It is unfortunate, but sometimes you may find that a squatter has taken up residence on your property. What does this mean? This means that someone has illegally lived or been living on your land without permission and refuses to leave. If the person is not the owner of the property and they refuse to leave when asked, then it’s time to take action before things get out of hand. In this guide, we will discuss what a squatter is, how they can be removed from your property legally with no problems in the future, some other options if you are unable to remove them yourself, and more!
What is a squatter?
Let’s first talk about what a squatter is. A squatter is someone who has taken up residence on your property without permission. This may or may not mean that they are living there, but could also just be occupying space even if the house itself isn’t being used for living purposes. We have found that the majority of the squatters tend to be family members or friends that someone let stay in the property. Always a BAD IDEA!!!!
What should you do?
The first thing to consider when dealing with a squatter is what you want from them and how much time you’re willing to invest in having them removed legally.
*Contacting local law enforcement – Always contact the police as soon as possible because they have more resources than most people and can provide assistance with getting these individuals out of your property. The longer you wait on getting them out the legal way the longer it will take to get them out period! And if it’s a rental property that you own you will be stuck with the bills.
How is a squatter different from a trespasser?
It’s important to understand the difference between these two terms. A trespasser is someone that has entered onto your property without permission, whereas a squatter is now living on your property and refusing to leave unless you force them off (either legally or by using physical violence).
A trespass occurs when someone invades another’s person or premises with no intention of entering into an agreement with this individual for access; while a squatter resides in one’s residence knowingly.
What are squatter rights?
Believe it or not, squatters even have rights, sometimes more rights than the owners of the properties themselves.
They have the right to be notified of a pending eviction, as well as an explanation for it. They also have the right not to be thrown out on public streets without warning and with their property in tow. And if they’re being evicted because you want them gone, then they can sue you for damages up to 12 months rent or $100 per day whichever is greater (or three times any actual damage that accrued). Sounds crazy right….that’s because it is!
How to evict a squatter?
This is going to depend on where you live so the process of evicting can be long and challenging. Squatters can be evicted, but you must comply with the local laws and you need to be able to prove that they are trespassing. Here is what you should do if you discover a squatter in your property:
-Figure out if the person is a legal occupant or not by reading your lease agreement and speaking to your landlord. If they’re an illegal occupant, you might have grounds for eviction right then and there depending on where you live.
What are some other options?
There’s always negotiation! Offer them money (even though they don’t technically own anything) in exchange for their departure. It’s called “cash for keys”. Be aware that this could backfire however as it may encourage squatting behavior from people who know how much space is available at your property. You also risk public humiliation when word gets around about what happened with negotiations fail which can be devastating to future tenants’ interest in renting from you so proceed with caution.
And finally, hire security personnel such as a local armed guard to go with you to the property if need be. We don’t recommend this option but in some cases it may be needed.
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Actions you should avoid when getting rid of squatters?
Once you find out that a squatter is on your property, you should not try to get rid of them yourself. You need to go through the legal channels and hire an attorney or law enforcement officer in order to have them removed legally so as not to commit any crimes that could land you in jail for up six months.
It’s important that if there are other people living with the person who has squatted at your property – such as family members or roommates – they also be given notice before eviction proceedings can begin. They will most likely want their own lawyer during this time but it’ll ensure everyone is on equal footing when decisions are being made about how things move forward from here on out…..
How to prevent squatters?
As a landlord, it’s important to take key precautions to prevent squatting. This can be done by posting a “No Trespassing” sign on your property, having an alarm system installed, or even installing cameras at the front door of your home.
Some extra tips for preventing squatters:
– If you’re going out of town make sure someone stops in to take care of any mail that might pile up and keep an eye on things while you’re gone…
– No matter what kind of space it is, if the location becomes vacant – whether due to foreclosure or other means – consider putting some sort of lockbox outside with contact information for a real estate agent so people know they need permission before entering…..
To reduce the chances that those who are not authorized will try…….
Reasons why you should deal with squatters right away?
It’s important to deal with the situation as soon as possible. For example, if you’re dealing with a squatter that has done damage to your property and is refusing to leave or comply with the law, they will have more time to do additional damages which can lead to an even bigger problem than it would’ve been had you acted right away.
Some of these are:
– You may need this space for your own use in the near future (such as refinancing) and be unable to access it because there’s someone living there illegally……
– If left unchecked, squatters could cause major structural problems by breaking windows or doors…..
– They might have plans on turning off utilities such as electricity so that they don’t get caught inside when something goes wrong….
How long does it take to evict squatters?
Depending on where you live, it can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months. Here in Philadelphia the average time is about 6 months and cost a few thousand dollars.
The length of time will depend on how complicated the case is and whether there are any legal challenges that need to be met before you obtain possession of your property.
It’s also important to note that if the person who has taken up residence in your home or building is considered a tenant, they have more rights than someone who was trespassing and doesn’t pay rent – which means evicting them could be even harder due to these factors:……
In short, it’s important to make sure you follow the rules to remove squatters if they’re on your property. If you don’t, and the squatter is a tenant, it’s possible that you could end up spending more time evicting them than planning for your new home or business remodel due to all of the legal requirements – not to mention how much money this process can cost in attorney fees.
If there are any signs of neglect from someone living inside one of your properties, contact us right away so we can help make sure everything goes smoothly as well! Philly Home Investor has been helping hundreds of people throughout the region with properties that have squatters inside. We understand time equals money and these situations can be very costly and stressful to deal with.
We do buy houses with squatters in them! We have a team of legal professionals that we work with that help us remove these squatters, it’s not a pretty process, costs money, and takes a lot of time but in the end, we know exactly what to do. If you have a property in PA, NJ, or FL with a squatter and you want to sell it, Let Us Make You A FREE Cash Offer Today!!