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Evicting a squatter could be your only option

On Behalf of | Oct 22, 2018 | Estate Administration |

When your loved one is not living at their residential property, it leaves it open for people to take advantage of. This is particularly true in cases where they may not have anyone taking care of the property.

If you stop at the home and see that other people are living there, the problem you face is that there are squatters in the property. A person who unlawfully occupies a property is a squatter, and shockingly enough, they have rights.

Squatters sometimes act as if they have a right to remain on a property, and, depending on the laws, they may. In fact, if the person has been on the property for some time, then you might have to evict them.

What do you do if there are squatters in an estate property?

If there are squatters in your property, you may have to go through civil court to have them evicted. Some laws protect you if the person has been there fewer than 30 days. If the squatter has turned on the utilities or been on the property for a month or longer, you might have to go to court to get them out.

What are you allowed to do if you see a squatter on a property?

If a person is on the property already, you should immediately call the police. In some cases, the police may remove the individual as a trespasser. In other cases, they may state that it is a civil matter and requires an eviction.

If you have to seek an eviction, then give the person notice. In some cases, people leave upon receiving notice. In other cases, you’ll have to move forward with an unlawful detainer lawsuit. This is a formal eviction process.

Once you’ve won the lawsuit, a sheriff or police officer has the right to remove the individual without any further wait. This helps you clear the property and get it back for the purposes of estate planning and for the sale or transfer of the asset. Keep in mind that many people do take out their frustration on the property before leaving, so you may have to file formal charges if there is damage done to the property as a result of the squatter’s stay.

Squatters don’t always end up in empty homes, but you need to take steps to avoid this from happening. Make sure to lock doors and windows, and check your property often.