The concerns regarding squatters throughout the United States is rising over time. This is especially with the increasing number of nightmare scenarios that are occurring to homeowners in real life. Here is a list of # different states throughout the U.S. where it is legal for squatters to come and claim your property.

California Leaves The Door Open After Five Years

Squatters only need to take over a residence in California for five years to be entitled to squatters’ rights. Some even reportedly pay property taxes to support their claim even further.

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This creates a huge warning for those who own beach houses or vacation homes that they do not regularly occupy.

Washington DC Is Not Just The Home Of The White House

There are many popular highlights visited every year throughout Washington DC – including the White House, the Lincoln Memorial, and even the Smithsonian Museums. One of the lesser-known highlights, though, is the high number of unwatched, unnoticed properties as well.

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Washington DC requires squatters to make property tax payments and wait seven years before they can call the Nation’s Capital their home.

Alaska Can Serve As The Final Frontier For Squatters

The “Final Frontier” of Alaska is not just opened up for homeowners and tourists either. Many people do not realize that the open wilderness and other land throughout the state are open for squatters as well.

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All a squatter needs to do is wait for 10 years to be able to enjoy all the rights and privileges of a homeowner. You may have already read some of the stories of determined squatters and ambitious adventurers that have been able to turn their years of isolation as squatters into decades of homeownership.

Texas Unlocks Its Land To Squatters Even As DIY Projects

Squatters in Texas can truly call their claimed properties their home after a ten-year period. One report tells the story of a creative squatter in Texas that apparently loved DIY projects and renovations.

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The squatter apparently transformed an abandoned barn into a comfortable home with a ranch. Texas homeowners must regularly check their acreage and property status before other interested squatters do. There was one report from August 2023 of a group of squatters that moved into an unwatched property overnight. The original homeowners, Jim and Lark Johnson, received notice from the management company of their rental home that the squatters moved in during the late night hours. According to the report, they ripped down the sign of the leasing company and then called for a locksmith to come out to the property.

Oregon Welcomes Squatters To Call It Home After A Decade

Squatters in Oregon just need to wait ten years before they can enjoy squatters’ rights. Throughout the state, there are plenty of unwatched forests and rural areas that are prime for the picking.

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The lush landscape may be a wonderful conversation starter for Oregon homeowners, but it’s also a major selling point for squatters as well.

Arizona Is Home To The Grand Canyon And Patient Squatters

If you visit or live in Arizona, you will already know that the Grand Canyon is one of the most popular tourism sites in the state. However, the unwatched properties are also very popular among the groups of patient squatters as well.

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All a squatter needs to do is wait ten years before they can claim ownership of a property and/or land in Arizona. This means there would be nothing stopping them from transforming empty plots into blossoming gardens.

Michigan Allows Squatters To Enjoy Its Great Lakes With Unwatched Properties

The state of Michigan is surprisingly on the list as well since it opens the doors for squatters, too. If they are willing to wait 15 years, they could then call themselves homeowners as well.

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It’s not surprising why so many homeowners throughout the state may take their regular property visits a priority each year.

New York City May Never Sleep, But Accepts Squatters

The old adage “If you can make it in New York, you can make it anywhere” may apply to squatters as well. Recent reports have made it clear that there are quite a few dream homes being occupied by ambitious squatters that must believe it.

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The state of New York activates squatters’ rights only after ten years of undetected occupancy. There is one recent report earlier this month where a homeowner from Queens was arrested after they changed the locks to lock out squatters that were already in their home. The average eviction in New York could take up to two years to complete since you must get the courts involved.

Florida Shares Its State’s Sunshine With Squatters

Florida is another state that allows squatters to legally claim the property that you purchased with your hard-earned money. Apparently, it’s not just a magnet for tourism.

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Florida allows squatters to claim an abandoned property after just seven years.

Virginia Opens Up Its Historic Land To Squatters

There are some many different lands and areas throughout the state of Virginia that are etched in the history books for one reason or another. Tourists enjoy these landmarks when visiting each year.

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Squatters can turn unwatched areas near these landmarks into their dream homes. All they need is to wait 15 years before doing so. The stay must be continuous, though. This means that they are not able to leave the property at all for any amount of time. Doing so could allow them to forfeit their eventual rights to file a claim for adverse possession.

