Explanation of Squatters Rights in Ohio
Ohio is one of the most difficult states for squatters to obtain an adverse possession deed. Some states only require 7 years for squatters to live on a vacant property without permission, but not Ohio. It takes 21 years of living on a property without permission, in full view of everyone, including the property owner, for adverse possession to occur. If a property owner can show that they were suffering from some sort of impediment during this 21 year period, then the State of Ohio will allow for an extra 10 years to bring a cause of action.
Can Squatter's Rights Be Stopped?
It is pretty easy to stop adverse possession proceedings in the State of Ohio. All a property owner would need to do is give the squatters permission to reside on the premises. This would immediately negate the notorious requirement of living on a property without permission in full view of everyone. Squatters must also be able to meet both state statues for adverse possession and common law requirements. The courts within the state have the final say as to whether or not the activities that are happening on a property amount to squatting. If they determine that squatting isn't actually occurring, then an adverse action will not be initiated. It is also illegal for squatters to break into a home to occupy it or to enter a home where there is someone actively living on the premises. These actions may qualify the squatter's activities as criminal instead of civil.
What If You Need to Get Rid of Squatters?
If you have people living on your property without permission, but it isn't a criminal issue, then you will need to evict them. Send them a notice of eviction immediately and have proof of delivery. Give them a specific move out date that must be followed. If they do not do so, then you'll have the grounds to file an eviction case with the Ohio court system. If this is not a criminal matter, you cannot change the locks or eliminate the utilities to the property. You must evict them as you would any other tenant. In doing so, you'll be able to secure your property without exposing yourself to potential litigation.
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