What are squatters rights? Well, squatters really do not have any rights whenever they simply move into the property and they don’t have any right to move into the property. It could even be considered a crime as far as breaking and entering as far as that’s concerned. We’ve seen a lot of this whenever folks find that houses are in foreclosure and have been abandoned. Sometimes they simply move in and sit there and they’re squatters and there’s no one that files a complaint about breaking and entering in order to have them removed.
If they’ve entered the property and no one really knows when they did it or why they’re there or who is there, well then that’s problematic and you then have to go through an action and it’s called an unlawful detainer action. You simply file an action saying that, “Look, I’m the owner or I’m the property manager or I’ve leased the property,” you have a right of possession and these folks have entered into possession.
You can have them removed the same way as if you have let someone such as a relative move into a house of theirs because they just needed to stay there for a few months until they got on their feet or their house was built or some other reason, and here it is a couple of years later and they’re still there and they don’t want to move and that the rent’s right and that you’re paying everything. You can then turn around and terminate that or give them notice and you can have them removed under the unlawful detainer statute.
You can’t do it under the eviction statute and the landlord-tenant statute because they’re not tenants and they’re not paying you any rent. As far as squatters are concerned, they’re usually complete strangers and they’re just opportunists who have moved in some abandoned property or what appears to be abandoned, and they really have no rights. However you as the owner of the property may be under the obligation to file an action, have them removed.
There was a scam going on out there where some folks had a service that they were trying to claim ownership of the property by posting something on the door and they would claim that they were claiming this by adverse possession and then they would turn around and rent the property to some unsuspecting person when it was simply being abandoned. I think those folks may have had some problems as far as fraud’s concerned. They certainly didn’t understand adverse possession and how that works.
If you’re a squatter, well good luck. You’re not long for staying there whenever the person who is entitled to possession finds out, they can file an unlawful detainer action. If you’ve got some squatters and you need to get rid of them, well give me a call at 727-847-2288.