Unauthorised house occupants

Last Updated: 3 April 2024

Someone who is given access to a property by the tenant and continues to occupy the property after the tenant has left or died would be considered an unauthorised house occupant.

Examples of where this can occur include: 

  • occupants who do not have rights to a property following a death of a tenant
  • tenant who is sub-letting the property
  • the tenant has abandoned the property and other occupants remain

Landlords can seek private legal advice and take action against unauthorised occupants.


Squatting is when someone enters a property without the owners permission with the intention to live there.

The law refers to 'squatting' as 'trespassing' which means that court proceedings to get you out of the property can be taken against you at any time and without warning.

The property owner can get legal authority to evict you and repossess the property by issuing proceedings against persons named or unnamed. If you do not leave the property within 24 hours of the landlord getting an interim Possession Order, you will have committed a criminal offence.