Squatter Dilemma Defies Common Sense

Political News

You have a beautiful home filled with memories of your family growing up. You pay the mortgage, taxes, utilities, and whatever is needed for upkeep. Along with the memories, your home is filled with pride. You have planned a two-week family vacation, and your home will be vacant during your absence. Years ago, this would not be a concern. Today, that vacant home is a source of anxiety that will occupy your mind while you are trying to enjoy a break from life.

Unfortunately, in this topsy-turvy world, as you were packing up the family car, a stranger was watching. As your taillights faded away, the stranger began moving his family in. This stranger just became your greatest nightmare. A family of squatters are the new residents of your beautiful home. They are uninvited guests whom the system will protect, and they will make it virtually impossible for you to evict them.

Squatting is not a new situation, and in the past, it has been a practice used by homeless individuals. The massive influx of illegal aliens has added a new component to an already severe problem. There are videos on TikTok of a middle-aged man from Venezuela explaining how he will find a house to move into and urging others to cross the border and follow his lead. He explains to his listeners that many cities and states have laws to protect, not the homeowner but, the squatter. It may sound bizarre, but the alien in the video is spot on.

Legislators in many states are scrambling to correct flawed laws on the books that do just what the video claimed. Most states have Squatter’s Rights. Below is the list of rights in New York City. These illegal occupants are so brazen that some generate an income by renting the house they occupy on Airbnb.

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What you need to know about squatters in New York:

What are squatter’s rights in New York?

Squatters in New York state can claim a legal right to remain on a property without the owner’s permission after 10 years of living there. However, in New York City a person only needs to be on the property for 30 days to claim squatter’s rights.

Why is it so hard to get rid of a squatter?

Squatters are allowed a wide range of rights once they have established legal occupancy, making it difficult to evict them.

How does someone become a squatter?

Some of the scenarios in which a person becomes a squatter include: a tenant refusing to pay rent, a relative of a former owner refusing to leave the property or even a stranger who entered the property and never left.

According to Manhattan-based law firm Nadel & Ciarlo, squatters must have a reasonable basis for claiming the property belongs to them and must treat the home as if they were an owner — such as doing yard work or making repairs.

How can a property owner get rid of a squatter?

A property owner must first send a 10-day eviction notice and then file a court complaint if the order is ignored. If approved by a judge, the owner can get a summons and have a sheriff evict the squatter. 

Why does the law provide squatters with rights?

The law was designed to help prevent long-term tenants from getting evicted. New York City’s law was partially made in response to vacant and abandoned buildings that were becoming a blight on the city.

How can property owners protect themselves from squatters?

Owners should avoid keeping any properties vacant for an extended period of time. They should also make sure the building is secure, has adequate lighting and has surveillance cameras installed.

If a squatter does appear, owners should notify the police quickly before squatter’s rights are established.

These rights and situations are specific to NYC, but be aware that every state has similar Squatter’s Bill of Rights. As I intimated in the title, where is common sense in this equation? There are similar traits of illegal aliens and squatters. They both have broken the law by their initial act. One broke into our country and the other into a home, yet neither is considered a criminal. Many laws are on the books to give the benefit of the doubt to both. One to watch is the one that must topple first. It reverses the classification of squatters as residents. Again, this is tantamount to calling illegal aliens newcomers! Where are the adults to start bringing sanity back to this country? We need answers and actions now.

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