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Thread: Squatters’ Rights: What to Know as a Landlord & Laws per State

  1. #1

    Squatters’ Rights: What to Know as a Landlord & Laws per State

    [RELATED: NYC - Woman locks out squatters in her home, gets arrested for changing the locks]

    Published February 8, 2024
    By: Jealie Dacanay


    As a landlord, understanding squatters’ rights and regulations is crucial to protecting your property and ensuring a smooth tenancy. Squatting is an often misunderstood property ownership aspect, but in this guide, I provide a roadmap for landlords to safeguard their investments. I delve into why squatters’ rights exist, when they apply, squatters’ rights by state, and how to provide eviction notices for squatters.


    What Are Squatters?

    A squatter is someone who enters a property they do not own and starts living there without permission. They don’t have a lease, are not tenants, and have no authority to be there. Squatting typically begins when an area of property is vacant and not under the owner’s supervision. Unfortunately, knowledgeable squatters can take advantage of owners and drag them into lengthy, expensive legal battles—sometimes, they can even get paid to leave.


    What Are Squatters’ Rights?

    Squatters’ rights, typically called “adverse possession,” are laws that allow a squatter to use or occupy someone else’s property provided the rightful owner does not evict them or take other legal action against them. Laws on squatters’ rights usually only come into play after someone occupies a property illegally for a predetermined time.

    For instance, in New York or Texas, a squatter who has lived on a property for 10 years or more may be granted “adverse possession” under state law. It’s crucial to remember that every state has its own distinctive laws about this matter. This implies that different states have distinct methods and approaches for squatting.


    Why Squatters’ Rights Exist

    Squatters’ rights exist to prevent vigilante justice from being used. It is strikingly similar to renters’ rights, which protect tenants from deceitful landlords. The laws establish each party’s rights to maintain real estate markets’ stable and peaceful negotiations.
    Why squatters’ rights exist for landlords: Squatters’ rights exist to prevent property owners from taking issues into their own hands because situations might quickly become hostile if landlords were permitted to act independently.

    Why squatters’ rights exist for tenants/squatters: Squatters’ rights prohibit property owners or landlords from forcibly evicting squatters without a legal eviction notice.


    Squatting vs Trespassing

    “Squatting” and “trespassing” are related concepts. However, they have different legal implications and connotations. Check out our table below to further understand its definition, intent, and legal consequences:


    [see article for chart]


    Squatter Rights or Laws per State

    Squatters’ rights exist in all 50 states. However, how and when these laws are executed varies substantially by state. According to the squatter laws of the states listed below, the person must have resided on the property in question for the following years:


    [see article for chart]


    When Do Squatters’ Rights Apply?

    Squatters’ rights require five basic minimum principles to be true. The squatter must:


    [see article for chart]


    Nonetheless, the conditions for full adverse possession or fulfilling squatters’ rights will vary from state to state. For instance, in many states, squatters must prove they had good faith that they were, in fact, in possession of the property in question.


    How to Evict a Squatter

    Now that you know more about squatters and the harm they may cause to your property, you understand how critical it is to act quickly to regain control of your property.

    The following are the proper steps to take while evicting squatters:


    [see article for chart]


    Article continues:

    https://fitsmallbusiness.com/squatte...andlord-guide/
    Last edited by Occam's Banana; 03-30-2024 at 02:20 PM. Reason: added "RELATED" link
    ____________

    An Agorist Primer ~ Samuel Edward Konkin III (free PDF download)

    The End of All Evil ~ Jeremy Locke (free PDF download)



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  3. #2
    Seems like squatters rights supersede owners rights.

  4. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by GlennwaldSnowdenAssanged View Post
    Seems like squatters rights supersede owners rights.
    Not if you read the entire article. Anyway, the point of this thread is to provide information on how to protect your property, and if there are certain portions of laws/statutes/ordinances that one does not like, become aware and work to have it changed.
    ____________

    An Agorist Primer ~ Samuel Edward Konkin III (free PDF download)

    The End of All Evil ~ Jeremy Locke (free PDF download)

  5. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by PAF View Post
    Not if you read the entire article. Anyway, the point of this thread is to provide information on how to protect your property, and if there are certain portions of laws/statutes/ordinances that one does not like, become aware and work to have it changed.
    To be honest I have not read the provided information. I will tomorrow. But, I would have to wonder why 50 States would grant Squatters rights and why they would still be on the books.
    Can I Squat on Government National or State Park land? Would I have the same rights if I Squat deep inside a National Forest for years? When a group of protesters take over a government building in the country are they evicted or forcefully arrested at gun point and some of the party executed while en route to a meeting with a sheriff?

