Hello, Im new to the business and have come across a situation where a previous tenant on a lease has squatted in another unit after moving out of the previous unit. She even put electric in her name. There is no lease, no deposit, nothing. My question is can the park shut off water while we are trying to go through legal process to evict her. In the meantime she is living the unit scott free!
I have heard that you walk on thin ice if you deprive anyone of basic water or electric. My understanding is that you have no obligation to provide / include windows in your unit. This being the case I know a guy who had a situation like yours and pulled the windows and doors temporarily . The issue resolved itself 2 days later
Don’t turn off the water, and continue on with the eviction. If you turn off the water, you may be liable for violations of the health code. Just get the eviction, the writ of possession, and get them out. Thereafter, keep all your units secured and call the police immediately if anyone trespasses into a home.
How does your tenancy act read regarding non tenant squatters.
If you own the home and the individual is not legally a tenant is it not simply a matter of calling the police to have them removed.
Also if you own the home and it is “vacant” ,as in no registered tenant,can you not request that the hydro be turned off to that unit.
If the police will not remove the squatters why not simply make their lives so intolerable that they simply leave. I do not see they would have any recourse as they can not prove they are registered tenants (begin renovations, fumigate, leave a large vicious dog inside to protect the property, install new locks, etc.) There must be creative ways to move squatters along.
I think a whole lot of this depends on the state you are in. In Oklahoma, you can pull an RV into a mobile home park, refuse to pay any rent, and you can only get rid of them by eviction as the police see the dispute as a “civil matter” (this happened to me repeatedly in my park in Oklahoma City). Under that same scenario in Texas, the police would intervene immediately and scare the RV off with threats of going to jail for trespassing. I imagine the scenario is even worse in California, as far as coddling the tenant, and even stricter in Alabama as far as throwing them out. So I think a good working knowledge of your state laws is smart. But definitely, based on everything I know, never turn off any occupant’s water without 100% agreement by local officials, the health department and a competent attorney, as you are asking for potential litigation.
And if you do make a legal mistake while trying to evict, you compound your problems. Then, the tenant/squatter/trespasser will have one real winner complaint that may legitimatize their remaining illegitimate complaints (ex. he’s evicting me because he’s racist, sexist, homophobic, we have kids, they don’t like Muslims. etc) - then you have a $1,000 problem that turns into a $25,000 problem.