespasser claims an unknown party give them a tenancy. At the risk of getting a stupid answer, I will ask a stupid question.

Can a person with no legal rights to do so, give another person a legally valid tenancy?

My Norfolk police under advise from their legal services states the they can! Maybe someone can point me to legal documentation which states who can give a legal tenancy to a third party?

I know a owner/landlord and tenant can, I believe a licensee can’t. I didn’t think a sub-tenant could?  Can anyone point to a law or case law that proves one way or another?

My absent “legal tenant” has put in writing that he did not give his permission to anyone to occupy, (not that his contract allowed him) I didn’t give my permission to the new occupier.

My understanding is the new occupier was a legal trespasser when she believed she had a right to occupy, she made herself an illegal trespasser after she re-entered the property after she was aware (or else should have been aware) that she did not have permission to occupy.

The Norfolk police also stated that because the new occupier initially entered in good faith in the belief she had permission, she is entitled to re-enter even though she has proven (by her own report of fraud from a bogus landlord) the police knows she knows she do not have permission to be there, and they have quoted she IS entitled to the right of holding over that a legitimate returning tenant would have.

It’s not as if I have just left them to decide without my input, I have made multiple statements to guide them. It’s taken more than a month for two sergeants and their legal services and an inspector to get back with what I consider a result not even close to the 2012 law relating to squatters in residential property, of which I think I have a very good understanding of this well written short law.

I have made a last attempt direct to the inspector, to correct his sergeants. He propose to put my claims to a different legal service, he will make it a compliant. If it is allowed to get to the complaint stage if any legal minded sorts reading this fancy taking this up feel free to get in touch.

The implications if this goes unchallenged is that it makes an absolute mockery of this law which was derived to protect landlords and tenants alike from the nightmare of torment and costs that squatters cause.

Regards
kris



Comments

Ian Narbeth

10:30 AM, 25th February 2019
About 3 weeks ago

Hi Kris
I am not a specialist in criminal law but the relevant law is in section 14 Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012. Section 14(4) says: "For the purposes of this section the fact that a person derives title from a trespasser, or has the permission of a trespasser, does not prevent the person from being a trespasser."
There is also a principle of English law: "Nemo dat quod non habet" which means "Nobody gives what he does not have".
Unless the unnamed third party had a legal title or your or your tenant's authority he/she cannot give the occupier a tenancy. Print off a copy of your Land Registry title, the tenancy agreement and the correspondence with your tenant and send it to the police with a letter saying that you are the legal owner , that you have not given anyone other than the legal tenant permission to occupy nor have you authorised anyone to grant rights of occupation.
You should also write to the occupier stating that you are the owner and pointing out that they have no right to occupy and that they are committing a criminal offence.

terry sullivan

12:17 PM, 25th February 2019
About 3 weeks ago

hes a squatter?

Luke P

12:50 PM, 25th February 2019
About 3 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by terry sullivan at 25/02/2019 - 12:17
There is no longer a category of squatting in residential premises.

Ian Narbeth

13:42 PM, 25th February 2019
About 3 weeks ago

Luke P

13:44 PM, 25th February 2019
About 3 weeks ago

Current .gov.uk page...

"Squatting in residential buildings (like a house or flat) is illegal. It can lead to 6 months in prison, a £5,000 fine or both."

https://www.gov.uk/squatting-law

John Frith

16:41 PM, 25th February 2019
About 3 weeks ago

I'm not an expert.
The OP asks Trespasser or Tenant.
My understanding is that if someone / anyone gave her a contract, then she is a tenant and as such has the protection of the law as a tenant until it is proved in court that the tenancy was invalid. Sad, isn't it.

Same is true for an invalid sublet.

Ian Narbeth

16:57 PM, 25th February 2019
About 3 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by John Frith at 25/02/2019 - 16:41
John, that's not correct.
Unless the person who gave the occupier a contract was the OP or the OP's lawful tenant the occupier is a trespasser.

Your proposition leads to the outrageous situation that Squatter A could purport to grant a tenancy to Squatter B and vice versa and they would defeat the true owner. Please read section 14(4) of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 cited in my original post.

Chris Daniel

22:00 PM, 25th February 2019
About 3 weeks ago

Squatters, -
You would expect the Police to enquire with the last Tenant and if they are clearly saying they Did NOT give or sub let to that person, then they're simply a Squatter.
Otherwise, every squatter would just say, a bloke I just bumped into gave me this ( verbal ) tenancy !
If you have such proof from your last Tenant, then instruct the Sheriffs Office.

John Frith

0:03 AM, 28th February 2019
About 3 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Ian Narbeth at 25/02/2019 - 16:57Ian, I don't find your argument convincing. The document you're referencing is about how Legal Aid is provided, rather than anything specific about the law in this case.
You say that my interpretation would lead to a ludicrous situation, which I don't deny, but that doesn't make the interpretation wrong. Sometimes the law is an ass!
In fact the ludicrous situation also exists in the example I gave - of subletting. If a tenant who's contract forbids subletting without permission does, in fact, sublet without permission then the 1st landlord cannot evict the sub-letting tenant without going to court and proving the tenancy invalid. And if the law recognises the tenancy until it's proven invalid, then they can't be considered to be a squatter until that time.
PS again, I am not an expert.

John Frith

0:10 AM, 28th February 2019
About 3 weeks ago

Sorry about the poor formatting in my post. When I edit a post it loses all paragraphing.

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