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Squatters Rights By State

Squatters Rights By State
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Squatters' Rights in the United States

Understanding the complexities of squatters' rights—laws that allow someone to occupy a property without the is owner’s permission, and under certain conditions, potentially assume ownership—is essential for both property owners and those who find themselves in the unenviable position of squatting. While these laws are complex and vary significantly by state, this matter can greatly affect individuals and communities and plays a critical role in discussions around housing rights, homelessness, and property ownership in the United States. 

Key findings from the data include:

  • Significant variation exists in the required occupation time for squatters' rights laws across US states, ranging from three years in Arizona to up to 30 years in New Jersey. 
  • While several states such as Arizona, Texas, Montana, and California require a relatively short occupation period of five years or less, the majority of states seem to require a longer period of ten years or more.
  • Midwestern states such as Wisconsin, Illinois, Arkansas, and others tend to have a medium-term occupation requirement, generally around seven years.
  • States with the longest required occupation time, notably New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and several eastern coastal states, require 20 years or more of uninterrupted occupation.
  • Interestingly, the states with larger urban populations, like New York, California, and Florida, tend to have a comparatively lesser occupation time.

By State

Full Data Set

Frequently Asked Questions

Methodology