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by GlennwaldSnowdenAssanged View Post
    To be honest I have not read the provided information. I will tomorrow. But, I would have to wonder why 50 States would grant Squatters rights and why they would still be on the books.
    Can I Squat on Government National or State Park land? Would I have the same rights if I Squat deep inside a National Forest for years? When a group of protesters take over a government building in the country are they evicted or forcefully arrested at gun point?
    Fair enough, it's worth the read.

    For example, years of possession required to be claimed by squatters in California is 5 years. In New Jersey it is 30 years.
    ____________

    An Agorist Primer ~ Samuel Edward Konkin III (free PDF download)

    The End of All Evil ~ Jeremy Locke (free PDF download)

  7. #6
    Well, when it comes down to it, none of us own anything, we're all just squatters on the King's land.
    @PAF Thanks for the info, good article.
    “Civilizations die from suicide, not by murder.” - Arnold Toynbee

  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Anti Federalist View Post
    Well, when it comes down to it, none of us own anything, we're all just squatters on the King's land.
    @PAF Thanks for the info, good article.
    Years ago I used to print little slips to hand out "Know Your Rights And You Will Win" ;-)
    ____________

    An Agorist Primer ~ Samuel Edward Konkin III (free PDF download)

    The End of All Evil ~ Jeremy Locke (free PDF download)

  9. #8
    Skip to 4:15:

    SQUATTERS Evicted: How LA's SQUATTER SQUAD Reclaims Homes
    https://odysee.com/@reasonabletv:d/s...9;s-squatter:3
    {News For Reasonable People | 26 March 2024}

    Los Angeles faced an uncommon yet telling incident when a team of home inspectors, part of a group known as the Squatter Squad, confronted a dozen squatters occupying a San Fernando Valley home. The squatters, under the mistaken belief they could only be evicted with a three-day court notice, were swiftly corrected that only a 24-hour notice was needed for the inspectors to enter for building inspection purposes. The Squatter Squad, which has been legally removing squatters from private properties since 2018, utilized various legal methods to reclaim the property without needing to navigate the court system. Despite the squatters' threats to press charges, the inspectors, undeterred and equipped with tools and a portable toilet for the operation, successfully evicted the squatters, secured the property with new locks and boarded up windows, under the watchful eye of local law enforcement.

    Last edited by Occam's Banana; 04-05-2024 at 03:40 PM.
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  11. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Anti Federalist View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by PAF View Post
    Migrants Invoke Squatter’s Rights To Take Over Homes. States Passing New Laws To Stop Them.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FW2wjsNmXYU
    {Nate The Lawyer | 29 March 2024}

    ]

  12. #10
    It's Time to End Squatter's Rights
    https://mises.org/mises-wire/its-tim...uatters-rights
    {Ryan McMaken | 29 March 2024}

    Last month, New York City homeowner Adele Andaloro was arrested after changing the locks on a house that had been seized by squatters [see this thread - OB]. According to The New York Post: "Andaloro was charged with unlawful eviction because she had changed the locks and hadn’t provided a new key to the residents. The residents, however, are squatters.

    Fortunately, Andaloro's arrest was filmed and went viral, reviving an ongoing debate over squatters "rights," under which trespassers can take over an unoccupied house or piece of land and attempt to establish legal ownership.

    Not long after the Andaloro video surfaced, an immigrant TikToker with 500,000 followers posted a video encouraging other migrants to squat in private residences in the United States [see this post - OB]. The immigrant, Leonel Moreno, explained to potential squatters that under US law, “if a house is not inhabited, we can seize it.”

    These videos have fueled increasing concern among property owners who have witnessed the explosion in the numbers of aggressive homeless residents in both central cities and suburbs. This, coupled with millions of new foreign nationals flooding into US cities in recent years, has further increased concerns about a sizable, rootless and impoverished population searching for opportunities to seize unoccupied homes.

    These recent examples have prompted many Americans to wonder why squatter's rights exist at all. Historically, there have been some arguably reasonable justifications for the practice, such as in times past when real estate records were far less precise and well preserved. In modern times, however, squatter's rights have little purpose beyond redistributing property to favored interest groups. Moreover, squatter's rights in modern settings bear less and less resemblance to the squatter's rights of history.

    Thanks to all this, it is becoming increasingly clear that squatter's rights have outlived whatever usefulness they may once have had. The time has come to end squatter's rights altogether.

