Recently, a 5-bedroom home on the outskirts of Washington, DC, made national headlines when the house owner announced that they were selling the property for $800,000 with cash offers only. The listing also stated that interested buyers had no access to the lower level of the home, and the property is sold as-is.
Naturally, this piqued people’s curiosity, and there were many online theories for why buyers had no access to the lower floor. Speculations about ghosts, murders, serial killers, and wormholes were made regarding the house. It ended up being a classic case of a squatter refusing to vacate the premises.
Squatters are one of the biggest nightmares of homeowners. You’ve got squatter trouble when an individual moves into an empty or abandoned home on their own and refuses to leave. But the biggest challenge here is that squatting is not treated as a legal offense, and getting squatters evicted is challenging.
If you’re hoping to sell a house fast in Pittsburgh, you must ensure that there are no illegal occupants on your property. Continue reading to learn how to deal with squatters in your Pittsburgh home.
Who Are Squatters and What Does the Law Say?
As mentioned above, squatting is the act of using an abandoned or empty home without the permission of the property owner. While squatting is technically illegal, the Homestead Act of 1862 allows for some rights for squatters. This law ensures that individuals who have occupied a property for a specific period, have improved it, paid rent or property taxes, or hold a deed to the property are not considered squatters. A squatter must stay there for at least 18 years to claim legal rights over a property.
If you have a troublesome tenant, who claims their rights over your property and has no intention of moving out, you’re in a tight fix. The hassle-free choice in these cases is to sell your home to real estate investors like cash home buyers in Pittsburgh.
When you sell for cash, you don’t have to go through the legal and emotional hassles of trying to evict the squatter. Cash buyers purchase your home as-is even with the squatter currently occupying your property. But if you’re trying to sell a house with a squatter, here are four things to consider.
1. Know the Laws
As mentioned above, squatters have a few rights. You must know your state and local laws regarding squatters to avoid legal complications.
2. Inform the Authorities
Technically, anyone using your property without your permission is a squatter. So, if you suspect squatters in your home, immediately inform the local police.
3. Begin the Legal Eviction Process
Issue legal notice to the squatter. A legal notice is often enough to scare squatters from your home. If the police cannot get squatters to leave, you can move on to the next stage of eviction.
4. Clean Up and Sell
If you successfully get the squatter to evict your home, you can move on to the next stages of selling the property. Many squatters, out of spite, damage the property. So, start by doing a thorough home inspection to get a detailed report of the current status of your property. If there are any severe damages, consider repairing the house before listing it. If you do not have the time or budget for repairs and renovations, you can quickly consider a quick cash sale to get rid of the home.
At 412 Houses, we buy houses in Pittsburgh in any condition for cash in less than 30 days. Contact for a quick no-obligation cash offer within 24 hours.