Author Topic: Squatter Rights?  (Read 5652 times)

bmjohnson35

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 272
Squatter Rights?
« on: November 08, 2020, 12:57:49 PM »
https://www.fr24news.com/a/2020/09/france-to-introduce-tougher-squat-laws-after-taking-over-vacation-home-from-retired-couple-in-riviera.html


Are these kinds of laws really typical in Europe?  If yes, do Europeans hire house sitters when they go on vacation? 

I know that people who rent homes in the US can have what I consider extraordinary rights when they quit paying their lease, but to loose control over your property to a random squatter seems nuts to me.  I think some US states have various forms of squatters rights for years of "occupation," but not 2 or more days.

Whether this is real or not, articles like this provide an example of why so many Americans fear socialism.
 

former player

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6079
  • Location: Avalon
Re: Squatter Rights?
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2020, 01:07:39 PM »
It took a month to get them out through the courts.  I don't think that's bad.  How long would it take through the courts in the USA?  Or do you just go in all guns blazing?

lutorm

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 263
  • Location: A large island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean
Re: Squatter Rights?
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2020, 01:21:16 PM »
AFAIK most states in the US have laws that say that if you are aware of someone using your property and do nothing about it, you can be judges to have surrendered that property to the user. Look up "adverse possession":

Quote
In general, a property owner has the right to recover possession of their property from unauthorised possessors through legal action such as ejectment. However, in the English common law tradition, courts have long ruled that when someone occupies a piece of property without permission and the property's owner does not exercise their right to recover their property for a significant period of time, not only is the original owner prevented from exercising their right to exclude, but an entirely new title to the property "springs up" in the adverse possessor. In effect, the adverse possessor becomes the property's new owner.

Quote
Whether this is real or not, articles like this provide an example of why so many Americans fear socialism.
Not sure what you mean by this since the concept has a basis in US law as well, and in any case France is not a "socialist" country.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2020, 01:25:44 PM by lutorm »

RetiredAt63

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 14596
  • Location: Eastern Ontario, Canada
Re: Squatter Rights?
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2020, 01:52:56 PM »
AFAIK most states in the US have laws that say that if you are aware of someone using your property and do nothing about it, you can be judges to have surrendered that property to the user. Look up "adverse possession":

Quote
In general, a property owner has the right to recover possession of their property from unauthorised possessors through legal action such as ejectment. However, in the English common law tradition, courts have long ruled that when someone occupies a piece of property without permission and the property's owner does not exercise their right to recover their property for a significant period of time, not only is the original owner prevented from exercising their right to exclude, but an entirely new title to the property "springs up" in the adverse possessor. In effect, the adverse possessor becomes the property's new owner.

Quote
Whether this is real or not, articles like this provide an example of why so many Americans fear socialism.
Not sure what you mean by this since the concept has a basis in US law as well, and in any case France is not a "socialist" country.

I know of a case (Quebec civil code, based on French civil law) where an organization closed off internal roads 1 day a year that were used as through roads, so that they would stay private roads.

Padonak

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 743
Re: Squatter Rights?
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2020, 02:05:43 PM »
It takes many years in most states. Could 30 years or more

bmjohnson35

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 272
Re: Squatter Rights?
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2020, 02:14:30 PM »
Socialism: "a political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole."  Of course, this is only one definition of many. 

I didn't say France is a socialist country.  Based on the definition above,  most "westernized" democracies and/or republics have become more socialist over the years. The USA has more than its share of laws based on socialism theory.

I understand the theory behind squatters rights and/or homesteading when the ownership of a large percentage of land was not clearly defined many years ago.  What I can't understand, is someone being able to legally squat on/in your property after a few days.  Whether it's your primary residence or a vacation home, someone taking up residence on your legal property seems insane to me.

A month would be a reasonable timeframe for you to "evict" a squatter in your vacation home?  You are much more understanding than I and no I do not advocate going in guns blazing.

 

John Galt incarnate!

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1978
  • Location: On Cloud Nine
Re: Squatter Rights?
« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2020, 05:55:23 PM »
AFAIK most states in the US have laws that say that if you are aware of someone using your property and do nothing about it, you can be judges to have surrendered that property to the user. Look up "adverse possession"



Prescriptive easements are also based upon party A knowingly allowing party B to cross  A's property.
 

To get to and from his house  A travels across a road that is on B's property.

B knows this and does nothing about it.

Then one  day B puts a locked gate across the road and tells A "I will no longer allow you to cut across my property to get to and from your house."

If B has allowed A to cross his property for a certain amount of time specified in a statute, A has a prescriptive easement, the right  to cross B's property.

SwordGuy

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7611
  • Location: Fayetteville, NC
Re: Squatter Rights?
« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2020, 06:02:55 PM »
Here's the rub.

Over the years, unscrupulous landlords have cheated so many tenants out of their rights that the laws were set up to protect tenants from them.   The procedure is that to remove someone from the property one has to go thru the courts.   Otherwise, the landlord would take a few hirelings and just use brute force.   

This has the unfortunate side effect of meaning that honest property owners have to wait on the courts as well.




Captain FIRE

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 548
Re: Squatter Rights?
« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2020, 07:08:35 PM »
AFAIK most states in the US have laws that say that if you are aware of someone using your property and do nothing about it, you can be judges to have surrendered that property to the user. Look up "adverse possession"



Prescriptive easements are also based upon party A knowingly allowing party B to cross  A's property.
 

To get to and from his house  A travels across a road that is on B's property.

B knows this and does nothing about it.

Then one  day B puts a locked gate across the road and tells A "I will no longer allow you to cut across my property to get to and from your house."

If B has allowed A to cross his property for a certain amount of time specified in a statute, A has a prescriptive easement, the right  to cross B's property.

Easements and adverse possession are different things

With adverse possession, you get the right to own the property (or a part of it).  Adverse possession generally (varies by state) requires an open and notorious use (needs to be visible that they are there), exclusive use, actual use, continuous (though this can mean that you come and use it every summer if it's a "summer property" but it can't be that you use it a year or two then skip some time), and be adverse to the owner (hostile, they didn't permit it) and be for the time period required by the state law.  That's often 10-20 years.  Sometimes you get a shorter time frame if you have some claim to the property, even if that claim is faulty (e.g. sold a deed by someone that didn't own the property).

With an easement, you get the use of the property for a limited purpose.  You can have one where the owner agreed (e.g. sold or given away) or where the owner did not.  They can also attach to the owner (no right to it after sold) or to the property (right to continue even after selling).

phildonnia

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 281
Re: Squatter Rights?
« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2020, 01:54:35 PM »
With adverse possession, you get the right to own the property (or a part of it).  Adverse possession generally (varies by state) requires an open and notorious use (needs to be visible that they are there), exclusive use, actual use, continuous (though this can mean that you come and use it every summer if it's a "summer property" but it can't be that you use it a year or two then skip some time), and be adverse to the owner (hostile, they didn't permit it) and be for the time period required by the state law.  That's often 10-20 years.  Sometimes you get a shorter time frame if you have some claim to the property, even if that claim is faulty (e.g. sold a deed by someone that didn't own the property).

