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Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 33769
Experience:  15 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 26 years
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Is there squatter rights in the state of Pennsylvania

Customer Question

is there squatter rights in the state of Pennsylvania
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 9 months ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney who will try my very best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply, but rest assured, I am working on your question.

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If you are asking about a legal trespasser's rights to eventually claim ownership of real estate, then yes there are what are commonly referred to as "squatter's rights" in PA. The actual legal term is "adverse possession" and requires someone to exclusively and hostily possess land for at least 21 years. In Pennsylvania the period of time for adverse possession must be at least twenty-one (21) years. Pennsylvania Code §42-5530.
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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
My mother has been at the same location for almost 40 yrs. even though her name is ***** ***** the deed, does she have rights then?
Expert:  Barrister replied 9 months ago.

I need more details... Is she living there with permission of the owner of the land?

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Is she a tenant?

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Did she move in without permission of the owner of the land?

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
my grandparents had at one time said that it would be divided between my father and uncle. so my parents built on the land. my father passed away and his name was never added to the deed when it was divided.
Expert:  Barrister replied 9 months ago.

I need more details... Is she living there with permission of the owner of the land?

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Is she a tenant?

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Did she move in without permission of the owner of the land?

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
she is living there with permission. family has started to have her sign what they call a lease. her water and sewage is connected to my grandparent's old home
Expert:  Barrister replied 9 months ago.

Ok, then she doesn't have any squatter's rights. That requires "hostile possession" meaning that they don't have permission. So if she has permission, then she is legally a tenant and can be evicted after the owner properly terminates her tenancy, normally after a 30 day written notice..

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
what does hostile possession mean?
Expert:  Barrister replied 9 months ago.

hostile possession means that the person doesn't have permission to be on the property. It means that they are legally a trespasser. So if someone has permission, then they aren't a trespasser, so no hostile possession, so no adverse possession (i.e. squatter's rights). With permission you are a licensee, (i.e. a tenant) and that license can be terminated with proper notice.

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
is there anything she can do to protect her home if they asked her to move the home?
Expert:  Barrister replied 9 months ago.

Unfortunately no, if they properly terminate her tenancy with a written 30 day notice. After that expires, they could file a formal eviction action in court and get a judgment from the court to have the sheriff physically evict her.

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
ok. thank you very much. you have been very helpful
Expert:  Barrister replied 9 months ago.

You are very welcome. Glad to help even if the news is lousy for mother..

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thanks

Barrister