29 May 2024 by Michelle Footer

Gordon Ramsay files for possession against squatters


Earlier this year a group of squatters occupied a Grade II listed York & Albany hotel and gastropub near Regent’s Park.

The freehold of this property was owned by director Gary Love who later leased it to Gordon Ramsay on a 25-year term with an annual rent of £640,000.

In 2015, Gordon Ramsay had attempted to free himself from the obligations of the lease in a legal action at the High Court. This attempt was ultimately unsuccessful. The hotel and gastropub was then put on sale at the end of 2023. The guide price for the property is currently £13 million.

Unfortunately, the hotel and gastropub was occupied by a group of at least six squatters who had intended to use the space as a community art café. The squatters had boarded up the windows and doors and posted a legal warning  at the front door threatening legal action to anyone who attempted to forcibly remove them. The squatters claim that there is at least one person in continuous occupation.

High Court Claim

The squatters claimed a right to occupy on the grounds that the hotel and gastropub is a commercial premise and the 2012 legislation (section 144 of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012) only banned squatting of residential buildings but not commercial buildings.

Gordon Ramsay filed a claim for “trespass” in the High Court seeking “accelerated possession to reclaim control of the property”. The High Court subsequently granted an order for possession of the premises and, it was recently reported that, the squatters have agreed to leave.


Commercial premises are particularly vulnerable to squatters. The law on obtaining vacant possession of commercial premises can be complex and specific.

Landlords can either bring an action for possession via the County Court or the High Court. If the Court is satisfied that possession should be granted, the Court will grant a possession order and provide a timeframe for when possession will need to be granted.

If the squatters do not give the Landlord vacant possession, then the Landlord will have to make an application to the Court for bailiffs to evict the squatters.

If you discover squatters or trespassers in your premises, the Real Estate Dispute Resolution team at Bolt Burdon have a wealth of experience in this area and would be pleased to assist you in obtaining vacant possession.

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