One of the biggest fears of any property owner is the threat of a squatter. We have all heard horror stories regarding this type of unwanted occupant, but one hit close to him recently in Central New York.

Recently a local animal non-profit organization rescued close to 20 cats who were found in a home left destroyed by squatters who had been living in a house in Deerfield. The mess left behind and damage is immeasurable, but is a very real possibility if you are unfortunate enough for someone to take up residence by force.

Property Owner in Queens Arrested for Changing Locks

According to an article from ABC 7 in New York,

In New York, squatters have rights after 30 days. That means the property owner can't change the locks on them, can't remove their belongings, and can't cut off the utilities. If they do, the owner could be arrested. Instead, property owners must go through the court system to get rid of them.

A property owner in Queens was actually arrested recently for changing the locks on squatters that had invaded her home. Adele Andaloro of Flushing, Queens discovered the unwanted guests in a home she inherited from her family. Because she had the locks changed on the squatters, she was arrested for unlawful eviction.

What is the Law Regarding Squatters?

What are the actual laws regarding squatting? According to the Law Offices of Nadel & Ciarlo,

In New York, if the squatter lived in the property for at least 30 days, they are considered a legal tenant. This means you cannot unilaterally evict them or have the police evict them. You would be forced to get a judicial eviction.

This type of tenancy is known as Squatter Tenancy. Ask any landlord who suffered through having non-paying tenants through COVID how hard it is to evict someone from your home. The courts in New York State aren't always favorable to those who own property. But, luckily one legislator is trying to make a change to existing laws.

New Legislation Proposed

New York's 15th District State Assemblyman Jake Blumencranz has introduced a bill that would make it easier for a property owner to remove a squatter. According to ABC 7, the bill "states a tenant does not include squatters. It also gives someone rights after 45 days, not 30 as many short term rentals in NYC are required to be 30 days long." This would be a major improvement.

Keeping Your Property Protected

The best thing a property owner can do, especially if they own a vacant property, is to put certain safety measures in place. Those include:

  • Installing Security or Wifi based cameras (such as Ring or Blink) on the premises.
  • Having multiple lock mechanisms, especially deadbolts.
  • Frequently checking the property or trusting someone to do so on your behalf.
  • Installing lights with timers so that at night it appears someone is living there.

These are just a few things you can do to protect yourself from would be disaster. The last thing you want is a destroyed interior of a home with animal droppings and waste inside.

10 Most Expensive Places To Live In New York

It's no secret that when you live in New York State, you pay a lot in taxes. Where are the 10 most expensive places to live in our state?

Here were the 10 most expensive places to live in New York State:

Gallery Credit: Dave Wheeler

Watch out for These 7 Creatures That Can Hide in Your Car in New York

Warmer temperatures means more wild animals will be out and about - and some of them might wind up in your car. While some may be seeking the warmth that's radiating from your engine, others may be enticed by the smell of food if you have a tendency to snack while driving.

Here's the critters that are most likely to show up uninvited under the hood of your car - or worse - inside your vehicle if you're not careful.

Gallery Credit: Megan

The 10 Most Stolen Vehicles in New York for 2024

The National Insurance Crime Bureau recently ranked the states with the worst vehicle theft problems and said New York placed seventh highest overall. Vehicle thefts hit a record high in 2023 and the pace isn't slowing down in 2024.

According to the NICB, these are the vehicles thieves in New York are going after the most.

Gallery Credit: Megan

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