Question from Squatter, What are the laws regarding squatting in a vacant building in Illinois?
Answer from AI:
In Illinois, squatting, or the act of occupying an abandoned or unoccupied area of land or a building, is governed by a variety of laws and regulations. It’s important to note that squatting is generally illegal and can lead to criminal charges, civil penalties, or both.
Illinois Squatting Laws
In Illinois, squatting is typically considered trespassing, which is a criminal offense under 720 ILCS 5/21-3. If a squatter refuses to leave after being asked by the property owner, they can be arrested and charged with criminal trespass.
Adverse Possession in Illinois
However, there is a legal concept known as “adverse possession” where a squatter could potentially gain legal ownership of a property. In Illinois, the requirements for adverse possession are quite stringent. According to 735 ILCS 5/13-101, a squatter must:
- Have possession of the property for a continuous period of 20 years
- Use the property as if they were the actual owner (openly and notoriously)
- Use the property without the permission of the actual owner (hostilely)
- Use the property exclusively
Evicting Squatters in Illinois
If a property owner discovers a squatter, they can take legal action to remove them. This typically involves filing an eviction lawsuit. It’s important to note that property owners should not attempt to forcibly remove squatters themselves, as this could lead to legal complications.
When to Seek Legal Advice
If you’re dealing with a squatting situation, it’s often a good idea to consult with a legal professional. They can provide personalized advice based on your specific circumstances and help you navigate the legal process.
Remember, while this information provides a general overview of squatting laws in Illinois, it does not constitute legal advice. Always consult with a legal professional for advice tailored to your situation.