    Rationales For Squatter's Rights

    The idea of squatter's rights—often known by the more technical term "adverse possession"—is not new and dates back centuries to a time when private ownership of land was often not nearly as clear-cut as it is now. As legal scholar Jeffrey Stake has noted "This was a time before deeds were recorded in county courthouses... In the absence of a good set of records, contests would turn on evidence of earlier enfeoffments." For example, as historian Keith Wrightson has explained, in a period before extensive written records and contracts, evidence of longstanding agreements about land usage and ownership might boil down to testimony from local elderly residents who relied on memories about what Party A had negotiated with Party B decades earlier. In cases like these, current possession of a piece of real estate was some of the best evidence that possession had been legally transferred in the past.

    It is partly for this reason that adverse possession has always included an element of time. Historically, in most jurisdictions, a squatter must reside on the property in question for a period of years—often twenty years or more—in order to claim ownership. It is assumed that if the previous owner was willing to tolerate the squatter for so long, the land may have been the squatter's all along. Or, the previous owner may have effectively abandoned the property.

    In short, adverse possession was often justified on the grounds that it helps deal with ambiguity in claims of ownership. Even today, real estate titles are not always crystal clear. A property's chain of title can be "clouded" with unclear ownership in the past. (This is why property owners buy title insurance.) Historically, judges and policymakers have found squatter's rights to be useful in that they can "reset" ownership claims and "quiet" a clouded title. Adverse possession thus provided a means for settling potentially long-term disputes over the chain of title.

    Other rationales for squatter's rights are based on popular notions about proper use of real estate. For example, adverse possession has at times been supported as a means of forcing property owners to keep an eye on their property. If long absences encourage squatting, the thinking goes, then owners are more likely to ensure the property is in order. Similarly, squatter's rights have been justified on the grounds that absent owners aren't using the land as efficiently or as productively as they ought to be. By this thinking, it is better to have squatters on the land, using it and improving it, rather than to let the absentee owners "do nothing." Some supporters of adverse possession—both historically and now—have believed that property owners who are not "using" the property in a visible fashion don't deserve to own it.

    Squatter's Rights as Violations of Property Rights

    Conceivably, one might conclude that adverse possession is acceptable when used as a means of settling disputes in cases where the true owner of real property is not clear.

    Beyond this, however, adverse possession amounts to little more than a means of violating property rights.

    For instance, the use of squatter's rights to somehow make land use more efficient is wholly without merit if we value the protection of private property. After all, the idea that "society" can decide what constitutes "efficient" or "correct" use of land relies on the deeply misguided notion that there is some objectively proper use of land independent of the owner's subjective preferences. A more sound view of property ownership, on the other hand, would recognize that a property owner ought to be free to determine for himself what constitutes efficient use. If a property owner's preference is to let a field sit fallow or a building sit empty for a period, then the owner has determined that this is the most profitable course of action—whether profitable in terms of monetary gain or in terms of psychic profit. No government planner or judge can better determine how best to use property.

    Other rationales for squatter's rights, such as motivating a property owner to visit his land regularly, amounts to a form of extortion. In this case, the regime is essentially saying "do what we want or we'll hand your property over to whatever random trespasser chooses to settle there."

    Moreover, claims that a lack of active use by owners constitutes abandonment are extremely suspect. It is unclear why a piece of real estate becomes "abandoned" simply because the owner has not been present for a time. This is all the more untenable in modern times in which the owner of a property is nearly always clearly indicated in official records. Murray Rothbard further contends that ownership via contract certainly does not "expire" simply because an owner is physically absent. Nor is this true in cases where a person has established ownership by homesteading, the process of homesteading need not be continuously renewed. On this, Rothbard writes:

    The common law of adverse possession arbitrarily sets a time span of twenty years, after which the intruder [i.e., the squatter], despite his aggression against the property of another, retains absolute ownership of the land. But our libertarian theory holds that land needs only to be transformed once by man to pass into private ownership. Therefore, if [a potential squatter] comes upon land that in any way bears the mark of a former human use, it is his responsibility to assume that the land is owned by someone. Any intrusion upon his land, without further inquiry, must be done at the risk of the newcomer being an aggressor.

    Squatter's Rights as a Political Weapon

    There are many times and places, however, in which pro-squatter groups rights do not even contend that ownership rights are ambiguous, or that the land would fall into disuse and mismanagement without the squatter's taking over.

    Rather, squatter's rights have at times been used as political weapons and as a means of essentially buying votes or rewarding politically favored groups. In these cases, policymakers simply have determined that squatter's rights are politically expedient.