That's a good explanation.  As I understand it, you can't be sneaking around on someone's property and then one day jump out and say "Boo! Adverse possession!"  It has to be open. 

Also, it has to be "adverse" to the property owner.  Sometimes a property owner will allow someone to live on their property, but charge them, say, $0.01 rent per year.  Since this use benefits the property owner, it legally establishes that it is their property.

SwordGuy

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7611
  • Location: Fayetteville, NC
Re: Squatter Rights?
« Reply #10 on: November 10, 2020, 02:17:14 PM »
With adverse possession, you get the right to own the property (or a part of it).  Adverse possession generally (varies by state) requires an open and notorious use (needs to be visible that they are there), exclusive use, actual use, continuous (though this can mean that you come and use it every summer if it's a "summer property" but it can't be that you use it a year or two then skip some time), and be adverse to the owner (hostile, they didn't permit it) and be for the time period required by the state law.  That's often 10-20 years.  Sometimes you get a shorter time frame if you have some claim to the property, even if that claim is faulty (e.g. sold a deed by someone that didn't own the property).


That's a good explanation.  As I understand it, you can't be sneaking around on someone's property and then one day jump out and say "Boo! Adverse possession!"  It has to be open. 

Also, it has to be "adverse" to the property owner.  Sometimes a property owner will allow someone to live on their property, but charge them, say, $0.01 rent per year.  Since this use benefits the property owner, it legally establishes that it is their property.

A documented "You're welcome to live on my property." letter before the adverse possession timeframe is up stops adverse possession because it's no longer without the permission of the property owner.   

FireLane

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 715
  • Location: NYC
Re: Squatter Rights?
« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2020, 05:19:22 PM »
I understand the theory behind squatters rights and/or homesteading when the ownership of a large percentage of land was not clearly defined many years ago.  What I can't understand, is someone being able to legally squat on/in your property after a few days.  Whether it's your primary residence or a vacation home, someone taking up residence on your legal property seems insane to me.

The idea behind this is that if you're a legal tenant, you have certain rights and can't be kicked out arbitrarily by the property owner. If you're not a legal tenant, you don't have the same rights, but the police can't and shouldn't adjudicate that on the spot.

There are good reasons why we shouldn't write the law such that a landlord can call the police at any time, say "This person doesn't live here, please remove them," and have the cops take their word for it. If there's a dispute as to who has the right to live somewhere, the proper venue to sort that out is through the courts, not through a snap judgment by a police officer who may not have all the facts.

It's not a good thing that there are squatters who work the system to exploit this, but the alternative is legitimate tenants having no rights and being at the mercy of their landlords. This has nothing to do with "socialism," the same thing can and does happen in the U.S.

SwordGuy

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7611
  • Location: Fayetteville, NC
Re: Squatter Rights?
« Reply #12 on: November 14, 2020, 01:31:59 PM »
Back before the Olympics came to Atlanta, GA, everyone was expecting out-of-town visitors to spend bazillions of dollars for a place to stay.  Got an empty, leaky shed with an outhouse next to it in the back yard?  Glory!   You can pay off your mortgage 5 years early just from renting it out for a month!

Ok, I exaggerate a tad, but not all that much.

A local real estate magnate who owned a whole lot of rental property decided he didnt' want to miss out on this amazing opportunity for massive profits.   So he notified thousands of tenants that they had to vacate the premises before the Olympics started and if they wanted they could move back in a month later.   Thousands of people would have their lives upended, be stuck with big moving costs (maybe twice!), and that assumes that all of them could actually find a place to live given the extra large number of people suddenly needed a place to stay.

Thankfully a DJ on a local radio station doxxed the fellow on air and invited his fellow Atlantans to phone the the real estate magnate to explain how they felt about it.

The announcement was rescinded the very next day.   

This is why there are laws and regulations to limit capitalists.   And all those laws and regulations, each and every one, pretty much was created because some jackass somewhere decided they were perfectly willing to kill, maim, sicken, cheat or upend the lives of other folks in order to make an extra dollar.

Michael in ABQ

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1206
    • Military Saints
Re: Squatter Rights?
« Reply #13 on: November 15, 2020, 05:06:56 PM »
My dad sold an 80-acre wheat farm in a rural area several years ago. He was paranoid about adverse possession because when he hire a guy to put in a barbed-wire fence decades ago along the north side (1/2 mile distance) the guy got the angle wrong and the fence ended up about 30-40 feet south of where the property line was. So essentially a narrow triangle of land containing a few acres was on the wrong side of the fence. The neighbor to the north didn't really farm the land as it was kind of rocky in that area so it was never really used.

I told my dad not to worry as just having a fence not match up exactly with a property line was not going to give them the property under adverse possession. Maybe if the neighbor had built a house in that area or actually used it in a meaningful way for years. But that was not the case.

Wolfpack Mustachian

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 827
Re: Squatter Rights?
« Reply #14 on: November 15, 2020, 05:33:50 PM »
Back before the Olympics came to Atlanta, GA, everyone was expecting out-of-town visitors to spend bazillions of dollars for a place to stay.  Got an empty, leaky shed with an outhouse next to it in the back yard?  Glory!   You can pay off your mortgage 5 years early just from renting it out for a month!

Ok, I exaggerate a tad, but not all that much.

A local real estate magnate who owned a whole lot of rental property decided he didnt' want to miss out on this amazing opportunity for massive profits.   So he notified thousands of tenants that they had to vacate the premises before the Olympics started and if they wanted they could move back in a month later.   Thousands of people would have their lives upended, be stuck with big moving costs (maybe twice!), and that assumes that all of them could actually find a place to live given the extra large number of people suddenly needed a place to stay.

Thankfully a DJ on a local radio station doxxed the fellow on air and invited his fellow Atlantans to phone the the real estate magnate to explain how they felt about it.

The announcement was rescinded the very next day.   

This is why there are laws and regulations to limit capitalists.   And all those laws and regulations, each and every one, pretty much was created because some jackass somewhere decided they were perfectly willing to kill, maim, sicken, cheat or upend the lives of other folks in order to make an extra dollar.

I mean, I get this, but I like to think of things like, if I were in the shoes of each side, how would I feel. If I were a property owner, I sure know how I feel. Never been in that position as someone renting a house out, but it's obvious I would be very upset. I have, however, been a tenant. If the police came to my apartment and I couldn't show off at least a lease agreement, I mean I kind of would understand a bit if they sided with the owner. This kind of thing, I would think, would happen pretty rarely - at least between my wife and I, we've rented at least 4-5 separate times, and nothing remotely close to this has happened. I would think owners trying to kick someone out who had a lease agreement would be extremely rare, and something could be put in the laws where if they did something blatant like that, there would be severe penalties for it. In those extremely rare situations, if I couldn't produce a lease agreement at all, I mean, I would rather me be in trouble in that situation as a tenant than someone gets to just live in someone else's house that didn't belong to them and screw them over for legal bills and be such a headache. Now if they produced an agreement and it was falsified or something, sure, the police might not be the best to resolve it. Am I missing something?

