You’ve worked hard to acquire your property, and you have a right to enjoy it and use it as you please. You have a weekend getaway that you utilize to get out of the city. Unfortunately, you haven’t had the chance to go for several months now.
When you finally get the time, you decide to take a trip with your family. Upon arrival, you notice that the lights are on and there are signs of movement inside. You head to the front door and are confronted by someone inside the building. They claim that they live there now and have been for a while.
Your first reaction might be to get angry and demand that they leave. If they refuse, what can you do?
The terms trespassers and squatters are often used interchangeably, but they are fundamentally different. Trespassers occupy your property for brief periods and do not attempt to claim ownership rights. On the other hand, squatters will try to assert legal rights of ownership and claim they are entitled to be there.
As difficult as it may be, you cannot lash out in anger toward squatters. Any threats towards them could be used against you, and any form of physicality is likely to see you facing charges. The situation can be extremely frustrating, but squatters need to be removed in a lawful manner.
What can you do?
The first thing you’ll want to do is alert the relevant authorities. They will be able to determine whether the imposters are trespassers or squatters. Trespassers may be violating criminal laws, which means the police may remove them from the scene.
Asserting your rights
You can have squatters removed through the appropriate channels. You want to get the eviction process rolling as soon as possible by serving a legal notice. As you make your next moves, it is vital to have a support network around you that has all of the relevant knowledge and experience.