With the abundance of ghost homes in New York State, it is seldom that there's a neighborhood that has a home that the owners haven't just walked away from. What happens when there are people that just walk into one of those empty homes and start living in it?

Is it legal to have a person squatting in an unoccupied home? Does this even happen or is this just something you see on tv?

How does New York State define squatting?

Photo by Haley Owens on Unsplash
Photo by Haley Owens on Unsplash

Squatting is determined as a person who has taken up residence in a place that they are not welcome, or do not have permission to be there. I had a conversation with a local police officer after it was found out that there was a homeless person living in the woods at the end of the street. The police said that the person was trespassing and could be asked to leave.

However, if the person was there more than 30 days, that is when the legalities started to change in New York State.

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What does a person being there 30-days have to do with squatting in New York State?

Man on rocking chair in a dirty old room

If a person has been there for more than 30-days, even if they walked into an empty home that was not theirs, and have been living in it for that time period, you as the owner would now have to take them to court to legally evict them.

Now, when you get into the legalities if it is a family member that we are talking about or a previously paying tenant that now will just not leave, that is a whole other matter.

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