Buffaloski Boris

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2172
Re: Squatter Rights?
« Reply #15 on: November 15, 2020, 06:55:47 PM »
https://www.fr24news.com/a/2020/09/france-to-introduce-tougher-squat-laws-after-taking-over-vacation-home-from-retired-couple-in-riviera.html


Are these kinds of laws really typical in Europe?  If yes, do Europeans hire house sitters when they go on vacation? 

I know that people who rent homes in the US can have what I consider extraordinary rights when they quit paying their lease, but to loose control over your property to a random squatter seems nuts to me.  I think some US states have various forms of squatters rights for years of "occupation," but not 2 or more days.

Whether this is real or not, articles like this provide an example of why so many Americans fear socialism.
 
Adverse possession has been a legal concept since Roman times. This case was obviously an abuse. Squatting is fairly common in the US and there are numerous instances where properties were abandoned by their owners were occupied and later owned by the squatters. Detroit had a lot of these cases and there were some elsewhere after the GFC. Basically the idea is that real estate that has been abandoned gets re-used. The idea is not to dispossess legitimate owners who went on vacation.

Artem_F

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 7
Re: Squatter Rights?
« Reply #16 on: November 18, 2020, 11:19:12 AM »
we live in France and I would say that the situation described in the article is not that common. There's another problem, which is much more serious and which leads to higher demand/higher prices, namely, the law which forbids the landlord to expel the non-paying tenant in winter months; and the tenant with kids is virtually untouchable. On the one hand, it's much more human, but, on the other hand, these non-payers punish the "normal" tenants because the landlords are suspicious and it's not the person who choses the apartment like in the US (I've spent 6 years in DC area and rented 3 apartments), it's the landlord studying your history and comparing you with 20 (twenty, I'm not exaggerating) other applicants.

Wolfpack Mustachian

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 827
Re: Squatter Rights?
« Reply #17 on: November 20, 2020, 04:28:46 PM »
we live in France and I would say that the situation described in the article is not that common. There's another problem, which is much more serious and which leads to higher demand/higher prices, namely, the law which forbids the landlord to expel the non-paying tenant in winter months; and the tenant with kids is virtually untouchable. On the one hand, it's much more human, but, on the other hand, these non-payers punish the "normal" tenants because the landlords are suspicious and it's not the person who choses the apartment like in the US (I've spent 6 years in DC area and rented 3 apartments), it's the landlord studying your history and comparing you with 20 (twenty, I'm not exaggerating) other applicants.

That's really quite interesting. You would certainly have to have some checks and balances to that. I guess having more power on who the landlord choosing would be that, but what does such a high demand for housing that there's 20 applicants for a single housing unit mean for people actually having a place to live?

trygeek

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 45
Re: Squatter Rights?
« Reply #18 on: November 22, 2020, 12:22:54 PM »
In California it's called Adverse Possession and you have to occupy the property openly and notoriously for 5 years. You also have to pay the property taxes on the property.

Wolfpack Mustachian

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 827
Re: Squatter Rights?
« Reply #19 on: November 25, 2020, 04:12:40 PM »
In California it's called Adverse Possession and you have to occupy the property openly and notoriously for 5 years. You also have to pay the property taxes on the property.

I've never gotten into real estate because it just seems like such an incredible amount of work and stress. I wonder how many instances like this actually happen. It seems like this concept, the challenges in evicting people, people trashing places, etc. would be nerve-wracking if you rented out housing.

scottish

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1906
  • Location: Ottawa
Re: Squatter Rights?
« Reply #20 on: November 25, 2020, 06:07:51 PM »
Back before the Olympics came to Atlanta, GA, everyone was expecting out-of-town visitors to spend bazillions of dollars for a place to stay.  Got an empty, leaky shed with an outhouse next to it in the back yard?  Glory!   You can pay off your mortgage 5 years early just from renting it out for a month!

Ok, I exaggerate a tad, but not all that much.

A local real estate magnate who owned a whole lot of rental property decided he didnt' want to miss out on this amazing opportunity for massive profits.   So he notified thousands of tenants that they had to vacate the premises before the Olympics started and if they wanted they could move back in a month later.   Thousands of people would have their lives upended, be stuck with big moving costs (maybe twice!), and that assumes that all of them could actually find a place to live given the extra large number of people suddenly needed a place to stay.

Thankfully a DJ on a local radio station doxxed the fellow on air and invited his fellow Atlantans to phone the the real estate magnate to explain how they felt about it.

The announcement was rescinded the very next day.   

This is why there are laws and regulations to limit capitalists.   And all those laws and regulations, each and every one, pretty much was created because some jackass somewhere decided they were perfectly willing to kill, maim, sicken, cheat or upend the lives of other folks in order to make an extra dollar.

I mean, I get this, but I like to think of things like, if I were in the shoes of each side, how would I feel. If I were a property owner, I sure know how I feel. Never been in that position as someone renting a house out, but it's obvious I would be very upset. I have, however, been a tenant. If the police came to my apartment and I couldn't show off at least a lease agreement, I mean I kind of would understand a bit if they sided with the owner. This kind of thing, I would think, would happen pretty rarely - at least between my wife and I, we've rented at least 4-5 separate times, and nothing remotely close to this has happened. I would think owners trying to kick someone out who had a lease agreement would be extremely rare, and something could be put in the laws where if they did something blatant like that, there would be severe penalties for it. In those extremely rare situations, if I couldn't produce a lease agreement at all, I mean, I would rather me be in trouble in that situation as a tenant than someone gets to just live in someone else's house that didn't belong to them and screw them over for legal bills and be such a headache. Now if they produced an agreement and it was falsified or something, sure, the police might not be the best to resolve it. Am I missing something?

Yeah, a lease is neither necessary nor sufficient to decide if a tenant should be in possession of the property.

For example, in Canada, common law says the rental automatically turns into a month by month rental after the lease expires.

I know many of people in the forum are small landlords of one sort or another.   We've never considered it because of the potential hassles in dealing with the occasional bad tenant.

Bloop Bloop Reloaded

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 298
  • Location: Australia
Re: Squatter Rights?
« Reply #21 on: November 26, 2020, 12:54:38 AM »
Landlording is becoming shittier and shittier now

My state has recently:
- Imposed a 12 month moratorium on lease terminations/evictions for any reason (I would have said fair enough if it was in relation to Covid financial difficulties but this goes way longer)
- Imposed a permanent, i.e. not Covid related, rule making it harder for landlords to terminate a lease, but no harder for tenants to terminate a lease
- Imposed regulations where pool fences and smoke alarms have to be professionally checked every 2 years, i.e. you have no choice but to pay for a certificate from a cartel of tradies that charges $99 for 5 minutes' work;
- Imposed on landlords a condition that if they want to claim rental damage they have to do it within 14 days of tenants moving out;
- Imposed on landlords a condition that a property has to be in good condition as at the start of a lease, i.e. "fair wear and tear" that is done by the previous tenants needs to be rectified - at the landlord's expense!

