Is your neighborhood safe from professional/serial home squatters?

Real Estate Agent with Alain Pinel BRE 01367196

On a Facebook group, I posted a story about tenants from hell who are now squatting in a Daly City house. These squatters have been evicted 8 times in 6 years, so it makes one wonder how they could have even been allowed to rent anywhere with that record. I opined that perhaps a property management company should have screened the tenants and thus protected the owners.


The reason why this concerns me....We own our duplex where we live in one unit and rent out the other. We have been thinking of traveling, and renting out both units, but are concerned about squatters who may take over while we are gone. Knowing that this is a problem everywhere, we will make sure to take some precautions if/when we decide to go away for an extended period of time. There's a series called Security Brief --- some good advice there!


What can be done about professional and serial squatters?


There are so many examples of squatters who claim and file adverse possession to acquire property. Although the concept of Adverse Possession may have been intended to minimize blight, many are taking advantage to the detriment of the owners.


Squatters take over soldier’s house


Here’s a story about a soldier who was deployed and entrusted his friend to look after his house. A squatter moved in. Police couldn’t and wouldn’t evict him. By the time the squatters were evicted, they trashed the place. A volunteer group of veterans restored the place just in time for the soldier to move back into when his tour ended.




Squatters lived in and burglarized elderly woman’s home while she was in hospital


How low can some people get? This elderly woman was in the hospital when people broke into her home. It’s one thing to trespass, but to destroy this woman’s home?


Foreclosures and other favorite targets


Then there are those who claim they purchase homes as foreclosures, or they file false quit claim deeds. These squatters were charged with grand theft. So how come police can charge them with that on a million-dollar home, but not for smaller homes?



Another family of squatters move into a house that the owner was getting ready to sell. They were charged with burglary, felony theft…..



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adverse possession
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Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

It amazes me how people could live like that... never understood it....never will, Endre

Jul 12, 2015 09:58 AM #1
Pacita Dimacali
Alain Pinel - Oakland, CA
Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA

Endre Barath --- I thought it was prevalent only during the down times, especially when there were so many foreclosures. But these folks are getting braver and victimizing more people under different circumstances. 

Jul 12, 2015 10:19 AM #2
Kathleen Daniels
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist

Pacita, One is forced through the legal process … very costly indeed, in order to get these assholes out of their home.  Big brave jerks to take over a place that does not belong to them and they have no legal rights to … but freaking cowards … hiding from the press.

Jul 12, 2015 11:25 PM #3
Pacita Dimacali
Alain Pinel - Oakland, CA
Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA

Kathleen Daniels, I find it hard to understand and accept why the police feel powerless to arrest these people. "Civil" matter indeed! And why in some areas, they can arrest them for burglary, forgery, trespassing, grand theft....

Why do squatters have more rights than property owners? 

Jul 13, 2015 02:13 AM #4
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • Green • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

Looks like some people treat is as a job identifying available houses and moving in...I'd suggest always ask neighbors to keep an eye on the property if you are traveling, or away for any reason. 

Feb 24, 2017 10:47 PM #5
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Pacita Dimacali

Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA
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