Question from Squatter, What are the laws regarding squatting in a vacant building in New Jersey?
Answer from AI:
In New Jersey, squatting is generally considered illegal. Squatting refers to the act of occupying an abandoned or unoccupied area of land or a building that the squatter does not own, rent, or otherwise have lawful permission to use.
New Jersey Squatting Laws
New Jersey law does not specifically address squatting. However, it does have laws related to trespassing and adverse possession, which can be relevant to squatting situations.
Trespassing: Under New Jersey law, a person who enters or remains in a structure without permission is considered a trespasser. This can apply to squatters in a vacant building. Trespassing can be a criminal offense, punishable by fines or imprisonment.
Adverse Possession: Adverse possession is a legal doctrine that allows a person to claim ownership of a property if they have occupied it openly and continuously for a certain period of time. In New Jersey, the required period is 30 years under normal circumstances, and 60 years if the property is woodland. However, the squatter must also meet other requirements, such as paying property taxes.
If a property owner discovers a squatter, they may need to go through the legal eviction process. This typically involves:
- Serving the squatter with a notice to quit.
- Filing an eviction lawsuit if the squatter does not leave.
- Obtaining a court order for eviction.
- Enforcing the eviction with the help of law enforcement if necessary.
It’s important to note that property owners should not attempt to forcibly remove squatters themselves, as this can lead to legal complications.
If you’re dealing with a squatting situation, it’s a good idea to consult with a legal professional. They can help you understand your rights and responsibilities, and guide you through the eviction process if necessary.
For more information on New Jersey’s laws, you can visit the New Jersey Legislature’s website.
Remember, this information is a general guide and not a substitute for legal advice. Laws can change, and each situation is unique. Always consult with a legal professional for personalized advice.