It's ridiculous. It really tips the balance way in the favour of tenants.

As it is, I'm going to have to put in place measures which are aimed at ensuring I only lease to tenants I feel are qualified for long-term leases now, since short-term tenants can't be moved on in most situations. This means favouring households with long-term ties to the area (read: families with young children)  and asking for financial histories and doing all sort of vetting. This is just going to mean that tenants who aren't great prospects have to pay higher rent and/or have a harder time finding a landlord who will take them on.

Wolfpack Mustachian

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 827
Re: Squatter Rights?
« Reply #22 on: November 26, 2020, 03:37:03 PM »
Landlording is becoming shittier and shittier now

My state has recently:
- Imposed a 12 month moratorium on lease terminations/evictions for any reason (I would have said fair enough if it was in relation to Covid financial difficulties but this goes way longer)
- Imposed a permanent, i.e. not Covid related, rule making it harder for landlords to terminate a lease, but no harder for tenants to terminate a lease
- Imposed regulations where pool fences and smoke alarms have to be professionally checked every 2 years, i.e. you have no choice but to pay for a certificate from a cartel of tradies that charges $99 for 5 minutes' work;
- Imposed on landlords a condition that if they want to claim rental damage they have to do it within 14 days of tenants moving out;
- Imposed on landlords a condition that a property has to be in good condition as at the start of a lease, i.e. "fair wear and tear" that is done by the previous tenants needs to be rectified - at the landlord's expense!

It's ridiculous. It really tips the balance way in the favour of tenants.

As it is, I'm going to have to put in place measures which are aimed at ensuring I only lease to tenants I feel are qualified for long-term leases now, since short-term tenants can't be moved on in most situations. This means favouring households with long-term ties to the area (read: families with young children)  and asking for financial histories and doing all sort of vetting. This is just going to mean that tenants who aren't great prospects have to pay higher rent and/or have a harder time finding a landlord who will take them on.

This is interesting. It seems to me that the examples you pointed out and this issue is illustrative of how I don't think I will ever be able to call myself a Democrat even if I end up voting Democrat sometimes. I do loathe some of the things Republicans do, but it seems in Democrats or at Democratic leadership that there's a default of everything in favor of the tenants, employees, etc. As in everything, there's nuance, and you have to keep people with power and money from being terrible, but in my opinion, you should be biased for the people that own something. Why do people feel that they should be able in general have rights to something someone else owns? It boggles my mind. If I was in that situation where I was truly destitute and would be homeless without a reprieve from eviction, I mean, I'm sure I would take the support, but I would at least feel terrible about it, not have the mindset of I'm taking my freedom from eviction and screw you, owners, that I've seen around this issue.

I mean, I truly have no horse in this race, because I've only been a tenant, am now in the home owner standing, and likely will never be in real estate. So, it's nothing personal. I just don't think I'll ever be able to broach that chasm in my mind between my view and people who, it seems, feel that there should be all these restrictions on people who have worked to own something (and yes, I know that not everyone has actually done the work, some are born with silver spoons, and there's situations of housing corporations that are jerks about things and so on) and people who rent. We are in a society with tremendous wealth, and I have no problem with programs that work towards giving people a certain cushion because there is so much abundance. To me, that's a different story than, again, things like what Bloop Bloop is describing or, again, the sentiment I've seen amongst people coinciding with the Covid situation where there's been a plethora of articles, stories, anecdotes, etc. of people just so angry about someone being able to, for example, evict someone like at all or ever. The sentiment seems to come down against the owner for daring to evict someone from "that person's neighborhood" if, say, they've lived there for 20 years or something or the ability to raise rents when the contract is up. Well, I mean, when the agreed upon contract is up, it's not that person's neighborhood anymore, and if a new agreement is to be had, the owner can raise the rents. If they raise them too high and price themselves out of the market, then they'll learn quickly what they can and can't do. To declare that tenants shouldn't be asked to leave because the contract is up and the owner wants to get new people and how dare the tenant be asked to leave or the owner raise rents when they feel like it is tantamount to saying you have no rights to do what you want with your own property.

All this to be said, I'm rambling, but I just feel like there's a sentiment out there reflected in some rules such as these that seem to imply that someone who doesn't own something has as much or more rights to it than the owners, and it truly bumfuzzles me.

Bloop Bloop Reloaded

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 298
  • Location: Australia
Re: Squatter Rights?
« Reply #23 on: November 26, 2020, 04:01:50 PM »
My state has already made it mandatory for landlords to accept pets and has also outlawed rental bidding.

Again, I can understand measures during a pandemic to help vulnerable renters.

But rental bidding is the free market at play. Accepting or not accepting pets is something that should be factored into the market terms and conditions.

I don't like pets because they can cause damage. I can take the damage out of the rental bond, right? Yeah, but the bond is legislatively capped at four weeks.

It's all so irrational.

marty998

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7148
  • Location: Sydney, Oz
Re: Squatter Rights?
« Reply #24 on: November 26, 2020, 05:51:06 PM »
Landlording is becoming shittier and shittier now

My state has recently:
- Imposed a 12 month moratorium on lease terminations/evictions for any reason (I would have said fair enough if it was in relation to Covid financial difficulties but this goes way longer)
- Imposed a permanent, i.e. not Covid related, rule making it harder for landlords to terminate a lease, but no harder for tenants to terminate a lease
- Imposed regulations where pool fences and smoke alarms have to be professionally checked every 2 years, i.e. you have no choice but to pay for a certificate from a cartel of tradies that charges $99 for 5 minutes' work;
- Imposed on landlords a condition that if they want to claim rental damage they have to do it within 14 days of tenants moving out;
- Imposed on landlords a condition that a property has to be in good condition as at the start of a lease, i.e. "fair wear and tear" that is done by the previous tenants needs to be rectified - at the landlord's expense!

It's ridiculous. It really tips the balance way in the favour of tenants.

As it is, I'm going to have to put in place measures which are aimed at ensuring I only lease to tenants I feel are qualified for long-term leases now, since short-term tenants can't be moved on in most situations. This means favouring households with long-term ties to the area (read: families with young children)  and asking for financial histories and doing all sort of vetting. This is just going to mean that tenants who aren't great prospects have to pay higher rent and/or have a harder time finding a landlord who will take them on.

This is interesting. It seems to me that the examples you pointed out and this issue is illustrative of how I don't think I will ever be able to call myself a Democrat even if I end up voting Democrat sometimes. I do loathe some of the things Republicans do, but it seems in Democrats or at Democratic leadership that there's a default of everything in favor of the tenants, employees, etc. As in everything, there's nuance, and you have to keep people with power and money from being terrible, but in my opinion, you should be biased for the people that own something. Why do people feel that they should be able in general have rights to something someone else owns? It boggles my mind. If I was in that situation where I was truly destitute and would be homeless without a reprieve from eviction, I mean, I'm sure I would take the support, but I would at least feel terrible about it, not have the mindset of I'm taking my freedom from eviction and screw you, owners, that I've seen around this issue.

