Squashing Squatters: How to Handle a Squatting Tenant

Squatting is an act that has troubled and perplexed many landlords for a long time. Perhaps you've discovered someone living in a property you own without your permission.

  • Monday, October 31, 2016

  General   Tips   

Squatting is an act that has troubled and perplexed many landlords for a long time. Perhaps you've discovered someone living in a property you own without your permission. Here's some tips to help you handle a squatting tenant.

Understand squatters' rights

As strange as it may sound, squatters do have rights protected by the government. However, these rights vary by city and state. As soon as you discover someone squatting on your property, do your research to learn the rights that protect them before you go any further and potentially cause more trouble for yourself. If possible, consult with a real estate attorney in your area for a solid understanding of the laws surrounding the situation.

Contact the authorities

While the police may not be able to evict a squatting tenant, contacting the authorities can definitely help you out in the long run. By alerting authorities to a squatter's presence, you will have increased credibility if you have to fight your case in court. Records can show the first time you contacted the authorities and can aid your defense against squatters claiming ownership to your property.

Exercise caution

A squatter is a person unlawfully occupies land or property that does not belong to them. Because of this, a squatter probably does not care much for legalities. If you attempt to confront the squatter, exercise extreme caution. The squatter could be armed or try to harm you. Also, keep in mind the squatters' rights in your area. In some places, it may be unlawful for you to forcibly remove a squatting tenant or their possessions. Impeding on squatters' rights can cause you a lot of trouble in the long run, and will not help your case if you ever have to go to court.

Dealing with squatters can be a difficult, time-consuming ordeal. However, by using these simple tips, you'll be able to rightfully get your property back and stay safe throughout the process.

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