P.I.O. stands for PROTECTED INTENDING OCCUPIER (Sec. 7 of the 1977 Criminal Law Act
), someone who has a right to live in the premises and requires the premises to live in, and has the necessary certificate
. They can get you out without going to court.
A genuine P.I.O. is either a tenant or freehold owner of the premises. A tenant of a Council or Housing Association must have a certificate proving their status. A freehold owner, or tenant of a private landlord must have a statement signed before a justice of the peace or commissioner for oaths. All PIOs must be able to move in straight away.
A P.I.O. does not automatically mean that you will be evicted. There are various legal defences and arguments that can be used against P.I.O. proceedings.
At some point you will probably receive a summons
to appear in court. Always turn up to fight
, particularly if it is the new Interim Possession Order
hearing, which could result in having only 24 hours
to leave or face arrest
. The owners are supposed to show that they have a right to the place and you don't, and there are various ways of claiming that they haven't proved it, haven't gone through the procedures properly etc.