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A Man’s Home Is His Castle, Right?
[Link] Homeowners call them “criminals”, but law enforcement refer to them as squatters.
They break into your home, move their stuff in and refuse to leave!
Thankfully, some lawmakers see this as a travesty and seek to restore the Constitutional protection over private property rights:
District 10 Sen. Owen Hill and House District 16 Rep. Larry Liston are also sponsoring this bill they hope will send squatters packing.
Under the proposal, law enforcement would have the authority to immediately remove squatters. The bill also goes a step further by making it a class 1 misdemeanor if the squatters alter or damage the homeowner’s property.
From the Cato Institute:
America’s Founders understood clearly that private property is the foundation not only of prosperity but of freedom itself.
Thus, through the common law, state law, and the Constitution, they protected property rights — the rights of people to acquire, use, and dispose of property freely. With the growth of modern government, however, those rights been seriously compromised.
This seems to be just one more example of a woke culture out of control. Up is down. Right is wrong. Black is white. And property, gender, and everything is fluid. Daily. Good grief. What is next? With this kind of ‘thinking,’ where does it stop? Why not allow a ‘D’ student to sit at an ‘A’ student’s desk and appropriate all of their grades. Is nothing respected and inviolate anymore? This is simply crazy and chaotic and turns the pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness completely on its head!
There needs to be a federal solution to this attack on property rights and freedom and clearly set out their inviolability. Perhaps we need to sic a mob of squatters to the Obama Martha Vineyard estate in order to provide proper motivation to fix this outrage?Published in General
Desantis tried that with the Obama estate on MV. The only people whose property rights are protected are the ruling elites.
Steve Lehto and a few other attorneys on YouTube address these issues occasionally.
I agree it can be a problem, but what about someone who is actually renting and actually signed a valid lease with an actual property owner? What’s to stop the owner/landlord from claiming they’re just squatters? How are the police supposed to know what lease is valid and what lease isn’t? Just from the owner’s say-so? What if they’re lying?
Landlords can be greedy too, and they can profit by taking first/last/deposit/etc from someone, then claiming they’re “squatters” to get them removed by police and then do it again. They could get 3 month’s rent per month, or more.
You can also get the innocent victims who signed a lease with someone who claimed to be the owner, but really wasn’t. How much “due diligence” is someone expected to do? Somehow make sure the person they deal with is who they claim to be, and they’re actually the owner, that they’re not about to be foreclosed by their bank, etc? How do they get the owner’s bank to tell them anything?
Interesting, but not even close to the point of the conversation.
Chain of custody issues are important. On both ends of things.
Or as the old joke goes: “Last week I got a terrific price on the house I’ve been living in. My wife is so proud of me
“But for some reason, the landlord is pissed.”
I have heard that this is indeed happening quite lot.
A friend of a friend bought a mid priced home outside of Reno. Before moving in, she drove out to the house to see if the utilities were up and running, and if she could begin her move.
Well yes the utilities had been turned on per her agreement with the utility company.
But a total stranger was camped out in her home.
The police were indifferent. She finally had the utilities turned off and she hired musicians who set up amplifiers and then blasted heavy metal music at the house for several hours, all equipment powered by generators.
The “camper” hastily retreated.
I think it is crazy that there are localities where the police don’t enforce laws against trespassing. But I disagree with making this a federal issue. This has been a Colorado problem and Coloradans can fix it.
Whatever happened to “Trespassers will be shot.”
That’s the way it was when I lived in Colorado.
How so? Most squatters that I read about, claim to have a valid lease, which they show. Police are not in a position to determine whether that’s true or not.
You mean global warming hasn’t washed that place away yet?
Again, the issue of “trespassing” is not always cut-and-dried. “Trespassing” can only be established by the actual owner, usually in court – again, not just by the police – and squatters who have what they claim to be a valid lease, are not “trespassing” until a court decides they are.
Now the time it may take in certain jurisdictions to deal with these cases, may need to be shortened. Especially in leftist areas where they support the squatters more than the owners. But if you think no owners/landlords would ever take advantage of “instant eviction” to make a profit, you may want to think again. That happens too.
Long-term it may be better to rely on deterrence: convicted squatters do time. At present there seems to be little if any real consequence for doing it.
That’s one option, if you’re ready to go to trial for it. Which would be up to the DA. Maybe they wouldn’t prosecute if you have a good argument, but the Jonah Goldbergs and David Frenches of the world seem to think having your day in court is no big deal, even if you end up unemployed, bankrupt, and homeless.
Oh, and owners who make false accusations of trespassing/squatting should do time too. And maybe the people they accuse end up owning the property. Fair is fair.
