incredible but true!
Christmas came early for alleged
trespassers in the case of Benesco Charity Ltd v Kanj
decided in December 2011. A possession claim was
issued against the trespassers and they filed a defence supported
by a witness statement, in which they claimed they had a tenancy or
a sub-tenancy. The Judge granted a possession order at
the first hearing, but the defendants appealed. The High Court
allowed their appeal on the basis that a peson is entitled to trial
of their defence and the content of the witness statement should
not be rejected at a summary stage "unless the evidence is
what this means for social landlords
Usually, cases against trespassers
(sometimes called squatters) can, on the face of it, appear to be
very straightforward. This judgment appears to suggest that
a trespasser can use a witness statement to try and establish
rights and that statement will not be rejected at the first
hearing if it contains a point "which is at least arguable".
This seems to hand the defendants a legitimate delaying tactic
which could mean trespasser cases head for lengthy and costly
trials rather than being dealt with at the first hearing.
If you have a potential trespasser
case, contact us for help in building up your evidence to try and
ensure these cases are dealt with speedily and cost