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FlutherFriend's avatar

What do I do about "squatters in my house?

Asked by FlutherFriend (16points) February 25th, 2011

I co-signed for 2 people and they moved out. They turned in their keys and I turned in mine. One of the 2 people let these other people move in right before they left and now the landlord wants me to get these “squatters” out, but says he does not want me to put myself in harms way to do it. I consulted with an attorney yesterday and he said he did not know how to advise me and gave me the phone number to another attorney. I called that attorney and she told me that she does not give advise over the phone. So I still need some advise!

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10 Answers

YoBob's avatar

Removing the squatters is simply not your job.

You have turned in your keys. Tell the landlord to do his own dirty work.

Perhaps this is a job for local law enforcement?

sarahjane90's avatar

If you turned in your keys before the squatters moved in, I cannot see how legally this is your problem. You paid your rent and handed in the keys to the landlord – you have upheld your end of the contract in my opinion.

john65pennington's avatar

The other two above answers are correct. This problem is now the problem of the landlord. Has he ever heard of trespassing? Ask him.

Seelix's avatar

Another vote for “it’s not your problem”. If the other tenants for whom you co-signed had caused problems while you were all still living there, then the landlord may have had a right to go to you. But you have, as the others have said, fulfilled your part of the contract, so I think the landlord is just looking for the easy way out.

robmandu's avatar

As co-signer, you might be financially responsible for damages caused by the actions of your “friend” who allowed the squatters in. All of you are responsible to turn over the property in good condition at the end of your lease… and allowing other people to sub-let, or simply squat, is cause for breach of contract. [Disclaimer: I’m not a lawyer.]

That said, the squatters are illegally residing on a property without contract. The landlord should go through the process of evicting them immediately. He can call the police to have them remove the trespassers. I don’t know the language used in your lease contract, but if you’re still on the hook financially, it might be in your best interest to work with the landlord to resolve this as quickly as possible.

As a landlord myself, this kind of thing is exactly why I retain a property management company to handle the operation of my rental property. You never know how people will behave.

It’s also why I won’t co-sign for people. If the people who are professionals at rating credit/trust-worthiness won’t work with them, why would I, an amateur, elect to do so?

SuppRatings's avatar

First off, it is not your job in the slightest. Second of all, if you are paying rent, they are trespassing against you and you can call the cop.s

boomdiada's avatar

Don’t look back is what I say. That is the owner’s job.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Call a tenant advocacy since your landlord isn’t being helpful and might try to stick you with responsibility for damages or cleanup.

FlutherFriend's avatar

Thanks Neizvestnaya. I called the police today and they said that if I decided to approach the people in the house they would be there to “keep the peace”. Might do that on Sunday but Monday morning I can see if there is a phone number in the area for a tennant advocacy.

FlutherFriend's avatar

robmandu, I talked to my realestate friend this evening and since I have had my California Real Estate Lic. and I also have property I rent out I realize that I have some responsibility regarding the condition of the property when all this is said and done. I am glad I took pics right before the two people I co-signed for moved in but I am concerned as to what it will look like after these people move out. Thanks for your comments and they were well taken and understood.

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