How to Get Squatters Out of Your House in Dallas, TX Area
Updated: Jul 9
Squatters can be a big problem for homeowners, especially in areas like Dallas, TX where the real estate market is highly active and people are constantly looking for new places to live.
Squatting is a form of unauthorized occupancy of a property, and it can be difficult to get squatters out of your home without the proper legal procedure.
In this blog, we will go over the steps you can take to get squatters out of your house in the Dallas-Fort Worth Area.
What are Squatters?
Squatters are people who occupy an abandoned or unoccupied building or land without the legal right to do so. Squatting is typically done for housing or shelter purposes, and may also involve using the property for other purposes such as growing crops or running a community center. Squatters often argue that they are reclaiming unused property and putting it to good use, while opponents argue that they are trespassing and damaging the property. The laws regarding squatting vary by jurisdiction, with some countries allowing it under certain circumstances and others criminalizing it entirely.
Understanding Squatters' Rights in Texas
In Texas, squatters' rights are governed by the adverse possession law. Under this law, a squatter may be able to claim ownership of the property if they can show that they have occupied it openly, continuously, exclusively, and adversely for a period of at least ten years. This means that if you do not take action to remove squatters from your property within ten years of their initial occupation, they may be able to claim legal ownership of it.
How to Get Rid of Squatters in Texas -
Determine if the Squatters are Actually Living in Your Home
The first step in removing squatters from your home is to determine if they are actually living in your home. Squatting is often difficult to distinguish from simple trespassing, so it's important to get an accurate understanding of the situation. Look for signs of permanent residencies, such as furniture, personal belongings, and utilities being turned on in the home. If you have any doubts, it’s a good idea to not enter the home. You may surprise the squatters and could be attacked.
Check Your Local Laws
It's important to understand the laws surrounding squatting in the Dallas, TX area. In Texas, a squatter is defined as someone who takes possession of someone else's property without their permission. Squatting is a criminal offense in Texas and is punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $2,000. Before taking any action, make sure you are familiar with the laws in your area.
Give the Squatters a Notice to Vacate
Once you have determined that the individuals are indeed squatters, the next step is to give them the notice to vacate.
In Texas, you can either post the notice on the door or hand-deliver it to the squatters. The notice should state that they are unauthorized to occupy the property and that they have a specified amount of time (usually 3-7 days) to vacate.
It's important to keep a record of the notice and the date it was delivered, in case you need to prove that you took this step in court.
Call the Police
If the squatters do not vacate the property within the specified time frame, you can call the police. The police can assist you in removing the squatters from your home. It's important to note that the police will only remove squatters if they have a court order, so you may need to take additional legal steps.
File an Eviction Lawsuit
If the squatters refuse to leave after receiving the notice to vacate and the police have not been able to remove them, you may need to file an eviction lawsuit. This is a legal process that will require you to go to court and prove that the individuals are squatting in your home. You may need to hire an attorney to assist you with this process.
Enforce the Court Order
If the court rules in your favor, they will issue an order for the squatters to vacate the property. The police can then assist you in enforcing the court order and removing the squatters from your home.
There are we buy house companies that will buy houses with squatters. These companies specialize in dealing with tough situations where there are unauthorized occupants in a house.
You can sell a house with squatters and they will pay cash for the house as-is and deal with the squatter problem themselves after closing. The benefit to selling your home for cash to one of these companies is you won’t have to deal with evicting the squatter and repairing any damage that has been done.
In conclusion, getting squatters out of your home in Dallas, TX can be a complex and time-consuming process. However, by following the steps outlined above, you can protect your property and take back control of your home. It's important to keep in mind that each situation is unique and may require different steps, so it's always a good idea to consult with an eviction lawyer if you have any questions or concerns.