What is a Squatter?

Real Estate Dictionary

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One who lives on another's land without legal claim or authority. (See Adverse Possession.)

A squatter is a person who occupies an abandoned or unoccupied property without obtaining legal permission or paying rent. Squatting typically involves living in a property, such as a house, apartment, or building, that the squatter does not own or have a legal right to use. Squatters often take advantage of properties that are vacant, neglected, or unused, and they may establish temporary or even long-term residences in these spaces.

Squatting can occur for various reasons. Some individuals may resort to squatting due to financial difficulties or homelessness, seeking shelter in abandoned or unused properties. Others may engage in squatting as a form of political protest or to challenge property ownership laws and advocate for alternative housing arrangements.

The legal status of squatting varies widely depending on the jurisdiction. In some places, squatting is illegal and considered trespassing or a criminal offense, while in others, it may be tolerated or even recognized under certain circumstances. Laws regarding squatters' rights differ across countries and can be complex. It's important to consult local laws and regulations to understand the specific legal framework regarding squatting in a particular jurisdiction.