House squatting is the act of living in a home without benefit of deed or lease from another person who owns the home or has sold the home. In Texas, the law enforcement officers take house squatting seriously, and authorities say that Texas' squatter laws are among the strictest in the United States. In order to file a squatting claim, a person must prove that he or she has possession of the land that is being squatted on.
Most of the time, squatting occurs when a person moves into a home that seems to be abandoned or empty. Many people who own multiple homes are victims of squatting. For example, a family may have a winter home in New York and a summer home in California. While in California, individuals may break into the New York house and stay summer, awaiting the owner's return. When the owner finally comes home, the squatter's may move out, and travel to California to live in the summer home.
In Texas, there is a list of conditions that need to be established before the court will acknowledge and adverse possession of property. You will need to prove that you behaved as the owner of a property and that you have been doing maintenance on the property or lived in the property so that others can acknowledge this fact. Then, you will need to prove that you lived on the property consistently for 30 years.
Because a squatter needs to live on the property for at least 30 years, it is difficult to prove that any squatters have the right to be there. This is partially because most court witnesses move away within 30 years. Only if an adverse possession claim is successful can a squatter inherit property. Most of the time, the squatter will be arrested for breaking and entering. If you want more information about house squatting penalties in Plano, or if you are being accused of a crime because of house squatting, then talk to a Plano criminal defense attorney for defense and representation.