Real Estate Law
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State of California, USA
County Los Angeles
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Your Question: My neighbor's house was broken into 2 years after his death. Squatters now claim they can use property because of adverse possission. The lien holder refuses to act. He had no relatives and the value of the house is less than what his loan is on the property. What can the neighborhood do?
Response: First and foremost, the squatter has not acquired the property by adverse possession. Adverse Possession requires possession for five years and payment of property taxes. See California Code of Civil Procedure Sections 318, 325, and 328.
You and your neighbors should check your County Recorder's office to see if tax lien has been recorded against the property. If not, then check your County Assessor's web site for any delinquent taxes and then inform the County that property is currently being occupied by a squatter and for the County to come and take it over. At this time you and your neighbors do not have legal standing to challenge the squatter. Only the mortgage lender and the County/City if taxes are owed have legal standing to remove the squatter.
County Recorder's Office:
County Assessor's Office:
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