Maybe you’re an entrepreneur who owns multiple rental properties. Perhaps you live elsewhere but own property here in Austin. Many situations can cause properties to remain unoccupied for months or even years,
Squatters pose a threat to property owners here in Texas. Not only can they devastate your property, but if the situation continues for long enough it could also turn into adverse possession. Nobody wants that.
Is your property at risk for squatters?
Squatting occurs in highly populated urban environments, suburban neighborhoods and in isolated rural locations. Any property that is infrequently inspected is ripe for attracting squatters. Other things that prevent squatting include:
- Posting “No Trespassing” signs on the property and its perimeter
- Boarding up exposed windows and doors
- Promptly paying any property taxes
- Sometimes, you might arrive for an inspection only to discover that squatters already moved into the property.
- Tips for dealing with squatters on your property
Work with whatever sheriff’s department has jurisdiction over your property. Don’t call the city police, as this is not a criminal matter. Here in Texas, it is a civil matter pursuant to the Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code referenced above.
Immediately serve the squatters with written notices to immediately vacate your property. Failing that, attempt to rent it to them. The sheriff’s department will carry out the eviction if you exhaust all other options to work out the matter.
Learning about the adverse possession laws in the state of Texas and how squatters use these laws to gain ownership of a property may protect you from the risk of squatters.