I was a little bit surprised when I first found out about this interesting “possession law” here in Iowa. After a certain amount of time, a squatter can put in a claim for ownership of a property you own. It could be land, a building, or a house. It does take a bit of time and there are things you can do if you run into a squatting problem but the fact that this is even possible is nuts.
What is a Squatter
No, we’re not talking about the people you would see at the gym using their legs to lift heavy weights. We’re talking about a different kind of squatter. According to the Dictionary, a Squatter is “a person who settles on land or occupies property without title, right or payment of rent. Another definition is “a person who settles on land under government regulation, in order to acquire title.” Squatters take things a lot further than your common trespasser.
According to Apartment List, the difference between a trespasser and a squatter is “a trespasser is someone who knowingly enters or occupies a person’s land without permission.” A squatter is “someone who knowingly occupies another person’s land or property, without their permission, with a claim for ownership.”
Squatters aren’t overly common but for people who own apartments or land, they can become a problem if you aren’t careful. If you find yourself in a situation involving a squatter and they fulfill the law requirements, it’s possible they can attain a title to your property.
Have you ever heard of squatter’s rights? There are certain possession laws put into place to prevent people from not taking care of their property. The idea behind this is to prevent the land from being unused or buildings to be left vacant and abandoned.
If you find yourself dealing with a squatter, lord help you, because getting them off and out of your property is a logistics nightmare. According to Apartment List, not only are squatters legally entitled to an eviction notice, you could be sued and/or lose ownership of your property. Why you need a legal reason to evict someone you never rented to in the first place is beyond me but losing your property entirely seems crazy.
Read the full story at the K92.3.