Thursday, December 17, 2015

Evicting a Squatter

Though I am consulting an attorney, the process in this situation remains unclear to me.  I'd appreciate any advise from those with experience.   
I have purchased a home that was about to go into tax foreclosure.  It was owned by an elderly woman.  Her adult son has been living in the house for years.  He stopped paying rent a long time ago when he lost his job.  There was no written or oral rental agreement.  The mother did not tell the son that she sold the house.   

What steps would you take in legally getting the son out of the home?   
Thanks in advance!

 I've been there more than once when I bought foreclosures. Here's what I did, and it worked. 

Disclaimer: I haven't done this in years, so perhaps some eviction law has changed, so consult your attorney or Landlord/Tenant Services. 

Can you get the mother to tell him she sold it? At lest write an email or letter? Have a deed to show him if necessary. 

Legally, you have to evict him like any tenant, but I try to start a dialogue initially. Arrange to come to the house and meet him. 

Treat him with some respect. Empathize with him if he whines about having no money, nowhere to go. You can explain that you need him to get out, but don't try to be authoritative in your first conversation. See if you can get him to leave.  I do give them a 20-day notice to vacate, but not until the very end of the first conversation or perhaps the second one. 

Some people offer money to be paid once they are out, but I haven't done that. I have a time or two bought furniture or a non-running vehicle from them and been able to recoup some of that $ later, but it is better to try to hand over that $ after they're out, too. I hauled a load of stuff to storage for one guy. 

When I got a house with a bunch of street kids living in it, I was able to get a police officer to go talk to them, and that got their attention. 

If no luck, proceed with the eviction. He might be more willing to talk then, or just pack up and leave voluntarily.

Submitted by Glenn Peterson

Happy Holidays! Happy Investing! 

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