Illegal or unauthorized occupants, commonly known as squatters, can pose a serious problem for property owners. These trespassers may damage the property, disturb the peace, and cause legal issues.
Squatters do not have an existing landlord-tenant relationship with the property owner. They are not legally bound to follow any rules or regulations. In most cases, they are former residents who have refused to vacate the premises after their lease agreement has lapsed.
A squatter is different from a trespasser. While squatters and trespassers enter the premises without the property owner’s permission, squatters attempt to claim ownership over the property.
It is essential to take proactive measures to protect your property from squatters. Fortunately, there are a few steps that property owners can take to safeguard their investment from squatters.
Keep the property well-maintained.
Keeping the property well-maintained makes it less attractive to squatters. If the property appears to be neglected, it is more likely to be targeted by squatters. So, it’s essential to keep up with the maintenance and to regularly check for any signs of damage.
The property should have no signs of being abandoned. An outward sign of abandonment, such as an overgrown garden, can add to the property’s appeal to squatters. So, it’s important to keep the outside areas well-maintained.
Check the property regularly.
Checking the property regularly makes it less attractive to squatters, who are often attracted to abandoned or neglected properties. When a tenant moves out, one of the most important times to visit your property.
Checking your property allows you to monitor any developing squatter situation. In this situation, you should resolve it on the spot. You should not wait too long since removing the squatter will be more challenging.
Schedule regular visits to your property throughout the year is also a good idea. This will help you keep an eye on potential problems and catch them before they become serious. But you should work with a reputable company offering reliable traveller eviction services if someone is already occupying your property illegally. The company should have the knowledge and experience to implement eviction services on your land or building.
Keep an eye out for signs of unauthorized occupancy.
Several signs may indicate that someone is squatting on your property:
- Windows or doors that have been forced open
- Damage to locks
- Unusual activity, such as lights on in the middle of the night
- People coming and going at odd hours
- Trash or debris around the property
- Evidence of people living on the property, such as sleeping bags or cooking equipment
If you see any of these signs, take action immediately. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to remove the squatter.
Change the locks.
Changing the locks as soon as possible is essential if you have reason to believe someone has been on your property without your permission. This is the best way to ensure that only authorized people can access your property.
Aside from preventing squatters, changing the locks also secures future tenants. You never know when a previous tenant may try to access the property, so it’s best to be proactive and change the locks as soon as possible. Keeping the property reasonably secure is crucial to protect the tenant’s safety, the likelihood of break-ins, and local community standards.
A reasonably secure property has a much lower chance of being targeted by squatters or criminals, so it’s essential to do what you can to secure the premises.
Install security cameras.
Another way to protect your property from unauthorized occupants is to install security cameras. This will allow you to keep an eye on the property even when you’re not there. You can also set up the cameras to record footage to review it later if there is a problem.
A security camera is also a deterrent for would-be criminals, as they will know that they are being watched and recorded. This can discourage them from trying to break into your property or from causing any damage.
The equipment can also reduce your insurance expenses for the property. Many insurance companies offer discounts for properties with security systems, so it’s worth investigating this before you make your purchase.
Make sure your property is well-lit.
A well-lit property is less likely to be targeted by vandals or burglars. By installing security lights around your property, you can make it more difficult for perpetrators to commit crimes without being seen. Not only does this deter crime, but it also provides safety and security for those who live or work on the property.
Squatters also avoid well-lit areas as they are more likely to be seen and reported. If you have a vacant property that you are trying to sell or rent, it is essential to keep the area well-lit to deter squatters from moving in.
By taking these simple precautions, property owners can help to protect their investment from the damaging effects of squatters.