Vacant rental homes draw a lot of problems. If you have a tenant that moves out with no one to move in right away, then those empty rooms begin to draw attention to trespassers and squatters. By definition, a squatter is a person who unlawfully occupies an uninhabited building or unused land. In simple terms for homeowners, you have a squatter when you have someone who is residing in your property without getting your confirmed permission. There are also instances where a former tenant becomes a squatter because of refusal to leave your property despite not paying rent after their lease has expired or been terminated.
These unlawful occupants pose a severe gamble to your Pleasanton rental property and your capacity to rent it to new renters. The excellent way to bypass squatters is to keep your property secure and, if you don’t live close to your rental home, have a property management company check on the place frequently.
If you discover a squatter, it is best to act on it as soon as possible. Call the police immediately. If you don’t, then it would seem like you are allowing the squatter to stay on your property which would not work for you when you want to evict them. The courts would also view your hesitancy to evict as a sign of consent. Even worse is when the squatter has turned on utilities at that address in their name. Some places recognize that by doing so, it establishes residency, even though the squatter is theoretically stealing your property. If that transpires, the police will then treat the circumstances a civil and not a criminal matter.
If the police aren’t of any help, your next step should be to serve the unlawful occupant with an eviction notice. Every so often, simply giving notice will encourage the squatter to move on. If they don’t vacate your property, however, you may want to file an unlawful detainer lawsuit, which will start formal eviction proceedings. Depending on the speed of the court system in your area, this could take anywhere from a couple of weeks to many months. After you have a judgment in your favor from the court, you can allow the local sheriff or police officer to remove the squatter for you.
Once you have successfully evicted your squatters, you may need to address their personal property. Whether they leave willingly or are forcibly removed, they may leave their belongings behind. Depending on where the rental home is located, you may be able to simply throw these items away. However, in some places, you may need to place the items in a storage unit at your expense. If the squatter doesn’t pay the storage fees and claim their property, then you have the right to auction it off or dispose of it as the law in your area dictates.
It can be quite bothersome to deal with squatters. The process is long, and not to mention stressful. It can take up your precious time and could potentially drain your resources. Worry no more, because here at Real Property Management Masters, we believe in proactive prevention as the best approach to unlawful occupants. We manage the moving out process when tenants vacate the property and fill the spot quickly. After all, an occupied rental house is a profitable, squatter-free rental house. For more information about our Pleasanton property management services, contact us online or call us at 510-398-8704 today.