Question from Squatter, What are the laws regarding squatting in a vacant building in Michigan?
Answer from AI:
In Michigan, squatting is generally considered illegal. Squatting refers to the act of occupying an abandoned or unoccupied area of land or a building without the permission of the owner. However, there are certain circumstances under which a squatter can gain legal rights to a property. This is known as “adverse possession.”
What is Adverse Possession?
Adverse possession is a legal doctrine that allows a person to claim a property right in land owned by someone else if they have inhabited the land for a certain period of time. In Michigan, the requirements for adverse possession are quite strict. According to Michigan Compiled Laws section 600.5801, a squatter must:
- Have possessed the property openly and notoriously
- Have exclusive possession of the property
- Have continuous possession of the property for a period of 15 years
What are the Consequences of Squatting?
Squatting can lead to criminal charges in Michigan. Under Michigan Penal Code section 750.552, a person who is found squatting can be charged with a misdemeanor and face up to 30 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $50.
What are the Rights of Property Owners?
Property owners in Michigan have the right to remove squatters from their property. This is typically done through a legal process known as eviction. However, if a squatter has met the requirements for adverse possession, the property owner may need to take legal action to reclaim their property.
When to Seek Legal Advice?
If you are a property owner dealing with a squatter or a person who believes they have a claim to a property through adverse possession, it is recommended that you consult with a legal professional. They can provide personalized advice based on your specific situation and help you navigate the legal process.
Please note that this information is intended to provide a general understanding of Michigan’s squatting and adverse possession laws. It should not be considered legal advice. Laws can change, and the application of law can vary widely based on the specific facts involved.