A Houston squatter can be in your house a variety of different ways. He can be a tenant that stays on your property without paying rent. He can be a trespasser that saw your vacant property and saw an easy shelter. They come in a variety of different ways. Before dealing with a Houston Squatter here is what you should not and should do.
Is Squatting Illegal?
While squatting is illegal in Houston the situation is not as black and white as it may seem. Usually when we see something illegal happening we think action can be done quickly and efficiently to make things right, well with squatters in Houston that is not the case. You should know right away that Houston squatters have rights, and are not the most compliant of people you will have the pleasure of encountering in your lifetime. It is crucially important you deal with them quickly to avoid issues later on and even in some rare cases adverse possession. Trust us when we say you do not want to go down that road.
Don’t do this with Houston Squatters
Please know that when working to get squatters out of your Houston property the matter will more than likely have to be solved through the court system. When that happens you do not want to arm the squatter with any sort of claims against you to assure you mitigate your damages in this situation. To avoid doing anything illegal when dealing with a Houston squatter please do not do the following:
- Try to force physically or intimidate the squatter to get out of the property
- Turn off utilities
- Change the locks on the property to keep the squatter out
It will not matter how right is seems that you can do these 3 things to get your squatter out of the house. The court system will frown upon it and possibly fine you for just trying to get your house back. Additionally, doing these three things will more than likely produce negative actions from your squatter like breaking open a door or window to get in to bypass the lock change, creating fire hazards to have a light source in the property, still use restroom without running water, or just plain and simple create damage because you tried to intimidate them. Your main focus should be damage control when dealing with your squatter.
Here is what you should do with a Houston squatter
Of course, the ideal situation is to never have a squatter inside your Houston house in the first place. There is a few things you can do to deter squatters, but just like with most methods used to stop someone from stealing your car, a car can still be stolen if a thief wants it bad enough. We suggest the following measures be taken if the property will be vacant:
- Post a “NO TRESPASSING” sign on the property
- Your property management company should check on the place regularly, if you do not have one you need to check on it to make sure a squatter has not gone inside
- Add a clause to any leases you execute that limit your tenants overnight guests from stating more than an agreed to set number of days per period
Take Immediate Action
- Contact the police: Time is of the essence when dealing with a squatter in Houston. The faster you make it know that the squatter does not have the right to be on your property to more likely the courts are to rule you never gave them consent to live there. If action is taken rather quickly things will work in your favor and the squatter will be out, but if the police declare it a civil matter, start the eviction process as soon as possible.
- Give notice then file an unlawful detainer action: Hopefully when the squatter sees the eviction notice they will make the right decision and just leave. More than likely he won’t thought and you will need to file an unlawful detainer lawsuit. Make sure you follow Texas Rental laws when doing so.
- Hire the sheriff to force the squatter out: If nothing you have done has made the squatter leave your Houston house, you will need to hire a police officer or sheriff to get the squatter out.
- Do not just throw away the squatters personal belongings: You shouldn’t just get rid of the squatters property as much as you might want to. When they are evicted they might leave belongings and it is best to not just discard them but follow Texas laws when working to get rid of it.
Yes, a Houston squatter is something you do not want to ever face but if you do, now you know how to handle it. If this all seems like to much to handle(which it might be) give Good Neighbor Home Buyers a call and we can discuss how we can help you. We have purchased various homeowners houses fast in Houston with troublesome squatters and know we can help you with your situation. Fill out the from below of give us a call at 281-713-3255 for immediate assistance.
Call Good Neighbor Home Buyers today at 281-713-3255 or send us a message to discuss these and other tips for selling your house. We can help you sell your Houston squatter property fast and for cash!