Browse Category: Renting and Tenant Rights

Squatter's Rights on Land

A squatter is a person that takes up residency within an abandoned or unused property, despite not needing any actual right–legal or otherwise–to do so. Though squatters don’t have any authority to occupy fresh properties or territory –and consequently, are accountable for committing trespass–there are laws in place that expand protection to squatters who stay in 1 area, sterile, for a substantial period of time. A squatter who matches the standards may have a claim for de facto ownership of a plot of land where he’s been living, against the true owner’s wishes.

Adverse Possession

Adverse possession, often colloquially referred to as”squatter’s rights,” is the practice of forcefully transferring ownership of real property, against the otherwise exclusive right of the property’s owner. Adverse possession enables a squatter, or possessor, who continuously occupies a plot of land possessed by another person to basically force the owner to transfer the property’s title, without compensation and against the owner’s wishes.


For a squatter to take ownership of another individual’s property through adverse possession, he should meet four primary criteria. To begin with, the squatter should take real, exclusive possession of the property, either via residential occupation or commercial or entertainment use. Secondly, the squatter’s use of the property must be open and clear; he can’t, as an instance, hide behind trees in the rear of the plot in which his use isn’t clear to the general public. Third, the squatter’s use must be exclusive, and can’t be shared with the proprietor or another possessor. Fourth, the squatter’s use must adversely encroach the proprietor’s interests; a person who occupies property with the owner’s permission, like a tenant, wouldn’t satisfy this standard.

Continuous Use

In addition to the above, the squatter’s use also has to be continuous and uninterrupted for a statutory period of time. The statutory time frame varies from state to state; although the ordinary period across all states in seven decades, some states require a minimum constant use of at least 20 years for the squatter to claim adverse possession. If the owner or another party removes or impedes the squatter’s use, it’s no longer constant, and the statutory”clock” resets. A couple of states–most notably, Maine–also impose additional standards, although the vast majority of states follow this five-part rule.


The consequences of squatter’s rights are very pricey for the original owner of the property. If a squatter successfully attracts a claim of adverse possession against youpersonally, you permanently lose the title to the property. The squatter isn’t required to compensate you for taking ownership, and once the squatter takes ownership, he chooses all claims to the property–you cannot sell, develop, occupy or otherwise use the property.


As a landowner, you can prevent adverse possession by actively protecting your interests. If you are not currently using or occupying the property, visit the storyline on a regular basis, at least once every month. At any time you find someone using your property without your permission, take the right actions to eliminate him instantly. If the squatter poses a physical risk to you or to himself, call local law enforcement for help. For persistent squatters, file a civil claim for trespass to secure an arrangement to”evict” the squatter, and seek an order of protection barring any future trespass. If the squatter remains undeterred, continue to eliminate him on a regular basisthis is going to effectively prevent the squatter from satisfying the”constant use” requirement.

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Real Estate Short Sale Tips

A brief sale can spare you from the foreclosure procedure if you can no longer manage your mortgage obligations. In a short sale, you sell your property to get less money than you owe on your loan, and the creditor forgives the equilibrium. This procedure eliminates the need for foreclosure, the legal route a creditor uses to take back ownership of property once the mortgage obligations are no longer being made in full and on time.

Prove Necessity

You have to be ready to verify that the brief sale is necessary. Approaching a creditor about a brief sale without documentation can lead to delays and a refusal of approval for the sale. Lenders typically have forms that you fill out when seeking permission for a short sale. The lending institution will need documentation of your earnings, other invoices, bank statements and previous year tax returns. You will have to sign up a hardship affidavit, which is a record that explains why you can no longer manage the loan payment.

Legal Aid

You can be subject to money judgments and taxes even after the brief sale is completed and the creditor has forgiven the rest of the mortgage loan. Lenders are allowed to obtain judgments against you in court for the amount of the mortgage loan which wasn’t paid off at the brief sale. These are generally referred to as lack decisions. Nevertheless, you can negotiate with the creditor to insert a clause at the brief sale arrangement which prevents the creditor from pursuing a deficiency judgment. You should think about enlisting the support of a property attorney to ease the brief sale agreement records.

Tax Liability

The IRS treats money spilled on a loan which has been secured by a piece of property, such as property, as earnings in the year that the balance was forgiven. As a consequence, you can be subject to taxes on the amount of the mortgage which wasn’t retrieved by the lender at the brief sale. A property attorney or tax professional can help you determine what tax obligations may arise from a brief sale.

Find a Buyer

In a short sale, you have to find a buyer for the property. Ordinarily, you’ll have to employ a real estate agent to show the home, as would happen in a traditional home sale. You can also list the home and manage the showings yourself without the support of a real estate agent, but this can prove to be difficult, given the time constraints. Lenders can impose a time limitation on a brief sale, and if your home is not sold by that time, the permission for the sale can be revoked.

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Does one Landlord Have the Right to the Alarm Code?

California laws try to balance a landlord’s right to enter a rental property and a tenant’s right to privacy. When the rental home includes an active alarm system, a tenant might wonder whether the landlord has a right to the alert code. Since there are different situations surrounding alarm systems on rental properties, so it is a good idea to explore landlord and tenant rights prior to signing the rental arrangement.

Landlord Right to Enter

California laws limit when a landlord can enter an occupied rental property to only four reasons, as summarized in Civil Code 1954. First of all, a landlord can enter the unit when a tenant gives consent. He also can enter at any given time in the event of an emergency, such as a broken water heater. He can input the unit during regular business hours after giving reasonable notice so as to make repairs or to give access to care professionals. Finally, the landlord can enter to show the property to prospective renters after giving reasonable notice and putting the appointment during regular business hours. Twenty-four hours written or verbal notice is deemed reasonable in California.

Applicable Rules for Entry

If the landlord follows the proper notification procedure, the tenant cannot refuse entry or order the terms of entrance, according to Project Sentinel, a housing counseling agency in California. The landlord legally is permitted to safeguard the right to enter the unit by either keeping a copy of the keys or asking the tenant to supply keys. If a tenant fails to allow the landlord access to the rental property, then the landlord may enter lawfully anyhow. If the tenant fails to make reasonable accommodations to permit the landlord to enter, the tenant is responsible for any costs incurred.

False Alarm Fines

A alarm system won’t limit a landlord’s entry to a rental unit because he already has keys to access the property. But a triggered alarm can lead to a disruption to neighbors and could violate noise nuisance ordinances for town. Also, unless the tenant leaves off the alert or provides the landlord with the code, the alarm will activate a response from emergency responders. Certain cities in California impose penalties for excessive false alarms, and the tenant could face a variety of effects from warnings to fines.

Lease Agreement

If the alarm system already is installed prior to the tenant moves in, the neighbor already will have the alert code. The rental agreement might specify that the tenant isn’t permitted to change the code or that the tenant should provide the code if changed. Lease agreements typically prohibit tenants from making any changes, additions or improvements to the rental property, including adding alert systems. Tenants who want to install an alarm system should get written permission from the landlord first. At that moment, tenants can discuss alarm code accessibility together with the neighbors and come to some mutual arrangement.

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