Battersea hosted a very fine afternoon of workshops and discussions on Sunday July 15th, despite having an interim possession order hearing due on the building. Great to see such a healthy turn out and well done to those who made it happen. 

Even better, we heard the news a few days later that the Battersea venue had seen off the IPO attempt at the local County Court. All made possible by The Advisory Service for Squatters’ intrepid volunteers who came up with a winning defence.

The Interim Possession Order, or IPO as it is commonly known, causes many a squatter’s heart to sink when they notice it in any court papers served. This is because if the judge grants the order there is a legal obligation on the squatters to leave the property within 24 hours. Any failure to comply could lead to legal sanctions involving immediate arrest, followed by possible fines and or imprisonment.

An IPO is a Possession order in the interim. There are always two court dates on papers for these orders. One for the IPO and one for the full possession order hearing. If the claimant win or lose the first hearing; the second or full possession order hearing always takes place anyway.

Because there are legal sanctions a much higher standard of evidence is required from a claimant using an IPO. This means they are actually quite hard to obtain. There seems to be many judges granting possession to claimants on straight up possession claims, even when there is compelling evidence from defendants that possession should not be granted. The reasoning being, ‘You are dirty squatters. Get out’. It is much harder for a judge to be that off hand when a criminal level of evidence is required

So don’t lose heart if you see the IPO among your court papers. Make a note of the time and day the papers were delivered and email, fax or take them by hand to ASS. Angel Alley 84b White chapel High St London E17 QX. 020 32160099 (phone), 020 032160098
(fax) advice@squatter.org.uk (email).

Hope to see you at the next Squattastic – watch this space!! 

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