Colorado Is Not Just The ‘Switzerland Of America’

Unfortunately, Colorado is not just known as the “Switzerland of America.” It has quite a few popular nicknames – including the “Ski Country USA” and the “Highest State.”

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Squatters may refer to it as the “Squatter Land of America” and “Ski Country for Squatters.” This is especially the case for those patient squatters that are willing to wait for 18 years to claim ownership.

Illinois Allows Squatters To Call The Prairie State Home

Illinois is also featured on the list of U.S. states that accept squatters’ rights. However, to get those rights in the Prairie State, squatters must wait a while longer than other states.

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For instance, multiple reports confirm that there is a 20-year window that must pass before the squatter can claim their neglected treasure. Therefore, regular property check-ups are required by the homeowners in the Corn State.

Pennsylvania Forces Squatters To Wait Over Two Decades

It’s much more difficult to get squatters to “kick rocks” and head out in Pennsylvania – especially if those “rocks” have already turned into coal.

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Fortunately, the Coal State allows a much wider window of time to pass (a continuous 21-year period) before they allow squatters to benefit from “adverse possession laws.”

Ohio Follows The Lead Of Pennsylvania Regarding Squatters

Ohio squatters will have to wait longer than two decades before they can claim an unwatched property as their own. A determined and patient squatter may keep themselves busy as the years fly by.

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There have been quite a few reports over the years of entire farms that have been turned over to new “owners” that started out as just very patient squatters.

Squatters Can Get Their Peaches From Their Georgia Homes

Singer Justin Bieber is not the only one that gets his peaches down in Georgia. Apparently, squatters are able to get these fruits from the famous Peach State as well.

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If a squatter is willing to wait 20 years, they could even create a farm of peach trees near their new-to-them homes.

North Carolina Is ‘First In Freedom’ State To Squatters, Too

Squatters enjoy the First in Freedom State just as much as homeowners do. Many people do not realize that a squatter is entitled to adverse possession rights after a 20-year period.

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Quite a few of the mountain hideaway homes and beachfront bungalows in the state may already be owned by former squatters.

South Carolina Extends Its Hospitality To Squatters, Too

South Carolina squatters can also finally plant some roots figuratively and literally on their discovered lands after a 10-year period. This puts a different type of spin on the concept of “Southern Hospitality.”

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This also means that squatters only have to wait half the time required to make South Carolina their home than they would in North Carolina.

Maryland Seafood Is Delicious To Homeowners And Squatters Alike

The fresh seafood from Maryland is a delicious cuisine that you have to taste firsthand to believe. That’s what many Maryland homeowners and tourists would tell you anyways.

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Actually, quite a few squatters may tell you the same thing. They are able to turn the state into their permanent home after patiently waiting 20 years.

Squatters Of New Jersey Must Endure A Decades-Long Marathon

Many people assume that the most popular marathons in the U.S. are found in Massachusetts, New York, and Illinois. However, there is a different type of marathon endured by squatters in New Jersey.

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New Jersey may not have the same “sprint” periods of less than a decade that several other popular U.S. states do. However, those who are willing to wait for 30 years can cross the figurative finish line and receive squatters’ rights.

Massachusetts Allows Squatters To Transform Colonial Residences

Squatters throughout Massachusetts can call the Baked Bean State their home after waiting just 20 years. Two decades will allow those interested in DIY projects and renovations to transform colonial residences into their new homes.

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There are quite a few adverse possession stories and reports circulating throughout the state. Those “horror stories” scare a lot of homeowners into keeping a close eye on their secondary properties.

How To Prevent Your Home From Becoming A Squatters’ Home

This list may have been very alarming for quite a few people – especially if they discovered that their home state is included within it. However, there are several steps that the average homeowner can take to make sure they never have to surrender their property over to a patient and ambitious squatter.

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For instance, in this age of technology and Wi-Fi enabled devices, it is highly recommended to have some sort of monitoring system included within and outside of your secondary homes. Doing so will make it possible for you to always keep a watchful eye over your various properties (including your primary home).