Posted in Blog  
  on Apr 21, 2015

What Are Squatters Rights in Oregon

In Oregon, there is a fine line between trespassing and squatter's rights. Unlike other states, a bank typically must wait 12 months after a homeowner stops making payments to proceed with a foreclosure. In the meantime, homeowners leave the property so that it is abandoned. Once this occurs, squatter's rights begin to kick in. As soon as someone sets up residence in an abandoned property, they are recognized in the state of Oregon as being an official tenant. This means the full eviction process must be completed to remove the individual.

What About Adverse Possession?

For squatters looking to obtain a property through adverse possession, there must be open and hostile possession of the property. The owner must know that the squatters are present and the squatters must be caring for the property and operate under the color of title. This also applies to vacant land. If this is done for 10 consecutive years, then the squatters have the right to file for an adverse possession title. To stop this process, a property owner must only start the eviction process in Oregon to put a halt to the timing. Once this eviction process begins, the squatters are deemed to be tenants and no longer living on the property in a hostile fashion.

Why Is This Important To Know?

The first issue is that property owners often try to evict squatters on their own. This can create a situation that leads to litigation. If squatters are discovered on abandoned property, then they must be evicted. If a home is being actively used, however, this may be deemed as trespassing. If you return from a 2 week vacation to find someone occupying your property, then law enforcement may handle this matter. Once tenancy is established, even if squatters aren't paying rent, they are covered by Oregon's landlord-tenant law. Eviction notices must be served and if no action is taken, an unlawful detainer filing must be made. Only law enforcement can legally remove squatters and only when a court order to do so is in place. Squatters rights in Oregon may be a headache for banks, property owners, and some neighborhoods, but they are also designed to protect the rights of people as much as possible. Use this information to protect your Oregon properties today so that your assets can maintain their value.


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