LEGAL NOTICE – S144 LASPO 2012
What follows are examples of what people should be using to write a statement explaining why the new law does not cover where you live. Cut and paste to make sense.
Read through it carefully and be sure you can explain what you are saying. If you need help contact ASS.
Remove anything which is not relevant.
If things go wrong and you do get arrested, this should also be the basis for any statement made in interview. You do not have to say anything and should wait till you have spoken with a solicitor who understands the law (not a duty solicitor). Even then, we would not advise saying anything more than this.
The occupiers of this property are not committing any crime under Section 144 Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012, and there are no grounds for any police officer to suspect that an offence is being committed.
This is because the law states;
(1) A person commits an offence if—
(a) the person is in a residential building as a trespasser having entered it as a trespasser,
(b) the person knows or ought to know that he or she is a trespasser, and
(c) the person is living in the building or intends to live there for any period.
(2) The offence is not committed by a person holding over after the end of a lease or licence (even if the person leaves and re-enters the building).
This does not apply in these circumstances because:
A) This is not residential. It is in fact …………. (a pub / an office …….) Section 6 Criminal Law Act 1977 applies and it would be a criminal offence to force entry against the wishes of the occupiers.
Any parts of the building which might be residential are not being lived in.
P38 of the consultation on the new law stated “the Government will not seek to criminalise squatting in non-residential buildings, such as disused factories, warehouses or pubs” so these should clearly be excluded.
MoJ guidance states “a trespasser who modifies a non-residential building by placing his bedding and personal effects in it would not be committing this offence because the building had not been adapted before the point he or she entered it.”
B) The occupiers are not trespassers. They have a licence / tenancy from …………….
This is / not in writing. There are notes of the negotiations between the occupiers and the owner / agent / tenant.
The agreement is with the person with an immediate right to possession of the property (i.e. the tenant / ….) and might not be known of by the owner. It is still a legal tenancy / licence).
That person’s tenancy has not been legally determined. If it has been determined the current occupiers are sub-tenants holding over, or have become directly tenants of the head landlord.
The landlord should go to court to gain possession of the property, and the police have no lawful authority to intervene.
C) The occupiers are not living in the property, nor intending to live in the property. The property is used for other purposes only. All of the occupiers live elsewhere. Section 6 Criminal Law Act 1977 applies and it would be a criminal offence to force entry against the wishes of the occupiers.
C#) The occupiers are not living in the property, nor intending to live in the property. The property is used for other purposes only. The occupiers are living in their own tents on land behind the building, and so not in the building.
Therefore the provisions of S144 Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 do not apply and do not give any authority to the police or anyone else to force entry.
Section 6 Criminal Law Act 1977 applies and it would be a criminal offence to force entry against the wishes of the occupiers
/ Protection from Eviction Act 1977 applies / Article 8 Human Rights Act is engaged.
Act is engaged.