    For example, in the United States in the nineteenth century, squatting nearly became a sort of federally approved welfare program. As explained in detail in John Suval's book Dangerous Ground: Squatters, Statemen, and the antebellum Rupture of American Democracy, Jacksonians and other factions of the Democratic party in Congress actively supported widespread squatting throughout the American frontier. At the time, squatting was employed as a means of stealing land from Indians, Mexicans, and any other group deemed undesirable by pro-squatter activists in Congress. In this way, squatting served as a type of social policy. When officials sided with squatters over the rightful owners, this would essentially transfer wealth from the out-of-favor group (i.e., Mexicans and Indians) to the favored group of Anglo Americans.

    In other cases, the mechanism was slightly more complex. Often, the federal government would seize land from its rightful owners (i.e., Indians) first, and then auction the land off as a means of increasing revenue for the federal government. Pro-squatter policies, however, encouraged squatters to occupy the land illegally rather than pay for it at auction. Once the squatters were in place and refused to leave, Democrats in Congress would then pass bills handing this land over to the squatters permanently. This, of course, shifted federal revenue collection away from settlers—who got free land—and placed the revenue burden on others.

    Democrat policymakers supported these squatters because it was assumed that upon receiving these political favors, the squatters would thereafter vote for pro-squatter Democrats as political payback.

    Modern Urban Squatting

    In the twentieth century, support for squatters came from typically leftwing activists who favored squatting as a means of providing housing for low-income individuals and households. During the Great Depression, of course, squatting became commonplace in many areas, although few of these squatters were able to establish true ownership via adverse possession proceedings in court.

    Squatter activism again revived during the 1990s, as in the case of a standoff between city officials and squatters in the East Village in 1995. Again, in this case, squatters only ultimately won a temporary victory and were eventually evicted.

    Today, squatter's rights continue to be a perennial issue of contention, and it's easy to see why cases like that of Adele Andaloro strike a chord with so many Americans. Even law-abiding non-homeowners can imagine what a nightmare it would be to inherit a house from one's dead parents only to have that house seized by trespassing squatters. Indeed, it is easy to see how a middle-class family, having lost use of a home in this fashion, could face immediate financial ruin.

    It is notable that the squatter movements of the 1930s, the 1990s, and today are attempts at urban squatting in contrast to rural and agricultural squatting in times past. Rural squatting tended to be lower-density, and property boundaries were less clear. Moreover, rural squatters in many cases tended to keep to less productive parcels of land, and the presence of squatters on one part of an owner's land did not necessarily force the owner from the property overall.

    Urban and suburban land is something else entirely. Urban and suburban squatters are more likely to impose a much larger and more immediate cost on the rightful owners. When urban and suburban squatters take over a home in these areas, the owner is typically unable to use the property at all, and the owner may be rendered homeless himself.

    Moreover, when homeless trespassers attempt to take advantage of squatter's rights in urban and suburban homes, there is no true confusion over ownership or over property lines. These squatters do not appear anywhere on the title, and were never long-term residents.

    Even worse, some cities like New York City have greatly liberalized squatter's rights to allow for trespassers to claim squatter's rights on a much shorter timeline than what is historically known in cases of adverse possession. Or, in some jurisdictions, such as Atlanta, officials are unwilling or unable to evict trespassers in a timely fashion, and trespassers become de factor squatters within a period of weeks or months. Indeed, modern squatting in suburban and urban homes is increasingly unlike anything that would historically be described as true adverse possession.

    Yet, squatter's rights continue to enjoy support from several corners of the American political landscape. In modern contexts, pro-squatter activists tend to be anti-capitalists who seek to use adverse possession as a means of promoting "equity" and punishing property owners viewed as an oppressive rentier class. These activists know these squatters have no true claim to the property under traditional definitions of squatter's rights. This is clear in the modern world where ownership of real property involves multiple layers of documentation.

    In most cases, modern use of squatter's rights amounts to nothing more than defrauding legitimate property owners and seizing their wealth.



    It's Time to End Squatter's Rights by Ryan McMaken is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
    Last edited by Occam's Banana; 03-29-2024 at 08:19 PM.

  13. #11
    Jessica Burbank DEFENDS Squatting SCAMS
    https://odysee.com/@actualjusticewar...atting-scams:d
    {Actual Justice Warrior | 29 March 2024}

    In this video I discuss yet another ridiculous Hill Rising segment where Jessica Burbank decides to back squatting scammers because of her dorky communist principles. I explain how she blatantly makes things up to justify her positions rather than having owning up to them.


  14. #12
    This one doesn't involve squatters, except incidentally. But still ...

    Woman Sued by People Who Accidentally Built House on Her Land
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B1_A_3hKI-g
    {Steve Lehto | 30 March 2024}

    This story only need an HOA and CAF to make it check all the boxes.


