Removing Squatters and Preventing Squatters!
Removing and preventing squatters are critical points to consider for property owners. Squatters are one of the most frustrating situations a property owner can experience. Squatters can cost THOUSANDS!!
Preventing squatters is always easier than removing squatters. There are a few things property owners can do in order to prevent squatters:
1) The most obvious is don’t leave a property vacant! A great idea is to pay someone to live in the property while you list it for sale, or list it for rent. Selling a vacant property can also be a solution.
2) Regularly visiting the property helps in preventing squatters! Mow the lawn and keep up with the maintenance. Let your presence be known.
3) Talk to the neighbors! This one is obvious but so many people forget. Tell them to keep an eye out for you. Ask them to call you should they see anyone at the property uninvited.
4) Change the locks should you notice someone is inside. This way, if they force their way in, it is trespassing and the police can usually remove them immediately.
5) Cover the windows, so people will not notice it’s vacant.
6) Do not use violence or threats in removing squatters.
7) Beware of Dog signs may be able to prevent some squatters, but it’s not the only method you should use. Premises Under Surveillance would be another good sign.
8) Flood Lights inside and outside the house can help in preventing squatters, as well as removing squatters.
9) Windows should not be left open because with no evidence of forced entry, squatters cannot be treated as burglars.
10) To avoid letting to tenants who leave in the middle of the night, or bringing people in who are not on the lease, you have to rely on a reference check. (Bad tenant list for your reference) This should include a check with former landlords for your tenants.
Never underestimate the threat of squatters! There are so many websites dedicated to advocating squatter’s rights. It is very easy to get information on how to squat legally. Unfortunately, there are even “Guides to Squatting” helping these people unethically occupy property. Squatters are every property owner’s worst nightmare!
If squatters caused damage to your property, or your property is sitting vacant and you would like to sell, we are able to give you an “As-Is” all cash offer and close on the date of your choice. For further reading, here is an article about evicting squatters.
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