Squatters are people who go into people's homes and take them for themselves, it's a growing trend on social media, and you need to be prepared to deal with this problem. Here is what the law says about "squatters" in the Land of Lincoln

ABC News just posted a lengthy article about the rise of Squatters in America, in the article they mention how a woman in Florida found one of her vacant rental properties had been taken over by squatters who changed the locks on her property. One of the main reasons why this trend is growing they say in the article is because the eviction process of getting squatters out of a residence takes a lot of time in court and money, and the squatters know this. You can read more about what ABC News has to say on the issue by clicking here.

So what are the laws here in the Land of Lincoln?

According to steadily.com, in order for a squatter to claim your property and take it for their own in Illinois the squatter must continuously live in the property for 20 years (7 years if they obtain the color title which is anything resembling documentation of ownership) and they have had to take possession of the property with hostility aka without permission.

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What can you do in Illinois if you have a squatter?

Well, steadily.com talks at length about the process you need to do if you are trying to evict a squatter. They say you need to follow the rules and the process step by step, as the laws do protect the squatters. The frustrating part is that both the squatter and the property owner will have a chance to claim ownership in court and so you must have all your proper documentation ready to go, and the judge will ultimately rule who has legal ownership of the property. To see the full step-by-step process for getting rid of a squatter, click here!

A real issue

This may seem like something that only landlords have to deal with but unfortunately, no, there are stories of homeowners returning from vacations and squatters have taken over their homes, click here! I will say that what is really concerning is articles like this one from the New York Post that talk about all these internet and social media guides that instruct people how to become a squatter, knowing that they have rights as a squatter and will make life hell for the owner of the property. And with the rising number of southern border crossings, higher rents in big cities, and social media trends, I fully expect there to be a rise in squatters over the next couple of months.

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Gallery Credit: Aubrey Jane McClaine


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