Squatters can be classified into various types based on their motivations, circumstances, and behaviors. Understanding these different types of squatters can help property owners and authorities better address the specific challenges posed by each group. Here are some common types of squatters:
- Economic Necessity Squatters: These individuals or families occupy properties out of economic necessity due to homelessness, financial hardship, or lack of affordable housing options. They may squat temporarily until they can secure stable housing.
- Political or Ideological Squatters: Some squatters occupy properties for political or ideological reasons, often as a form of protest or to make a statement about property rights, housing policies, or social issues.
- Adverse Possession Claimants: These squatters believe that they can gain legal ownership of a property through adverse possession. They openly occupy and improve a property, intending to meet the legal requirements for adverse possession over time.
- Vacation or Abandoned Property Squatters: These squatters target vacation homes, second properties, or abandoned properties. They may use these properties for short-term stays, often without the owner’s knowledge or consent.
- Professional Squatters: Professional or organized squatters may operate as a group, identifying vacant or foreclosed properties and occupying them for extended periods. They may engage in illegal activities such as fraudulent leasing to unsuspecting tenants.
- Squatters with Criminal Intent: Some squatters may have criminal intent, using a property as a base for illegal activities, such as drug production, human trafficking, or other illicit operations.
- Tenant Holdovers: In some cases, tenants who refuse to leave a rental property after their lease has expired may be considered squatters. They continue to occupy the property without the landlord’s permission.
- Opportunistic Squatters: Opportunistic individuals or groups may seize the opportunity to occupy a property temporarily when they perceive it to be vacant or abandoned, even if they have no long-term intention of staying.
- Recreational or Party Squatters: These squatters may occupy properties temporarily for recreational purposes, parties, or gatherings, causing disturbances and damage to the property.
- Nomadic or Traveling Squatters: Nomadic individuals or groups move from place to place, often occupying various properties along their journey. They may not stay in one location for an extended period.
It’s important to note that not all squatters fit neatly into one category, and their motivations and circumstances can be complex. Property owners and authorities must assess each situation individually and respond accordingly, whether through negotiation, legal action, or outreach to social services, depending on the specific type of squatters involved.