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LEGAL DICTIONARY

Squatters

A squatter is an individual who occupies a property for which they have no right, legal claim, or lease agreement. In the United States, squatting is illegal, and someone engaging in this act can be evicted for trespassing.

One of the most common examples of a squatter is someone that breaks into a vacant property and begins to live there without authorization. However, a squatter also includes a tenant or renter that stops paying rent or whose lease has ended but refuses to vacate the property.

It’s important to note that if a property is not occupied or inspected for a long period of time, a squatter may obtain adverse possession of the real estate through involuntary transfer. Therefore, it’s important to be informed on squatter rights and the steps that are necessary to remove a squatter from your property.

Read more: How to evict a tenant in 7 steps

What are Squatter’s Rights?

Squatter rights refer to the legal allowance to use and occupy the property of another if the rightful owner does not attempt to force eviction. This is also known as “adverse possession”. In certain states, these rights may convert to an official title if the squatter has occupied the land for a continuous period of time and meets other conditions.

Specific regulations on squatter’s rights differ from state to state, and they exist primarily to discourage the disuse of property. For a squatter to obtain a legal title to the property, the following requirements must usually be met:

  • The squatter has been occupying the land in an open and visible manner
  • The land has been occupied exclusively by the squatter and not the public or the property owner
  • The occupation has been against the interests of the rightful owner of the property, even if they were not aware of the occupation
  • Possession of the land has continued for the necessary period of time, as defined by the state’s legislature

How To Remove a Squatter?

If you don’t want to risk losing the rights to your property, it’s important to act quickly and remove any squatters that are occupying it.

Adverse possession statutes can differ substantially from state to state. This means that it is necessary to consult the laws of the state in which the property is located when dealing with squatters.

However, the usual steps when removing a squatter from your property are as follows:

  1. Call the local police department so that they can identify whether the individual is a trespasser or a squatter, if they are a trespasser, the police will remove them immediately
  2. If they are a squatter, you will need to serve the squatter with an eviction notice according to state and local requirements
  3. If the squatter refuses to leave, you will have to file a civil lawsuit over illegal property use
  4. Once the verdict has been finalized, you may have to contact the police to have the squatter legally removed and pay any associated fees

A squatter is an individual who occupies a property for which they have no right, legal claim, or lease agreement. In the United States, squatting is illegal, and someone engaging in this act can be evicted for trespassing.

One of the most common examples of a squatter is someone that breaks into a vacant property and begins to live there without authorization. However, a squatter also includes a tenant or renter that stops paying rent or whose lease has ended but refuses to vacate the property.

It’s important to note that if a property is not occupied or inspected for a long period of time, a squatter may obtain adverse possession of the real estate through involuntary transfer. Therefore, it’s important to be informed on squatter rights and the steps that are necessary to remove a squatter from your property.

Read more: How to evict a tenant in 7 steps

What are Squatter’s Rights?

Squatter rights refer to the legal allowance to use and occupy the property of another if the rightful owner does not attempt to force eviction. This is also known as “adverse possession”. In certain states, these rights may convert to an official title if the squatter has occupied the land for a continuous period of time and meets other conditions.

Specific regulations on squatter’s rights differ from state to state, and they exist primarily to discourage the disuse of property. For a squatter to obtain a legal title to the property, the following requirements must usually be met:

  • The squatter has been occupying the land in an open and visible manner
  • The land has been occupied exclusively by the squatter and not the public or the property owner
  • The occupation has been against the interests of the rightful owner of the property, even if they were not aware of the occupation
  • Possession of the land has continued for the necessary period of time, as defined by the state’s legislature

How To Remove a Squatter?

If you don’t want to risk losing the rights to your property, it’s important to act quickly and remove any squatters that are occupying it.

Adverse possession statutes can differ substantially from state to state. This means that it is necessary to consult the laws of the state in which the property is located when dealing with squatters.

However, the usual steps when removing a squatter from your property are as follows:

  1. Call the local police department so that they can identify whether the individual is a trespasser or a squatter, if they are a trespasser, the police will remove them immediately
  2. If they are a squatter, you will need to serve the squatter with an eviction notice according to state and local requirements
  3. If the squatter refuses to leave, you will have to file a civil lawsuit over illegal property use
  4. Once the verdict has been finalized, you may have to contact the police to have the squatter legally removed and pay any associated fees