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Squatters can be tricky and complicated to deal with in the state of New York. Dealing with them requires time and money. Additionally, even squatters have rights, so it’s essential that property owners have at least a basic understanding of those rights to ensure they’re not violated should the need arise to deal with a squatter.
NY Rent Own Sell has covered some of the basics here so that you can be mindful of how best to address squatters within the confines of state law.
If you are like most people, you probably think of a squatter as someone who moves onto a property and starts living there without the owner’s knowledge. While that’s partially true, there are various definitions for squatters.
Squatting can be both intentional and unintentional. Here are a few scenarios in which somebody can be defined as a squatter:
Squatters have legal rights. To be eligible for adverse possession, they must meet all adverse possession conditions. Otherwise, they may be arrested for trespassing. A homeless person may use squatters’ rights in the state of New York to acquire property. As squatters, they would not have to pay rent.
However, there are exceptions to this. Those exceptions include:
In the state of New York, a person may claim adverse possession if they’ve paid taxes and have lived openly on the property for at least ten years without the owner’s authorization.
But things get a bit different in New York City. In particular, the city has its own set of adverse property laws regarding apartments. When a squatter takes over an apartment in NYC, he has what is known as squatter rights.
In New York City, squatters are grant rights after just 30 days. Yes, you’re reading that right: just 30 days. Sometimes it is easier for property owners and a few smaller landlords to pay a squatter to quit the property instead of spending big bucks on legal fees to have them removed.
Squatting and trespassing are not the same things. The owner or landlord of the property may decide that squatting is not welcome, but the squatter is not necessarily breaking any laws by inhabiting land or property that’s not theirs. Trespassing, on the other hand, has legal implications.
Keep in mind that:
After a given period, squatters can become a property’s legal owners. A squatter in New York can claim adverse possession after occupying a property for ten years and not be charged criminally for doing so.
The United States has five specific legal conditions for squatters seeking adverse possession. They are:
The squatting must be evident. In order to meet this condition, even the property owner would have to have known that the person was living on the property without permission.
In this example, the word ‘hostile’ does not suggest the assertion should be harmful or violent. Hostile in this context suggests a simple occupation; an awareness of infringement; or a mistake of good faith.
Let’s look at these more closely:
With permanent possession, the squatter has to have remained on the land in question uninterrupted. In New York, that translates to ten years. It can’t be a situation in which they use the property for a few years and then leave.
The squatter must be the only one who claims ownership of the property. If you share the property with others, (i.e. squatters, tenants, or even the owner) your claim is invalid.
The squatter must reside on the property and treat the property as if they were the actual owners. One example of how this may show up is if the squatter has planted a garden or cleared the property of debris.
In property law, the phrase “color of title” refers to a person’s claim to be in possession of a document granting them title to a piece of property when, in fact, they don’t, or there is a specific defect in the document. For instance, a void deed or one that has errors in it may give the impression that someone owns a piece of property, but in actuality, this is not the case.
Due to squatters’ ability to employ color of title as a means of creating the impression that they are the property’s owners and their potential to use it to eventually obtain legal possession of the real property in some states, the topic of the color of title is frequently brought up in instances involving adverse occupation and real estate property claims.
For the whole ten years of their continuous occupation, squatters in New York must have the color of title in order to prove adverse possession. After confirming adverse possession, a squatter may assert the color of title.
You might be tempted to intervene on your own if you discover someone residing in your home without your consent (After all, it is your property). That might not be the best plan after all. If you approach it incorrectly, you risk being sued or even being arrested.
So, Here Are Some Pointers To Help You Respect Squatters Rights:
Under NYC law & state law, removing a squatter with-out judicial action is prohibited. That simply means you can’t get out of the apartment that they’re not paying rent for.
Especially, property owners can’t physically remove squatters themselves; they must rely on the court as well as law enforcement to do it. Along those lines, landlords can’t deactivate utility services in an try to get the squatter to pull out or make the squatter uncomfortable since they are deemed tenants after a certain time.
Squatters can be a unique issue to contend with as a landlord in New York. It can be challenging dealing with them properly. With that in mind, it’s a good idea for NYC landlords to become familiar with laws governing squatters and their rights.
Squatters in the State of New York have rights, albeit not the same rights as tenants who have acquired an apartment or home legally. New York’s squatters’ law allows homeless people and anyone else who attempts to establish residence on someone else’s property, limited rights that will help them avoid a trespassing charge. In addition, squatters help their case to remain on the property properly maintain it while they are living there. Squatters can also avoid a trespassing charge if they can prove that they inhabited the property due to an emergency.
Squatter are more than people who live in a property without the owner’s permission. Squatting can also happen accidentally.
Possible scenarios in which a person can be deemed a squatter include:
Some people equate trespassing to squatting. This is not the case although both can be illegal. In the state of New York, anyone who lives on a property for 30 days or more becomes a legal tenant. Therefore, eviction becomes critical prior to the 30-day threshold.
What often happens is that squatters and trespassers can falsely claim a right to reside on a property. They forge documents to make it appear as if they are legal tenants of the property to buy some time until they can take full advantage of squatters rights in NYC.
NYC eviction process is fairly complicated and lengthy, so you’ll want to avoid it if at all possible. If you’re inexperienced in real estate and/or real estate law, work with a property manager or professional real estate agent to evict the squatter.
You can send this notice to someone who’s lived on the property for less than 30 days. In the notice, you will need to notify the squatter that they have ten days to vacate the property along with the reason they must do so. If the squatter does not leave the property after ten days, you can file suit against them.
A 14 day notice is considered the notice period for evicting someone. In this notice, you inform the tenant that they should pay the entire amount of rental due or quit the property in 14 days.
It usually works when a person is an old tenant and living in the property even after the termination of the lease. In such a situation, you can charge them rent. After the notice expires, you can pursue the case for eviction in court.
You will send this notice when the squatter has been living on the property for more than 30 days and are now considered a legal tenant of the property. This notice notifies the squatter that they have 30 days to leave. If the tenant does not leave the property after 30 days, you can initiate the eviction process. If the squatter has been living on the property for a year or more, you will have to send them a 60-day notice.
Remember, that the squatter is likely to fight the case in court to stay on the property as long as possible. Landlords can prepare for these court proceedings by becoming familiar with the State of New York’s eviction laws.
It may seem like squatters are big winners here, but homeowners can still protect themselves against squatters. Here’s how:
Squatters in the state of New York have ten years or more of continuous occupation before they can file an adverse possession claim. If a squatter files a legal claim to a piece of property, they are no longer considered criminal trespassers and are allowed to live there.
It is because the city wants to prevent people from loitering on the streets, something that might be done at the expense of property owners. According to the legislation and case law of New York, squatters get rights 30 days after occupying the property.
Property owners must use the court system and the Sheriff’s office to evict tenants because they are not permitted to remove squatters themselves.
Yes. Squatters in New York are required to pay property taxes for ten years before they may formally claim the property they are occupying.
Yes, but not always. Squatting may be tolerated on vacant or abandoned land in certain circumstances and if the owner hasn’t explicitly stated that squatters aren’t welcome. Trespassing, on the other hand, is prohibited.
Squatters are people who live on land or property that they do not own or formally lease. Anyone who neglects to keep an eye on their property runs the risk of getting a squatter. That is why it is essential to conduct proper oversight of your property.
Prevention is always the best strategy when it comes to dealing with squatters. If you encounter a squatter on your property, don’t try to evict them on your own. Instead, ask for assistance from a property manager or an attorney to avoid breaking any laws or violating the squatters’ rights.