Squatters in Your Vacant House
In Las Vegas, there has been a rash of invasions into vacant rental homes by squatters. The squatters break into the home and set up living quarters as if they have a right to the property.
We recently had a case where the squatters broke in and refused to leave the property. As we pounded on the doors and even entered the property, the squatters escaped out the upstairs windows. Police were called in and the house was secured. However, once again, the house was breached and the neighbors informed us the squatters were back in the house.
Once again we went to the house and this time confronted the criminals. They said they have a lease and knew the owner. The lease was a dummy lease and the squatters had looked up the name of the landlord and recited his name correctly. Police were again called in and the squatters were questioned thoroughly. The squatters could not explain who gave them the lease, where they were to pay rent, contact information of the landlord, where was the security deposit held, etc.
The squatters also refused to move out when the police demanded they leave the property. They claimed to have the right to stay in the property and that they would have to be EVICTED! The eviction process would have given them weeks of free rent while the legal process played out.
Fortunately, the police did not allow the squatters to stay and demanded they move out otherwise we would have had a long eviction process and a trashed property.
A second squatter situation occurred when an imposter landlord advertised our vacant house on Craigslist and secured tenants. He produced a faked lease and the “tenants” paid their security deposits and prepaid rents and moved in. We discovered the tenants and ordered them to vacate however, they blamed us for the scam and refused to move. It required a full eviction at considerable cost to the landlord.
We felt badly that the “tenants” were taken advantage however, after their accusations that we were at fault quickly cured us of the sympathy.
Advice: Check out your landlord’s name, it’s a public record. Additionally, check out your real estate agent, his name should be registered with the Nevada Real Estate Division or check with your Board of Realtors for active agents.