I mean, I truly have no horse in this race, because I've only been a tenant, am now in the home owner standing, and likely will never be in real estate. So, it's nothing personal. I just don't think I'll ever be able to broach that chasm in my mind between my view and people who, it seems, feel that there should be all these restrictions on people who have worked to own something (and yes, I know that not everyone has actually done the work, some are born with silver spoons, and there's situations of housing corporations that are jerks about things and so on) and people who rent. We are in a society with tremendous wealth, and I have no problem with programs that work towards giving people a certain cushion because there is so much abundance. To me, that's a different story than, again, things like what Bloop Bloop is describing or, again, the sentiment I've seen amongst people coinciding with the Covid situation where there's been a plethora of articles, stories, anecdotes, etc. of people just so angry about someone being able to, for example, evict someone like at all or ever. The sentiment seems to come down against the owner for daring to evict someone from "that person's neighborhood" if, say, they've lived there for 20 years or something or the ability to raise rents when the contract is up. Well, I mean, when the agreed upon contract is up, it's not that person's neighborhood anymore, and if a new agreement is to be had, the owner can raise the rents. If they raise them too high and price themselves out of the market, then they'll learn quickly what they can and can't do. To declare that tenants shouldn't be asked to leave because the contract is up and the owner wants to get new people and how dare the tenant be asked to leave or the owner raise rents when they feel like it is tantamount to saying you have no rights to do what you want with your own property.

All this to be said, I'm rambling, but I just feel like there's a sentiment out there reflected in some rules such as these that seem to imply that someone who doesn't own something has as much or more rights to it than the owners, and it truly bumfuzzles me.

He’s talking about the great state of Victoriastan in Orstraylia where a left leaning government implemented those rules.

North of the border where I am, a conservative government implemented the same rules. So this has absolutely nothing to do with left/right, Democrats and Republicans.

The reason why the rules on smoke alarms and pool fences were implemented in particular were because shitty landlords did not maintain this things and people died. Children drowned and students burned in fires in non-compliant buildings. It goes back to what Swordguy said before, the rules are there to stop the assholes.

I don’t like paying the $99 fee (each for two properties), but it does mean the building insurance remains valid for each apartment, I can’t get my ass sued, and the smoke alarm gets replaced for free if it’s not working.

And it’s tax deductible too so I’m out of pocket $60x2 after tax.


Zamboni

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2766
Re: Squatter Rights?
« Reply #25 on: November 26, 2020, 07:03:32 PM »
It boggles my mind that people who don't have a lease and are clearly just taking advantage can end up staying in a property for even a month.

There was a case in California where a couple hired a nanny/housekeeper in exchange for room and board, and then the lady refused to do work after she had been in for a small number of days. She seemed to know exactly how long she needed to live there before it would be nearly impossible for them to make her move out. It's a weird way to go through life, doing stuff like that, but I guess some people are desperate.

At the same time, I think things like mandatory inspections of smoke alarms and a 2-week window for landlords to assess property for damage after a tenant leaves are perfectly reasonable. Being a landlord is being a small business owner, and there are much more onerous regulations on many other types of businesses. I also think "rent bidding" is a terrible idea, especially given the affordable housing crisis in so many areas.

Wolfpack Mustachian

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 827
Re: Squatter Rights?
« Reply #26 on: November 28, 2020, 05:08:55 PM »
Landlording is becoming shittier and shittier now

My state has recently:
- Imposed a 12 month moratorium on lease terminations/evictions for any reason (I would have said fair enough if it was in relation to Covid financial difficulties but this goes way longer)
- Imposed a permanent, i.e. not Covid related, rule making it harder for landlords to terminate a lease, but no harder for tenants to terminate a lease
- Imposed regulations where pool fences and smoke alarms have to be professionally checked every 2 years, i.e. you have no choice but to pay for a certificate from a cartel of tradies that charges $99 for 5 minutes' work;
- Imposed on landlords a condition that if they want to claim rental damage they have to do it within 14 days of tenants moving out;
- Imposed on landlords a condition that a property has to be in good condition as at the start of a lease, i.e. "fair wear and tear" that is done by the previous tenants needs to be rectified - at the landlord's expense!

It's ridiculous. It really tips the balance way in the favour of tenants.

As it is, I'm going to have to put in place measures which are aimed at ensuring I only lease to tenants I feel are qualified for long-term leases now, since short-term tenants can't be moved on in most situations. This means favouring households with long-term ties to the area (read: families with young children)  and asking for financial histories and doing all sort of vetting. This is just going to mean that tenants who aren't great prospects have to pay higher rent and/or have a harder time finding a landlord who will take them on.

This is interesting. It seems to me that the examples you pointed out and this issue is illustrative of how I don't think I will ever be able to call myself a Democrat even if I end up voting Democrat sometimes. I do loathe some of the things Republicans do, but it seems in Democrats or at Democratic leadership that there's a default of everything in favor of the tenants, employees, etc. As in everything, there's nuance, and you have to keep people with power and money from being terrible, but in my opinion, you should be biased for the people that own something. Why do people feel that they should be able in general have rights to something someone else owns? It boggles my mind. If I was in that situation where I was truly destitute and would be homeless without a reprieve from eviction, I mean, I'm sure I would take the support, but I would at least feel terrible about it, not have the mindset of I'm taking my freedom from eviction and screw you, owners, that I've seen around this issue.

I mean, I truly have no horse in this race, because I've only been a tenant, am now in the home owner standing, and likely will never be in real estate. So, it's nothing personal. I just don't think I'll ever be able to broach that chasm in my mind between my view and people who, it seems, feel that there should be all these restrictions on people who have worked to own something (and yes, I know that not everyone has actually done the work, some are born with silver spoons, and there's situations of housing corporations that are jerks about things and so on) and people who rent. We are in a society with tremendous wealth, and I have no problem with programs that work towards giving people a certain cushion because there is so much abundance. To me, that's a different story than, again, things like what Bloop Bloop is describing or, again, the sentiment I've seen amongst people coinciding with the Covid situation where there's been a plethora of articles, stories, anecdotes, etc. of people just so angry about someone being able to, for example, evict someone like at all or ever. The sentiment seems to come down against the owner for daring to evict someone from "that person's neighborhood" if, say, they've lived there for 20 years or something or the ability to raise rents when the contract is up. Well, I mean, when the agreed upon contract is up, it's not that person's neighborhood anymore, and if a new agreement is to be had, the owner can raise the rents. If they raise them too high and price themselves out of the market, then they'll learn quickly what they can and can't do. To declare that tenants shouldn't be asked to leave because the contract is up and the owner wants to get new people and how dare the tenant be asked to leave or the owner raise rents when they feel like it is tantamount to saying you have no rights to do what you want with your own property.

All this to be said, I'm rambling, but I just feel like there's a sentiment out there reflected in some rules such as these that seem to imply that someone who doesn't own something has as much or more rights to it than the owners, and it truly bumfuzzles me.

