How to Get a Squatter Out of Your Home

How to Get a Squatter Out of Your Home
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Tip

Contact the police if the squatters have broken into the property by force. They may be removed without court intervention.

Professional eviction companies exist in many areas; if you're having trouble evicting a squatter, contact one for help.

Most people have lease agreements before they move into a property. Squatters skip a step and move in -- sometimes even turning on utilities -- without a legal agreement. Legally, a squatter is a person without a tenancy agreement or property title living in your inhabited, uninhabited or abandoned property. Squatters can be strangers, roommates or family members who have no tenancy agreement and won't vacate your property when you ask. Do not take action against a squatter without a court order, police officer or attorney. Squatters have rights in many states and violating them can make evicting the squatter more difficult when you get to court.

Step 1

Speak with a licensed real estate attorney before taking any action. Many states give rights to the squatter who, if you don't address the situation properly, may not be removed from your property. An attorney will know the correct, often complicated procedures to legally evict a squatter, which varies depending on where you live. At-will states require serving the squatter with a 30-day notice-to-terminate tenancy, while states such as Florida and Maryland require noncompliance notices.

Step 2

Fill out a notice-to-quit form. It explains that the tenant has a certain amount of time to leave the property -- it varies by state, up to 30 days.

Step 3

Mail the notice-to-quit to the tenant. Ask for delivery confirmation at the post office. There are several ways to accomplish this, but the correct method varies by state. One widely accepted way to send the papers to the squatter is by certified mail. Ask for a return receipt so you have proof the squatter has received the paperwork. Request one that includes a signature, date, time and location where the documents were received.

Step 4

Visit the courthouse where the property is located and ask the clerk of court for the correct forms. The name of the form varies by location. Explain that you wish to evict a squatter and the clerk will direct you to the right form. The forms are named differently in different areas and the procedure for obtaining them varies from state to state. In some places, the forms are online. In others, you must pick them up in person. Bring a copy of the notice-to-quit and the property deed when you ask for the paperwork. Pay the fee and take the paperwork and court date from the filer.

If you aren't in the state or county where the property is located, ask your attorney or property management company to file papers for you and represent you in court. The name of the person representing you would be included in the court documents.

Step 5

Send the notice of the hearing, along with all your court documents, to the squatter. Get proof of delivery with confirmation.

Step 6

Attend your court hearing. Prove you own the property and no lease exists. Bring the notice of eviction from the judge to the local police station or sheriff's office to evict the squatter.

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