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Ever wondered what would happen if you bought a bank repossessed house, but the previous owners refused to move out? Scorpion Legal Protection shares advice on what needs to be considered when taking the eviction route.
One thing to bear in mind as the buyer of a bank-repossessed house is that it is not the typical willing buyer/willing seller scenario. Those who have had their homes repossessed (and thus become ‘unlawful occupiers’) are always reluctant to move out of the property, causing huge problems for the person who has subsequently bought the property. In addition to the fact that the new owner can’t take possession of their new home, bond payments and other utility bills still have to be paid.
What needs to be remembered is that even though the law doesn’t allow people to unlawfully occupy the property, it also does not allow homeowners to take the law into their own hands by attempting to forcefully evict unlawful occupants.
The law prohibits homeowners from tuning off the lights or water, removing any part of the property, or utilising any illegal services to forcefully remove the unlawful occupant from the premises. Should the homeowner make the decision to take the law into his/her own hands, the courts will allow the unlawful occupier to move back into the property, forcing the owner to take the required legal steps and thus incurring more costs in the process.
It is vital for the homeowner to follow the correct steps when applying for an eviction order. The first thing to be considered by the owner would be to appoint an attorney who is knowledgeable on the eviction process.
The duration of the process differs depending on a number of factors, but an unopposed eviction should take roughly 8-12 weeks, depending on the court.
Should the lawful homeowner be successful in court, the sheriff of the court will be the one to perform the eviction.
Worried that this could be your problem? Scorpion has a specialist Property Department whose expert lawyers know how to deal with these kinds of matters. Interested in joining Scorpion? Click here.
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* This is only basic legal advice and cannot be relied on solely. The information is correct at the time of being sent to publishing.
Date added: 13 April 2023
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