Criminal Targets Vacant Properties… Is Yours Included?
One of our Members got quite a surprise recently when removing a lockbox from a newly sold listing…the vacant property was being occupied by a squatter. The property had been trashed, and police also found a hand-written “manifesto” of other listed properties – most of them vacant – which may represent future targets. (The listing brokers have been contacted.)
WVMLS Members are urged to check on their vacant listings. And check them often!
It’s important to note that these situations must be handled carefully. Get the police involved immediately!
Here’s a comment about “squatters rights” by one of our brokers:
“If a notice to evict or an FED is served then it could take months to get them out. This requires a civil process involving the courts. [if you find someone has illegally entered your listing] …The police must be called immediately and charges pressed by the owner for breaking and entering. The police will then notify the squatter that they have to be out in 15 minutes. The owner must then move all the personal belongings to a storage unit and the offending squatter have a time frame to get their belongings from the storage unit.”