Anyone occupying premises without permission.
A person is not a squatter if they have been granted permission to be there e.g. by a previous tenant.
So, you must find out whether the person has been given permission to stay at the property, before you take any further steps.
Where the former or incumbent tenant says they have given permission, such tenant remains liable to pay you rent for vacant possession as the property has not been returned to you. Should you accept rent from the person granted permission it could be argued as having granted a tenancy by conduct. Should that person offer you money you should issue a receipt stating received on behalf of the tenants; therefore such person is paying you on behalf of the tenant.
What legislation governs this area?
The Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994
You must immediately make an emergency application to the County Court and obtain what is called an Interim Possession Order. When the order is served and if the occupier does not leave within 24 hours, then you must get into contact with the local police as you will have the right to request that they access the property and throw the occupier out.
A final hearing follows 7 days from that date and with the Interim Order being confirmed, and then a Final Possession Order should be granted if the tenant is unable to present a valid defence.
Immigration Act revised 2016 should a landlord or letting agent fail to ensure ALL tenants/occupiers have a righto reside for the duration of the tenancy then they may be fined £3000 for each breach. The Secretary of State may instruct the landlord to remove such persons without the need of a court order by way of reasonable force
Labour market enforcement - restriction on illegal migrants to work. A labour market enforcement undertaking (an “LME undertaking”) is an undertaking by the person giving it (the “subject”) to comply with any prohibitions, restrictions and requirements set out in the undertaking
Under section 42 of the County Courts Act 1984 it is possible for the Court to transfer a matter from the County Court to the High Court for enforcement but leave (permission) of the Court is required first. The transfer time varies from court to court and can take up to 28 days, but normally takes far less. An application to seek permission can be made either at the time of making the possession claim or after possession has been ordered.