we own empty lots in seattle, wa.
a few months ago, we were researching the possibility of developing them, and the guys that we were considering went by the lots (heavily wooded) and told us that there was someone living there. I had driven by the lots, and didn't see anyone, and i kind of forgot about the issue.
now, my son heard about this, and prompted me to take a closer look. Last night, we went out and started walking the property (heavily wooded, steep slope). I did indeed see a plastic tent there, and the owner of the house adjacent to the property told me that they had been there since at least winter, and that he had meant to get hold of me, but never did.
so, i've got squatters. they look like homeless people just needing a place to stay.
My inclination is to just look the other way; i have no plans
for the property at the moment, and i would feel bad evicting them, and they've apparently been very quiet and have made no trouble for the neighbors
. The neighbor who noticed them only saw them in the winter time, when all the leaves were down, and also said he did not notice any sanitation issues.
My concern is adverse possession.
I suppose i could draw up a letter telling them they can stay until i decide to do something with the properties, and deliver it to their tent. Then possession wouldn't be adverse, and my hope is that i could just ask them to leave when i eventually decide what to do with the property.
But on the other hand, i'm worried about what something like that would do to my liability. I have no wish to be a land lord over lots that would not bear revenue. Further, i guess another adjacent property owner has young children, and though i haven't talked to them, i can't but imagine they would be pleased.
In sum... i'd be happy to let them stay as long as a) i don't incur liability and b) i can have them evicted (forcibly if necessary) when i want.