Don’t Get Squatted On: Expert Tips to Secure Your Property

Coming home to find an unwelcome guest – a squatter – can be a homeowner’s worst nightmare. Eviction can be a lengthy and frustrating process, so prevention is key. Here, property experts share their top tips to deter squatters and keep your property secure:

Fortress Fyndications:

  • Lock it Tight: Seems obvious, but ensure all doors and windows have high-quality locks. Consider deadbolts and window locks with strike plates for added reinforcement. Don’t forget to change the locks after a tenant moves out or if you lose a key.
  • Deter with Signage: Post clear “No Trespassing” signs in prominent locations. This discourages potential squatters and strengthens your legal case if squatters do move in.
  • Be a Friend of the Neighborhood Watch: Getting to know your neighbors and keeping them informed about your property’s vacancy can be a great early warning system.

Create a Lived-In Look:

  • Lights On, Nobody Home: Invest in timers for lights and electronics to create the illusion of occupancy, especially when the property is vacant.
  • Curtain Call: Open and close curtains or blinds irregularly to make it seem like someone is coming and going.
  • Mail Management: Have a trusted neighbor collect your mail, or consider a hold service at the post office to avoid piles accumulating outside.

Tech it Out:

  • Security System Savvy: Consider installing a security system with features like motion sensors and remote monitoring. Even a visible security system can be a deterrent.
  • Smart Home Security: Smart home features like remotely controlled lights and cameras can add another layer of security and give the impression of a watchful eye.

Be Proactive and Prepared:

  • Regular Property Checks: Schedule regular inspections, either yourself or by a trusted friend/neighbor. Look for signs of forced entry or tampering.
  • Know Your Rights: Familiarize yourself with squatter’s rights laws in your area. Early intervention is crucial for a smoother eviction process.
  • Insurance Insight: Check your homeowner’s insurance policy to understand coverage for vacant properties and potential squatter damage.

You can significantly reduce the risk of squatters taking hold of your property. Remember, prevention is far less stressful (and expensive) than eviction.


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