Laws on Squatting and Adverse Possession

In many regions, there are laws on adverse possession which allow squatters to obtain ownership rights to a property, if they squat there long enough.  It’s very important for property owners to understand this so as to avoid losing their property to squatters.

For instance, in Kenya, squatters can own a property if they squat on it for 12 years, as detailed here:

https://www.sde.co.ke/thenairobian/article/2001271130/why-kenyans-must-be-afraid-this-is-how-squatters-can-legally-acquire-your-land

This case of a Condo Owner in California who may end up losing his property to squatters, shows the need to oversee one’s property regularly.

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-associations-squatters-20170715-story.html

This article indicates that some people are strategically seeking ways to exploit the law and squat to avoid paying rent:

https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/bnjb78/how-to-claim-squatters-rights-to-stop-paying-your-rent

The article explains the adverse possession law in California:

in California, if you pay the property taxes on an abandoned property for five years, the property becomes yours free and clear.

This article discusses the problem of squatting in Florida and California and how costly it can be to remove a squatter:

http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=8737

Washington has passed a law which makes it easier to remove squatters in that state:

http://www.kiro7.com/news/local/new-washington-law-gives-police-more-authority-to-kick-out-squatters/521830853

Though many landlords may be tempted to use force to extract the squatters, it can be dangerous to physically threaten them, as one landlord discovered when he was charged with burglary after bringing a baseball bat and confronting people squatting in HIS HOME.

https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/pennsylvania/articles/2017-06-22/attorney-landlord-charged-with-burglary-in-squatter-dispute

Another article on that story:

http://6abc.com/news/property-owner-arrested-in-squabble-with-squatters/2129528/

Considerations on the problem in Nevada:

https://lasvegassun.com/news/2017/jun/26/county-pursues-new-strategies-for-squatter-problem/

Squatting is more of a problem in some areas than others. It’s a large problem in a corridor in the Central Valley of California, ironically the area where California’s “Bullet Train” would be built:

http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-bullet-land-problems-20180204-htmlstory.html

For instance in Barstow:

http://www.vvdailypress.com/news/20170514/squatters-growing-problem-in-barstow

And in Sacramento

http://www.kcra.com/article/sacramento-realtors-say-squatting-is-on-the-rise/10309574

http://fox40.com/2017/07/06/city-code-enforcement-cracking-down-on-hundreds-of-abandoned-homes/

And in Fresno

http://abc30.com/home/squatters-becoming-a-growing-problem-that-one-fresno-woman-experienced-first-hand/1185761/

Homeless squatters can easily take advantage of vulnerable elders with cognitive impairments, as apparently occurred in this situation:

http://abc7.com/granada-hills-residents-at-odds-with-homeless-people-living-next-door/2441699/

The state of Colorado is attempting to make it easier to evict squatters from properties, through SB 8-015. See this news article about that effort.

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