How To Evict Squatters From Your House
When anyone enters another person’s landed properties without the owner’s consent or permission and tries to live there, it is squatting. It is also known as adverse possession and is illegal. It is usually a crime not to leave land or property when you are instructed to leave there by the owner, the police, or the council.
When a house owner first notices that a squatter is leaving in his house, it may be confusing and even tempting to let him stay there for a few weeks, in hopes that they will leave on their own. As tempting as this idea may be, you should never allow a squatter to remain uncontested on your property. In many cases, this is what ultimately leads the squatter to have squatter’s right to your property.
Beyond occupying what belongs to you, squatters can cause a lot of other grief or damage. Removing a squatter can take an incredibly long time, sometimes years. It can also be costly. The property can likely be damaged. Utilities and other bills can pile up, and this will put the if you don’t take the right steps to evict them on time, it may become more difficult to do so eventually.
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How To Evict A Squatter
1. Involve the Police On Time
In most cases, the first appropriate step to take when you discover that someone is taking your property for theirs is to inform the police. They can help ascertain the actual situation of things. For instance, the police can determine if it’s a case of trespass or actual squatting. From there on, they may even advise on how best to resolve the issue.
2. Serve An Eviction Notice
Serve the squatter an eviction notice. Ensure you follow any local requirements about the information that you must include in the eviction notice. If the squatter leaves, then it’s fine. If they don’t leave, then proceed to the next step below.
3. Go to Court
Suppose after serving an eviction notice, the squatters remain adamant; you can institute a civil case against them for illegally seizing your property. Depending on the state you are, the appropriate court of jurisdiction may differ. But in any case, the onus is always on you to attend an eviction court hearing.
4. See to Their Removal
After the matter has been settled in a court and you win, you still need to follow up on the eviction. You can present the final court decision to the local police to ensure the squatter is legally terminated. You may need to pay a fee.
5. Handle Any Belongings Left Behind
You may be tempted to dump or sell the items the squatter left behind immediately, but this may be illegal. As such, you have to follow the local laws when dealing with squatters. Do not use force or threats against squatters, although it might be tempting to resolve to this
There is no way to sugar coat it. If you are dealing with squatters on your property and have to file a lawsuit to get rid of them, it will likely be a long process to remove them. The only way to deal with illegal squatters is legally, and if you follow the steps above, you will have your property back in time.
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