Understanding the squatting laws and how to protect your property

If a former tenant is overstaying their rental period or your property is being lived in by unwanted guests, it can be difficult to deal. Here is a guide on how to handle the situation and how to protect yourself. First, it’s important to understand that there are different types of squatters. Most people assume squatters are homeless people looking for shelter but that is not always the case. By definition, squatters are people who move into abandoned, foreclosed or unoccupied homes or premises. They can be anything from previous tenants who are no longer under a lease and have stopped paying rent but continue to live on the property, families or those whose mortgage was foreclosed but have not moved out after a determined amount of time, those who move in after a tenant moves out and are not bound by a lease or paying rent or, in extreme cases, those who have been paying rent to a fake landlord and are living on another’s property unknowingly. Squatters who manipulate the system will typically place utilities in their name, get mail at the property’s address and openly take possession of the unit or property.

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