Difference Between Trespassers and Squatters.

Everybody uses the terms trespassing and squatting interchangeably, but they are two completely different things. If you’re not sure what’s the difference between these two activities, read along to get a full understanding of these real estate indescretions.

While squatting and trespassing seem like the same thing, they are not. Learn what is legally considered as each one of these and how to deal with them correctly.

What is Trespassing?

Trespassing is the unlawful entry of any property without the permission of its owner or legal possessor. It is a civil wrong and may be tried in a civil court.

Trespassers are usually prosecuted for criminal trespass, which is usually a misdemeanor offense. In some states, it can be elevated to a felony if there is evidence that the defendant intended to commit a crime in addition to entering the property unlawfully.

What is Squatting ?

Squatting occurs when someone takes possession of property that does not belong to them and refuses to leave when asked by law enforcement officials. This act may be considered trespassing if the landowner has not given permission for someone to live on his or her property or if they have been asked to leave by law enforcement officials but refuse to do so.

Understanding the difference:

The main difference between trespassers and squatters is intent. A trespasser enters your property by mistake or accident, while a squatter intends to take possession of your property.

How to Get Rid of Squatters ?

Squatters have no legal right to live in your home. They don’t pay rent or utilities and they don’t pay any taxes on the property either. If you want to get rid of squatters, then you’ll need to evict them through court proceedings.

Squatters can be a real nuisance and can cause a lot of problems for the landlord. They may not have the legal right to occupy your property but they may be difficult to remove.

How to Get Rid of Trespassers ?

If you have a trespasser, then all you need to do is ask them to leave. If they refuse, then you can call the police and have them removed from your property.

The bottom line:

While trespassing and squatting can both be problematic for real estate owners, it’s important to remember that they are two different activities. Trespassers are those who illegally access a property without the owner’s knowledge or consent, which is a serious crime. Squatters, in contrast, move into and take up residence on a property without being forced out. The latter activity is a civil matter only (not a crime), but it too can be problematic in terms of costs and other difficulties.

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