Trespass—claims and defences
Trespass—claims and defences

The following Property Disputes practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Trespass—claims and defences
  • What is trespass?
  • Continuing trespass
  • Who can claim?
  • Owner
  • Tenant
  • Licensee
  • Defences

Coronavirus (COVID-19): During the current pandemic, legislation and changes to practice and procedure in the courts and tribunals have been introduced, which affect the following:

  1. proceedings for possession

  2. forfeiture of business leases on the grounds of non-payment of rent

  3. a landlord's right to exercise Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery (CRAR) and enforcement agents taking control of goods

  4. service of various notices to recover possession of residential properties

  5. practice and procedure in the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) and Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber)

  6. insolvency legislation of both a permanent and temporary nature

For further information and guidance, see: Coronavirus (COVID-19)—implications for property.

This Practice Note covers what trespass to land is, including trespass in relation to minerals and airspace, trespass by a tenant after expiry of a lease, continuing trespass, who can bring a claim, the necessary elements for actual possession and the possible defences to a claim of trespass.

What is trespass?

Trespass is the unlawful presence of a person on land or buildings in the possession of another, including:

  1. wrongfully setting foot on or riding or driving over it

  2. taking possession of it or expelling the person in possession

  3. unlawfully remaining after authority expires (eg a former tenant remaining in possession against the will of the owner is, apart from statutory protection, a trespasser from the date of determination of the tenancy. However, a tenant holding over is

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