He’s talking about the great state of Victoriastan in Orstraylia where a left leaning government implemented those rules.

North of the border where I am, a conservative government implemented the same rules. So this has absolutely nothing to do with left/right, Democrats and Republicans.

The reason why the rules on smoke alarms and pool fences were implemented in particular were because shitty landlords did not maintain this things and people died. Children drowned and students burned in fires in non-compliant buildings. It goes back to what Swordguy said before, the rules are there to stop the assholes.

I don’t like paying the $99 fee (each for two properties), but it does mean the building insurance remains valid for each apartment, I can’t get my ass sued, and the smoke alarm gets replaced for free if it’s not working.

And it’s tax deductible too so I’m out of pocket $60x2 after tax.

I can't speak to the smoke alarms and pool fences part of it. It seems like the law could be written in a way that didn't cost $100 for something so simple (somehow lowering the barrier of entry into the inspection business or whatever), but even if not, that's more along the lines of maintaining a safe business. However, I notice you only mentioned one of the things Bloop Bloop said. What about the others? Also, I can't speak to conservative vs. liberal in your area. I did specifically call out Democrats for America, where I am more familiar with. Republicans here are constantly being given crap about favoring businesses over people, so I'm pretty sure here conservatives would not be all aboard for the things that Bloop Bloop suggested - the things that essentially make what is yours not really yours.

Would you say that you agree with the general list of items he mentioned? Should owners be restricted as to how they can evict people when their lease is up? Should they be restricted in terms of what they can charge? I'm interested if you think so, where that line of logic would end in terms of restrictions on property someone has?

Bloop Bloop Reloaded

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 298
  • Location: Australia
Re: Squatter Rights?
« Reply #27 on: November 28, 2020, 05:31:23 PM »

At the same time, I think things like mandatory inspections of smoke alarms and a 2-week window for landlords to assess property for damage after a tenant leaves are perfectly reasonable. Being a landlord is being a small business owner, and there are much more onerous regulations on many other types of businesses. I also think "rent bidding" is a terrible idea, especially given the affordable housing crisis in so many areas.

It's not the mandatory inspection that annoys me. It's that the alarms - which already have self-reporting systems built in that anyone can check - have to be professionally certified. This is like saying every time you install a new lock you have to get a locksmith's certificate. It adds immensely to the price of certification.

Why is rent bidding a bad idea? It's the free market at work. You seem to sympathise with those who can't afford a rental property (how is that the landlord's problem?), but why not sympathise with good tenants who can afford a good property and in fact are willing to pay extra, but can now no longer distinguish themselves among the market?

Zamboni

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2766
Re: Squatter Rights?
« Reply #28 on: November 28, 2020, 05:48:47 PM »
I totally sympathize with landlords in many respects. There are plenty lousy tenants in the world who will trash your property with a "hey, it's a rental!" mentality.

At the same time, there are elderly people on fixed incomes around where I live who are getting booted out of buildings that they have live in for 8-10 years or even longer because the rent hikes have gotten out of control. This fall I think we were at the steepest monthly average rent increase in the entire nation. Where I live it's much more expensive to rent than to buy at the moment, and that just doesn't make any sense to me. 

Personally, when I went from renting to buying, my square footage tripled while my monthly costs (even including taxes and insurance) went down quite a bit even with a 15 year mortgage vs a 30. I was wrapping up a 15 month lease with never a late payment, and the large corporation that owned my building were hiking the rent 10% for nothing extra for me, at a time when the average market increase was 2% and inflation was even lower than that. The rents here are just way out of whack at the moment. Eventually things will equalize, I'd imagine. At the moment, though, I'm not super sympathetic to landlords who are trying to squeeze every nickel of out people that they can.

Captain FIRE

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 548
Re: Squatter Rights?
« Reply #29 on: December 01, 2020, 12:41:55 PM »
- Imposed on landlords a condition that if they want to claim rental damage they have to do it within 14 days of tenants moving out;

Frankly, this seems eminently reasonable to me.  The tenant should be told promptly if there is damage.  Otherwise there is more opportunity for questions about when the damage occurred (before or after tenancy) to arise.  It also becomes more difficult for the tenant to respond (demonstrate that they are not responsible) the more time passes.  Both parties may forget things as time goes on as well.  The tenant also is entitled to the prompt return of a deposit and if there's a lengthy time to get back on rental damage, that could delay their deposit return. 

- Imposed on landlords a condition that a property has to be in good condition as at the start of a lease, i.e. "fair wear and tear" that is done by the previous tenants needs to be rectified - at the landlord's expense!

I don't understand why the exclamation is after "at the landlord's expense!"  Who else should repair the property if not the landlord?  The landlord is the one who owns it.  The new tenant certainly shouldn't be on the hook for repairs to a property they don't own... 

While this seems like it's a bit heavy-handed, it seems to be trying to avoid letting properties slide into slum-landlord area by failure to maintain.  It's probably not good for the city to have properties devolve and not be maintained.  (It also helps avoid disputes over who is responsible for property damage at the end of the lease if the new tenant starts with a clean slate...)

Bloop Bloop Reloaded

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 298
  • Location: Australia
Re: Squatter Rights?
« Reply #30 on: December 01, 2020, 02:45:22 PM »
Frankly, this seems eminently reasonable to me.  The tenant should be told promptly if there is damage.  Otherwise there is more opportunity for questions about when the damage occurred (before or after tenancy) to arise.  It also becomes more difficult for the tenant to respond (demonstrate that they are not responsible) the more time passes.  Both parties may forget things as time goes on as well.  The tenant also is entitled to the prompt return of a deposit and if there's a lengthy time to get back on rental damage, that could delay their deposit return. 

I don't have an issue with this except that tenants are not forced to do anything with nearly the same alacrity. The obligations on both sides should be equal.

Quote
I don't understand why the exclamation is after "at the landlord's expense!"  Who else should repair the property if not the landlord?  The landlord is the one who owns it.  The new tenant certainly shouldn't be on the hook for repairs to a property they don't own... 
Simple, I shouldn't have to make good "fair wear and tear" unless it leads to some defective amenity or safety issue. The property should simply be as advertised. Holding landlords to a higher standard than tenants is unfair. I'm all for transparency, but not for double standards. The fair thing would be that the new tenant doesn't have to repair anything but neither does the landlord - unless there's a safety issue.

Everything that's not a safety issue should be handled on equal terms with transparency and full disclosure on both sides.

former player

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6079
  • Location: Avalon
Re: Squatter Rights?
« Reply #31 on: December 02, 2020, 07:58:17 AM »
Does the law prevent a landlord from putting a maintenance/repainting clause in the lease?  Or otherwise prevent the landlord from adding a bit to the rent to cover the cost of eg repainting?

My leases here in the UK require cleaning (including paying for a deep clean at the end) but leave maintenance to me, and the cost of the maintenance is easily covered by the profits from the rents.  I'd rather do/arrange the maintenance myself in any case so that I know what is done and to what standard.

