A warrant for possession can only be executed once

I have recently been told that the Sheriff views a warrant for possession as capable of being exercised only once, after which the warrant goes stale.

This is probably correct in principal because any continuing trespass is broken by the Sheriff giving possession to the land owner, and a new cause of action accrues against the trespasser when he or she breaks back into the property.

However, this creates a problem for a land owner who has a warrant for possession executed against a trespasser who then breaks back in.  It means the land owner would need to make a fresh application to court for a new order and a new warrant, with all the associated costs, delay and frustration.

Consequently, land owners seeking to have a warrant executed against a trespasser should be vigilant in securing the property after the warrant has been executed.

About Sam Hopper

Sam is a property and insolvency barrister.

View all posts by Sam Hopper


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2 Comments on “A warrant for possession can only be executed once”

  1. Ralph Manno Says:

    Sam, instead of issuing a fresh warrant, wouldn’t you call the police?


    • Sam Hopper Says:


      Thanks for the comment. I don’t know whether the police have a policy in this, but, in my experience, they tend not to get involved in trespass matters. I have been briefed in cases where the police were willing to speak to a trespasser, but I do not know of any cases where they have actually evicted them.



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