The paper, New Procedures to Combat Squatting in Houses, Shops and Other Buildings - A Consultation Paper on Proposed Rules and Forms, sets out the new procedures, draft rules and forms.
Subject to progress of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Bill the government intends to introduce the new changes in February 1995.
The Lord Chancellor proposes to allow a residential occupier to make written representations to a court on receiving a notice of intent to commence proceedings from the owner of the building.
New procedures adopted in the rules and forms include:
A person entitled to immediate possession of a building may apply to a county court for an interim possession order, provided that notice of intention to commence proceedings is given to the alleged squatter;
The judge hearing the application might either issue an interim possession order or, if not satisfied by the applicant, refer the case to existing summary possession procedures;
If an interim possession order were made, it would require the squatter to leave the premises within 24 hours;
However, an occupier with a right of occupation could apply to the court for the order to be set aside, provided he or she had obeyed the order and left the premises.
The procedures would not apply to the invasion of open land.