Contact us whenever you need it!

+1 855 997 0206

Contact hours: Mon-Fri 8am - 10pm ET

Poverty advocates have recently championed squatters' rights as a "legal" way for the poor to obtain ownership of property. In California, for example, community organizer Steven DeCaprio successfully advocates for those experiencing homelessness under the state's adverse possession legislation. He started Land Action to assist squatters in legally taking possession of homes.

The principle of adverse possession allows squatters to gain legal ownership of property without paying. This becomes valid if the possession is personal, exclusive, visible, and continuous for a set time, and the genuine owner does not remove the person within a legally established time frame.

While the law does not differentiate between intentional and unintentional harmful possession, squatters may face civil and criminal penalties under the law. When removal is not an option, property owners can reclaim custody of their property by:

  • Notifying the authorities
  • Issuing a written eviction notice
  • Filing an eviction case
  • Removing the squatter's property

The longer a squatter lives in your land, the more difficult it might be to evict them. If you delay, your property may legally become the squatter's property. Here is more about how to get rid of squatters.

How to Evict Squatters

A squatter is an unauthorized occupant of a property who has invaded the premises without permission. Even those unfortunate people who have been misled by a scam artist and signed a forged lease agreement are subject to eviction.

The American Apartment Owners Association (AAOA) advises on how to evict an unauthorized tenant, and these are the legal options you have for dealing with the eviction:

Notify the Authorities

When you discover a squatter on your property, call the cops right away. If you have to evict a squatter, the official police report will show the court that you tried in good faith to convince the person to leave within the law.

Issue a Written Eviction

An eviction notice ("unlawful detainer" action) is the initial step in the eviction process in some states. Although you might try to serve the notice yourself, engage a real estate eviction attorney who will use a process server to issue a legal eviction notice.

Filing an Eviction Case

You can file an eviction case if the unlawful occupant refuses to leave after receiving a formal eviction notice. Many cities offer real estate attorneys who specialize in home evictions for a set charge that does not include court costs like filing fees.

Following the eviction procedure and the court's decision, law enforcement, such as the local sheriff, is the way to remove settlers from your property officially.


Get Your Eviction Notice

Remove Squatter's Property

Before removing any belongings left behind by the squatter, most jurisdictions require the landlord to give written notice. If the illegal resident has left your property and is difficult to locate, the court may allow you to post the notice on the premises.

Squatters' Rights in Each State

Because landlord-tenant and similar legislation are decided at the state rather than the federal level, eviction procedures may differ. Even when dealing with squatters, processes can vary from state to state. Each state has enacted legislation to safeguard property owners from adverse possession.

The AAOA has an excellent guide to squatter rights by state. In 33 states, a squatter can gain legal ownership of real property by living on the property and treating it as their own for less than 20 years (frequently 10-15 years) while fulfilling the following conditions:

  • Open and notorious possession without deception or misrepresentation to the public
  • Other parties may not share the property
  • Adverse or hostile claim to the genuine owner's interest
  • Continuous occupation over the state's statutory time

Some states require possession for as little as seven years, while 16 others demand occupancy for over twenty years. In some areas, having a deed or paying taxes on the property might shorten the time to establish possession.

What Not to Do When Evicting Squatters

Squatters have the same broad standards for evicting a nonpaying tenant. Here is what you cannot do:

  • Use padlocks on the doors or change the locks.
  • Render the property uninhabitable by turning off the utilities.
  • Intimidate the squatter.
  • Attempt to expel the squatter independently.

How Long Does it Take to Evict Squatters?

Evicting squatters can take days, months, or even years in rare circumstances. However, the

legal eviction process typically takes 4-5 weeks, depending on what's involved.

Protecting Your Property from Squatters

Take the following precautions to safeguard vacant rental units:

  1. Keep physical evidence of your ownership, such as signs, fences, and gates. When

permitting someone to use your property, formalize the conditions with a legal agreement that reveals your ownership and the terms they can use or occupy the property.

  1. Recognize that casual use, such as allowing a neighbor to cross your property for convenience or a length of time, may be grounds for an adverse possession claim.

  2. Inspect your property regularly to detect squatters.

  3. Pay your property taxes on time and check local records.

You Can Reclaim Your Property from Squatters

The concept of someone illegally accessing your property and gaining possession of it may seem unimaginable, but property owners should know it can happen.

Squatters frequently assert tenants' rights by claiming they have paid rentals, have a documented lease agreement (usually fake), or have established an oral agreement with the owner to substitute rent payments for property improvements.

Such accusations impede removal and complicate judicial proceedings. Make no assumptions about squatters or legal options. Squatters' rights can be invoked for various reasons, including estate disputes and a lingering tenant from earlier rental property agreements.

As a result, all landlords must be acquainted with squatters' rights and processes. It's equally a good idea to check with an attorney if you have any queries about these laws. You never expect to deal with a squatter, but you'll be grateful to have a professional on your side if you do.