I agree with Captain FIRE: if you don't keep a property well maintained and updated as necessary it will not be long before it slides into being difficult to rent, getting lower rents and ending up near slum territory.  That's just the reality of owning property.  It's a big enough investment where I am to be worth investing in its upkeep.

TheContinentalOp

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 278
  • Location: Suburban Philadelphia
Re: Squatter Rights?
« Reply #32 on: December 02, 2020, 01:24:14 PM »
I understand the theory behind squatters rights and/or homesteading when the ownership of a large percentage of land was not clearly defined many years ago.  What I can't understand, is someone being able to legally squat on/in your property after a few days.  Whether it's your primary residence or a vacation home, someone taking up residence on your legal property seems insane to me.

The idea behind this is that if you're a legal tenant, you have certain rights and can't be kicked out arbitrarily by the property owner. If you're not a legal tenant, you don't have the same rights, but the police can't and shouldn't adjudicate that on the spot.

There are good reasons why we shouldn't write the law such that a landlord can call the police at any time, say "This person doesn't live here, please remove them," and have the cops take their word for it. If there's a dispute as to who has the right to live somewhere, the proper venue to sort that out is through the courts, not through a snap judgment by a police officer who may not have all the facts.

It's not a good thing that there are squatters who work the system to exploit this, but the alternative is legitimate tenants having no rights and being at the mercy of their landlords. This has nothing to do with "socialism," the same thing can and does happen in the U.S.

There have to be some instances when the police can act. What If I have a party and one of the guests gets disruptive? I ask him to leave and he refuses. I call the police. When the cops arrive, the disruptive guest says he lives in my house. Under your regime, I can't kick out a party guest unless I file a civil action. Meanwhile, he gets to live at my place, and if I try to use force to remove him, I am the one committing a felony.   Repeat with recalcitrant girlfriends/boyfriends/pet sitters/burglars.

Bloop Bloop Reloaded

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 298
  • Location: Australia
Re: Squatter Rights?
« Reply #33 on: December 02, 2020, 05:12:03 PM »
Does the law prevent a landlord from putting a maintenance/repainting clause in the lease?  Or otherwise prevent the landlord from adding a bit to the rent to cover the cost of eg repainting?

My leases here in the UK require cleaning (including paying for a deep clean at the end) but leave maintenance to me, and the cost of the maintenance is easily covered by the profits from the rents.  I'd rather do/arrange the maintenance myself in any case so that I know what is done and to what standard.

I agree with Captain FIRE: if you don't keep a property well maintained and updated as necessary it will not be long before it slides into being difficult to rent, getting lower rents and ending up near slum territory.  That's just the reality of owning property.  It's a big enough investment where I am to be worth investing in its upkeep.

You can add a repainting clause to the lease but it will be unenforceable if it's "fair wear and tear". And the remit of what tenants can get away with under "fair wear and tear" is ridiculous. If you don't like it you have 14 days to take photos and then go to the tribunal, which is a hassle, and as I said, fair wear and tear is something whose application is very much tenant biased. I doubt any tenants would accept the fair wear and tear they do to landlord's properties if they were living in their own.

Can you hike rents to account for the new maintenance/cleaning laws? Well right now you can't hike rents at all. At some stage you will be able to, but even then only once a year and without the transparency of rental bidding. Not really fair as far as I can see it. Transparency should be 100%.

Artem_F

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 7
Re: Squatter Rights?
« Reply #34 on: December 03, 2020, 11:26:22 AM »
but what does such a high demand for housing that there's 20 applicants for a single housing unit mean for people actually having a place to live?
sorry for late reply. Answering your question - well, it means that they will be running in circles ready to rent anything in any state and to sign any document. In our case, my colleague who has a permanent position, became our guarantor and it took us a month of daily visits, which was pretty common.

Wolfpack Mustachian

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 827
Re: Squatter Rights?
« Reply #35 on: December 04, 2020, 04:16:51 PM »
but what does such a high demand for housing that there's 20 applicants for a single housing unit mean for people actually having a place to live?
sorry for late reply. Answering your question - well, it means that they will be running in circles ready to rent anything in any state and to sign any document. In our case, my colleague who has a permanent position, became our guarantor and it took us a month of daily visits, which was pretty common.

Thanks for the answer. Dang, that would be tough! Housing, in general, is such a challenging issue. It really does seem like there's no great way to handle it.

Paul der Krake

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5249
  • Age: 12
  • Location: UTC-10:00
Re: Squatter Rights?
« Reply #36 on: December 04, 2020, 05:13:29 PM »
France has crazy housing laws. In practice the horror stories, are just that, horror stories. It still leads to massive costs that ultimately get passed to renters.

There are a ton of vacant units that accidental landlords don't bother to fill because of the horror stories. Those that do rent require a million documents to try and ascertain that the tenant is not a deadbeat, because a professional tenant who knows what they're doing can easily stay put for 2 years because they get evicted.

There are "guarantee companies". If you are a marginal tenant and don't have friends/family to be a guarantor, you pay them money for that purpose alone. There is unpaid rent insurance too, and that brings in as much trouble as it aims to solve. It's very messed up.

Rents are low too. Why anybody would want to be a landlord is beyond my comprehension.


TheContinentalOp

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 278
  • Location: Suburban Philadelphia
Re: Squatter Rights?
« Reply #37 on: December 29, 2020, 02:02:18 PM »
https://komonews.com/news/local/homeless-group-refuses-to-pay-bill-in-fife-motel-occupation

Homeless group takes up residence in Fife motel as operator turns to city for help


Quote
FIFE, Wash. — Several homeless people have moved into over a dozen motel rooms in Fife and are no longer paying for the accommodations, prompting the motel manager to seek assistance from city officials in order to force the group out of the building.

Members of an organization called Tacoma Housing Now paid for 16 rooms to secure one overnight stay on Dec. 24 at the Travelodge, located at 3518 Pacific Highway E. More than 40 homeless people moved in and indicated that they had no plans to pay for additional nights.

Activists with Tacoma Housing Now are lobbying for the city or the county to pick up motel bill as the manager worries that he will have to fire his staff and close his business if the group doesn't vacate the lodge.

Under local ordinances, the housing group is considered to be trespassers on private property.

But one of the Tacoma Housing Now volunteers named Arrow said the bigger crime would be forcing the group, many of whom are said to suffer from chronic conditions, back out on the streets.

“One single night in freezing temperatures could potentially kill numerous members that we have living here,” said Arrow, who was able to discuss the situation with Fife city officials Monday night.

City Manager Hyun Kim said he wants to keep the dialogue going.

“We have meetings in the coming days to discuss what can we do to get these folks that are staying here that have come off the streets the help they need,” Kim said.

Shawn Randhawa, the motel operator, said if the cost of the rooms goes unpaid, it’s only a matter of days before he will have to shut down and lay off his 10 employees. Repeated protests in the parking lot have driven away most of the other paying customers, Randhawa said.

Tacoma Housing Now leaders agree the manager should be paid, but activists want the money to come from COVID-19 relief funds or from defunding local police departments.

