Guess again. Squatters can be an issue for any owner – whether you’re a homeowner who is in the middle of trying to sell your vacant house, or you’re a landlord with a currently unoccupied property.
Even if don’t you live in a state with liberal adverse possession laws – such as California – you still don’t need the headache of this unpleasant situation.
Why is squatting a problem? Can’t you just kick the offenders out and go on with your business? It’s not quite that simple. If you’ve left a property vacant and unattended for long enough to allow trespassers to move in, you could be in for a long, expensive, stressful battle.
You see, in most localities, squatters are considered a civil matter, not a criminal one. So if you discover that your property is occupied without permission, you can call the police but it’s unlikely they’ll actually remove the offenders. In this case, you will then have to file a court case.
It’s no secret that the court systems can be slow and inefficient, not to mention costly. Even if you win the case (which you most likely will unless the occupants have been there for several years, long enough to claim adverse possession), you will still have to pay law enforcement to remove them if they refuse to leave.
As you can see, squatters are not something you want to have to deal with, so it’s best to either avoid vacancy, or sell your property as quickly as possible after vacating.