Poverty advocates have recently championed squatters' rights as a "legal" way for the poor to obtain ownership of property. In California, for example, community organizer Steven DeCaprio successfully advocates for those experiencing homelessness under the state's adverse possession legislation. He started Land Action to assist squatters in legally taking possession of homes.

The principle of adverse possession allows squatters to gain legal ownership of property without paying. This becomes valid if the possession is personal, exclusive, visible, and continuous for a set time, and the genuine owner does not remove the person within a legally established time frame.

While the law does not differentiate between intentional and unintentional harmful possession, squatters may face civil and criminal penalties under the law. When removal is not an option, property owners can reclaim custody of their property by:

  • Notifying the authorities
  • Issuing a written eviction notice
  • Filing an eviction case
  • Removing the squatter's property

The longer a squatter lives in your land, the more difficult it might be to evict them. If you delay, your property may legally become the squatter's property. Here is more about how to get rid of squatters.

How to Evict Squatters

A squatter is an unauthorized occupant of a property who has invaded the premises without permission. Even those unfortunate people who have been misled by a scam artist and signed a forged lease agreement are subject to eviction.

The American Apartment Owners Association (AAOA) advises on how to evict an unauthorized tenant, and these are the legal options you have for dealing with the eviction:

Notify the Authorities

When you discover a squatter on your property, call the cops right away. If you have to evict a squatter, the official police report will show the court that you tried in good faith to convince the person to leave within the law.

Issue a Written Eviction

An eviction notice ("unlawful detainer" action) is the initial step in the eviction process in some states. Although you might try to serve the notice yourself, engage a real estate eviction attorney who will use a process server to issue a legal eviction notice.

Filing an Eviction Case

You can file an eviction case if the unlawful occupant refuses to leave after receiving a formal eviction notice. Many cities offer real estate attorneys who specialize in home evictions for a set charge that does not include court costs like filing fees.

Following the eviction procedure and the court's decision, law enforcement, such as the local sheriff, is the way to remove settlers from your property officially.


Get Your Eviction Notice

Remove Squatter's Property

Before removing any belongings left behind by the squatter, most jurisdictions require the landlord to give written notice. If the illegal resident has left your property and is difficult to locate, the court may allow you to post the notice on the premises.

Squatters' Rights in Each State

Because landlord-tenant and similar legislation are decided at the state rather than the federal level, eviction procedures may differ. Even when dealing with squatters, processes can vary from state to state. Each state has enacted legislation to safeguard property owners from adverse possession.

The AAOA has an excellent guide to squatter rights by state. In 33 states, a squatter can gain legal ownership of real property by living on the property and treating it as their own for less than 20 years (frequently 10-15 years) while fulfilling the following conditions:

  • Open and notorious possession without deception or misrepresentation to the public
  • Other parties may not share the property
  • Adverse or hostile claim to the genuine owner's interest
  • Continuous occupation over the state's statutory time

Some states require possession for as little as seven years, while 16 others demand occupancy for over twenty years. In some areas, having a deed or paying taxes on the property might shorten the time to establish possession.

What Not to Do When Evicting Squatters

Squatters have the same broad standards for evicting a nonpaying tenant. Here is what you cannot do:

  • Use padlocks on the doors or change the locks.
  • Render the property uninhabitable by turning off the utilities.
  • Intimidate the squatter.
  • Attempt to expel the squatter independently.

How Long Does it Take to Evict Squatters?

Evicting squatters can take days, months, or even years in rare circumstances. However, the

legal eviction process typically takes 4-5 weeks, depending on what's involved.

Protecting Your Property from Squatters

Take the following precautions to safeguard vacant rental units:

  1. Keep physical evidence of your ownership, such as signs, fences, and gates. When

permitting someone to use your property, formalize the conditions with a legal agreement that reveals your ownership and the terms they can use or occupy the property.

  1. Recognize that casual use, such as allowing a neighbor to cross your property for convenience or a length of time, may be grounds for an adverse possession claim.

  2. Inspect your property regularly to detect squatters.

  3. Pay your property taxes on time and check local records.

You Can Reclaim Your Property from Squatters

The concept of someone illegally accessing your property and gaining possession of it may seem unimaginable, but property owners should know it can happen.

Squatters frequently assert tenants' rights by claiming they have paid rentals, have a documented lease agreement (usually fake), or have established an oral agreement with the owner to substitute rent payments for property improvements.

Such accusations impede removal and complicate judicial proceedings. Make no assumptions about squatters or legal options. Squatters' rights can be invoked for various reasons, including estate disputes and a lingering tenant from earlier rental property agreements.

As a result, all landlords must be acquainted with squatters' rights and processes. It's equally a good idea to check with an attorney if you have any queries about these laws. You never expect to deal with a squatter, but you'll be grateful to have a professional on your side if you do.