Arrow said past promises from city officials to help the homeless have repeatedly fallen short, prompting activists to take bold action to draw attention to their plight.

“We want to work within the system if the system wants to work with us, but it has to be in advancing their conditions,” Arrow said. “Business as usual is not going to cut it."

The motel manager could ask a court for civil relief, potentially setting the stage for police officers to come in and physically evict the group. However, city leaders hope to reach a compromise solution first.

Telecaster

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2358
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: Squatter Rights?
« Reply #38 on: December 29, 2020, 06:11:39 PM »
I've never gotten into real estate because it just seems like such an incredible amount of work and stress. I wonder how many instances like this actually happen. It seems like this concept, the challenges in evicting people, people trashing places, etc. would be nerve-wracking if you rented out housing.

Adverse possession almost never happens in the instance of residential real estate.  The adverse possession has to be "open and notorious."  So if you send the tenant nasty letters saying "get out of my property, you bum!"  that negates the open part.  It still might be hard to evict the tenant, but for different reasons.

Most cases of adverse possession are something like a neighbor building a road on your property or using a portion of your property for agricultural, stuff like that.  And they have to do it for a long time, like a decade or two.  It is one of those strange quirks of English Common Law that is still in our legal system.  In some countries if you can prove you are the owner, that means you are the owner. 

Paul der Krake

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5249
  • Age: 12
  • Location: UTC-10:00
Re: Squatter Rights?
« Reply #39 on: December 29, 2020, 06:15:12 PM »
https://komonews.com/news/local/homeless-group-refuses-to-pay-bill-in-fife-motel-occupation

Homeless group takes up residence in Fife motel as operator turns to city for help


Quote
FIFE, Wash. — Several homeless people have moved into over a dozen motel rooms in Fife and are no longer paying for the accommodations, prompting the motel manager to seek assistance from city officials in order to force the group out of the building.

Members of an organization called Tacoma Housing Now paid for 16 rooms to secure one overnight stay on Dec. 24 at the Travelodge, located at 3518 Pacific Highway E. More than 40 homeless people moved in and indicated that they had no plans to pay for additional nights.

Activists with Tacoma Housing Now are lobbying for the city or the county to pick up motel bill as the manager worries that he will have to fire his staff and close his business if the group doesn't vacate the lodge.

Under local ordinances, the housing group is considered to be trespassers on private property.

But one of the Tacoma Housing Now volunteers named Arrow said the bigger crime would be forcing the group, many of whom are said to suffer from chronic conditions, back out on the streets.

“One single night in freezing temperatures could potentially kill numerous members that we have living here,” said Arrow, who was able to discuss the situation with Fife city officials Monday night.

City Manager Hyun Kim said he wants to keep the dialogue going.

“We have meetings in the coming days to discuss what can we do to get these folks that are staying here that have come off the streets the help they need,” Kim said.

Shawn Randhawa, the motel operator, said if the cost of the rooms goes unpaid, it’s only a matter of days before he will have to shut down and lay off his 10 employees. Repeated protests in the parking lot have driven away most of the other paying customers, Randhawa said.

Tacoma Housing Now leaders agree the manager should be paid, but activists want the money to come from COVID-19 relief funds or from defunding local police departments.

Arrow said past promises from city officials to help the homeless have repeatedly fallen short, prompting activists to take bold action to draw attention to their plight.

“We want to work within the system if the system wants to work with us, but it has to be in advancing their conditions,” Arrow said. “Business as usual is not going to cut it."

The motel manager could ask a court for civil relief, potentially setting the stage for police officers to come in and physically evict the group. However, city leaders hope to reach a compromise solution first.
This is a completely different issue. There are no squatters rights in a hotel.

The operator, for whatever reason, doesn't want to get the cops involved. The housing advocates are essentially pulling a publicity stunt, hoping for some funding, and the operator is going along with it.

TheContinentalOp

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 278
  • Location: Suburban Philadelphia
Re: Squatter Rights?
« Reply #40 on: December 30, 2020, 11:40:40 AM »
https://komonews.com/news/local/homeless-group-refuses-to-pay-bill-in-fife-motel-occupation

Homeless group takes up residence in Fife motel as operator turns to city for help


Quote
FIFE, Wash. — Several homeless people have moved into over a dozen motel rooms in Fife and are no longer paying for the accommodations, prompting the motel manager to seek assistance from city officials in order to force the group out of the building.

Members of an organization called Tacoma Housing Now paid for 16 rooms to secure one overnight stay on Dec. 24 at the Travelodge, located at 3518 Pacific Highway E. More than 40 homeless people moved in and indicated that they had no plans to pay for additional nights.

Activists with Tacoma Housing Now are lobbying for the city or the county to pick up motel bill as the manager worries that he will have to fire his staff and close his business if the group doesn't vacate the lodge.

Under local ordinances, the housing group is considered to be trespassers on private property.

But one of the Tacoma Housing Now volunteers named Arrow said the bigger crime would be forcing the group, many of whom are said to suffer from chronic conditions, back out on the streets.

“One single night in freezing temperatures could potentially kill numerous members that we have living here,” said Arrow, who was able to discuss the situation with Fife city officials Monday night.

City Manager Hyun Kim said he wants to keep the dialogue going.

“We have meetings in the coming days to discuss what can we do to get these folks that are staying here that have come off the streets the help they need,” Kim said.

Shawn Randhawa, the motel operator, said if the cost of the rooms goes unpaid, it’s only a matter of days before he will have to shut down and lay off his 10 employees. Repeated protests in the parking lot have driven away most of the other paying customers, Randhawa said.

Tacoma Housing Now leaders agree the manager should be paid, but activists want the money to come from COVID-19 relief funds or from defunding local police departments.

Arrow said past promises from city officials to help the homeless have repeatedly fallen short, prompting activists to take bold action to draw attention to their plight.

“We want to work within the system if the system wants to work with us, but it has to be in advancing their conditions,” Arrow said. “Business as usual is not going to cut it."

The motel manager could ask a court for civil relief, potentially setting the stage for police officers to come in and physically evict the group. However, city leaders hope to reach a compromise solution first.
This is a completely different issue. There are no squatters rights in a hotel.

The operator, for whatever reason, doesn't want to get the cops involved. The housing advocates are essentially pulling a publicity stunt, hoping for some funding, and the operator is going along with it.

Nope, it's the cops who don't want to get involved. So it's de facto squatters' rights:

https://thepostmillennial.com/antifa-takes-over-seattle-area-hotel

Fife Police Chief Pete Fisher even acknowledged that the local police are not inclined to help the motel. "We’re trying to see if we can work out a resolution without having to take law enforcement action," Fisher told The News Tribune. Sources inside the Fife Police Department tell The Post Millennial that they have been monitoring activist's chatter and activists are hoping to provoke a reaction from the police so that they can get more media attention.

Tigerpine

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 240
Re: Squatter Rights?
« Reply #41 on: December 30, 2020, 11:58:14 AM »
Here's another interesting article from September about squatters in an Orlando hotel.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2020/national/kissimmee-star-motel/