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Squatting Versus Home Invasion: What You Should Know

Keeping your home safe and secure when you’re gone is a great reason to hire a home watch service. But sometimes, homeowners aren’t aware of the dangers of leaving a home unoccupied, even for a short amount of time.

Two dangers in particular are squatting and home invasion. They sound similar, but they’re actually different (and both are problematic).

Squatting is when a person enters your home without your permission and takes up residence there. It can be very surreal: you come home one day to find that someone is inhabiting your home, without your permission – and in some cases, you can’t legally get them to leave!

This doesn’t mean squatting is legal, per se; it isn’t, and the law is generally on the side of the homeowner. There are situations, though, in which squatting can be difficult to overcome. For example, in most states, a squatter enjoys protection under tenant law and has rights as a tenant if he or she stays in the home for a certain period of time (usually 30 days). A tenant has certain protections under the law, even if he or she is in the home illegally.

Of course, with current law, getting rid of a squatter is usually fairly straightforward (unless the owner of the property makes no attempt to evict them, which is problematic).

A home invasion, by contrast, is when someone illegally enters an occupied domicile. There is also an intent to commit some kind of violent crime, like murder, assault, kidnapping, or robbery. Home invasions aren’t similar to squatting in that they happen to homes that have people in them and involve a type of crime (squatting, by contrast, is usually a civil matter, not a criminal one).

Both are exceptionally precarious situations that all homeowners want to avoid. One line of defense against squatting is to have a home watch service watch over your home when you’re away to alert you if anyone enters the home.

Contact a home watch service today to avoid squatting.

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