  15. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Occam's Banana View Post
    This one doesn't involve squatters, except incidentally. But still ...

    Woman Sued by People Who Accidentally Built House on Her Land
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B1_A_3hKI-g
    {Steve Lehto | 30 March 2024}

    This story only need an HOA and CAF to make it check all the boxes.


    I haven’t looked into the laws in Hawaii, but another option, rather than to bulldoze the house, is to have a company actually move the entire house to another location. This would depend on the value of the house [less the land] compared to the cost to move it. I am curious as to how this will be ruled/resolved, but this is another case where property rights should be beefed up.
    ____________

    An Agorist Primer ~ Samuel Edward Konkin III (free PDF download)

    The End of All Evil ~ Jeremy Locke (free PDF download)

  16. #14
    Missouri House committee passes anti-squatters bill
    https://www.missourinet.com/2024/04/...quatters-bill/
    {Marshall Griffin | 12 April 2024}

    A Missouri House committee has passed legislation designed to crack down on people illegally occupying homes and other residential properties.

    The so-called “squatters” bill would elevate first-degree trespassing to a Class E felony in cases where someone intentionally enters a residential property and refuses to leave despite being forbidden to enter by the owner. It would also be a Class E felony if a trespasser refuses to leave after being asked to leave by a law enforcement officer. And a law officer could not be held liable in a civil lawsuit for enforcing the law “in good faith.”

    A Class E felony in Missouri is punishable by up to four years in prison or one year in a county jail, although probation is also possible. A fine of up to $10,000 is possible as well.

    The bill is sponsored by State Rep. Phil Amato, R-Arnold. It needs another committee hearing before moving to the full Missouri House. But time is not on the bill’s side, as there are only five weeks left in this year’s legislative session.

  17. #15
    Majority Report DEMANDS You Ignore Crime
    https://odysee.com/@actualjusticewar...you-ignore-2:a
    {Actual Justice Warrior | 17 April 2024}

    In this video I discuss the 1st half of a recent Majority Report segment where they go full crime denial before defending squatters.

    Sources:

    Original Video: https://youtu.be/D6mVIa64VL4
    Binder Me Clip: https://odysee.com/@laurenchen:0/midterms:58f?t=15574
    Jamaica Crime Stats: https://www.statista.com/statistics/...0-inhabitants/
    Worldwide Violent Crime Rate: https://worldpopulationreview.com/co...ate-by-country
    NYC Crime Spike Binder Denied: https://nypost.com/2021/10/18/nycs-m...they-must-act/
    Revised 2023 NYC Stats: https://nypost.com/2024/04/03/us-new...play-disorder/
    Adams Wins Latinos: https://www.gothamgazette.com/130-op...-primary-mayor
    El Salvador Stats: https://www.statista.com/statistics/...n-el-salvador/
    Crime & Great Recession Essay: https://www.city-journal.org/article...reat-recession
    Homeless Crime Studies: https://ciceroinstitute.org/research...rd%20strangers
    Jayden Perkins Video Referenced: https://youtu.be/ls8V8yJ2pZw
    2nd Jayden Perkins Video Referenced: https://youtu.be/Gc6z5H--VN4



    Majority Report SIMPs For Squatters
    https://odysee.com/@actualjusticewar...or-squatters:2
    {Actual Justice Warrior | 18 April 2024}

    In this video I discuss the second half of the Majority Report segment on Squatters where they attack anyone who cares about the issue & pretend that these people who steal homes are victims of society.

    Sources:

    Part 1 Of This Video: [https://odysee.com/@actualjusticewar...you-ignore-2:a - see above - OB]
    Original Video: https://youtu.be/D6mVIa64VL4
    Binder Me Clip: https://odysee.com/@laurenchen:0/midterms:58f?t=15574
    Adverse Possession Law: https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/laws/RPA/501
    Article On 2019 Changes: https://nypost.com/2024/04/07/us-new...m-out-experts/
    Flores Lawsuit: https://iapps.courts.state.ny.us/nys...sultsPageNum=1
    Air BNB Squatters: https://youtu.be/hfL0TwiKh-Y
    Squatting Turns Deadly: https://youtu.be/1hNifnrDeL0
    3 Year Eviction Story: https://www.cbsnews.com/newyork/news...york-assembly/
    NYC Housing Stock: https://comptroller.nyc.gov/reports/...ndemic)%202017
    Housing Vacancy: https://usafacts.org/articles/how-ma...ere-in-the-us/
    NYC Homeowners Story: https://youtu.be/632aH1zAzQk




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