Dealing with a squatter who refuses to leave a property is immensely frustrating and emotionally taxing. A squatter may rob you of rental income or jeopardize a real estate deal. Squatters can impact property owners, sellers, heirs to a property, estate administrators, people who wish to buy a property and purchasers of properties sold at a sheriff’s sale.
What is a squatter?
A squatter is a person who does not have a legal basis for remaining in a property. A squatter is different from a tenant. A tenant is a person who had an agreement with the owner to pay rent even if that agreement was not in writing. A squatter is a person who entered a property by some reason other than payment of rent.
Here are some examples of squatters:
- criminal who broke into a vacant property and stayed
- relative or heir of a property owner who passed away
- former owner of a property who lost the property to a mortgage foreclosure or tax sale
- person invited into the property but refused to leave
- person who had a lease with a previous owner of the property
- person falsely claiming they bought the property without any legitimate proof