I saw this lady on TV, and she wasn’t allowed to turn off the utilities. So she had to pay for services for the people stealing from her. Politicians have made it so hard to evict deadbeat renters and squatters and have little regard for actual homeowners. Years ago I thought about rental properties as an investment, but it isn’t worth it.
Squatters would probably create a phony lease in which the landlord is responsible for all utility bills. But when there is a dispute, those bills could be put in some kind of escrow or something, so that the owner doesn’t pay them – or gets that money back from the escrow – if it comes out in their favor.
The main issue for pretty much all of these cases, though, is timeliness.
A preventative measure could be a registry of rental properties. Many locations require this already, although enforcement may be spotty at best. But if someone is claiming to rent a property that is not registered by the owner as being for rent, that would allow for quick removal of squatters. Which would be an incentive for landlords to register their rental properties. Any legitimate renter would know not to enter into any kind of agreement on a property that isn’t registered.
You may be right about the federal issue. However, this is NOT just a Colorado problem. It is nationwide.
Which is why there needs to be a law that provides clarity for law enforcement to protect a home owner’s deed and ownership and that any signature on the so-called lease is fake.
Which means, no more rental houses, just apartments etc? I think BlackRock would like to have a word with you… In addition to the many people who do own rental houses, often as part of their overall financial plan and possible retirement.
Blackrock and your warped perspective on this issue can take a flying leap.
What, you think people who own a rental house don’t have a deed? Your position would mean that any homeowner could have anyone legally renting that house, arrested/evicted/etc just on their say-so. Because they have a deed, and – in your words – any signature on a so-called lease is [inherently, presumably] fake.
Also, deeds aren’t all that conclusive either. A deed is just a document signifying title, i.e. actual ownership. Actual records of title are maintained by cities, counties, states… The deed itself is not proof or evidence. Basically it just says where to look for the actual proof. (And if your deed copy is lost or destroyed in a fire or something, that doesn’t mean you no longer own the property.) Squatters do produce fake deeds as well. And if you’ve owned a house for 20 years and have a deed from 20 years ago, while the squatters have a deed from last month…. what’cha’gonna’do when they come for YOU? Because by your “Deed” standard, the squatters win: their deed is newer than yours.
Your cheese is sliding off your cracker.
I saw a video on this a bit back. Guy caught a lucky break, was able to slip in while they were out, something something I forget the rest. The police at first wouldn’t lift a damned finger. After he solved it himself, he spoke to the Sheriff who seemd embarrassed that his guys had blown the guy off, and they were able to trade notes on the whole thing. I’ll see if I can find it.
Let’s hear your solution. And make sure it’s workable in the real world.
Yes there have been a few of those, including one by Steve Lehto.
This is the one. It could be a quarter the length, but it’s an enjoyable watch — seems like a really good guy.
I don’t care about your stalking horse problem. You should write a post on it.
aka, you don’t have a quick-and-dirty solution either. That’s the point, nobody really does, if they’re serious. If they claim to, they’re dreaming.
All I get from you is all cops are bad, all squatters are good. We’re not even concerned about the same problem.
As Columbo says, restore the primacy of property rights, and I don’t care who signed a fraudulent lease. That’s going to be a ridiculously (as in worthy of ridicule) small slice of the real problem, which is hostile entitled bums eating our country from the inside out.
There is a system for dealing with lease fraudsters, but the system for dealing with squatters is breaking down because it’s being broken down by our marxist termites.
Nope, totally missing the point.
Squatters don’t just “squat” any more. They often have real-looking documents etc, sometimes even including deeds, etc. That’s how fraudsters manage to rent out – to other people – or even sell peoples’ houses and pocket the money, while the actual owners are at Disneyland or whatever. Cops are not in a position to know what documents are real and what documents aren’t. They’re already often not very good at what they’re supposed to do, expecting them to do title searches on the street is bananas.
Making convicted squatters really hurt for it, is likely the only realistic way of bringing it down.
Even worse, people are often sloppy in the way they handle their business – allowing someone else to stay on properties they own with no written lease, no clear agreement, thinking they’ll get to it later, which just further muddies the water.
It’s essentially a civil dispute and you can’t put cops in the middle of that. They’re not judges and they can’t hold court. Once the court rules on it, they can issue an order to the sheriff to effect the eviction.
That’s not to say the court process shouldn’t be streamlined. I’m sure it should in many places. That’s the heart of the matter. It’s not really a property rights issue, (a tenancy is a property right, too) it’s a process issue.
It seems that many people don’t see – maybe can’t even imagine – being on the other side of it. You have a lease on a house or something, and one day the owner/landlord tells the police to take you away because “I have a DEED!”