Squatters. They’re everywhere, and they even have their own legal rights. If a squatter manages to go unnoticed for 30 days, and pays taxes, in a certain number of years, they could own your home. Because this is legally protected, it’s becoming more and more of a problem now that the rental and housing market in Denver is so competitive. The trouble here? It’s legally protected- and even legally allowed. If you aren’t trespassing on the property, didn’t obviously break in (which would include damaging the property) and you make it obvious that you have occupied an abandoned property, you are essentially a tenant, and therefore have what’s called, “Squatters Rights”. This means, as the landlord, you would not be allowed to randomly change the locks, or turn off the water, or even the electricity, or the squatter could possibly sue you, and win the lawsuit. You definitely need someone who knows these laws inside out and can prevent this from happening from the start, versus trying to resolve an issue like this on your own. If you end up with a squatter on your property, you need to post a 3-day notice, file it in court, file for an eviction, make sure that you haven’t missed any little detail, have contacted the police – a whole long list of things to protect yourself from any form of lawsuit from the person that has attempted to take possession of your property right from under you. In the state of Colorado, if a squatter manages to live in a property for over 7 years, they can take the title of your home from you, in a process called adverse possession. This means that they will own the house, rightfully and legally, even though they never paid a mortgage, even though they didn’t take out a homeowner’s loan – and it’s not fair, but it’s happening, more and more in Denver. With a good property management company, like ours, you would never have to deal with a squatter in the first place – and we would take care of anything that could possibly happen. If you would rather take care of it yourself, and hire your own lawyer, that could work out, but it could also mean that if a squatter is occupying your home, they could have easy access to that ‘adverse possession’ law we spoke about. It’s your choice – protect your investments fully, be able to use them as additional income, (or even sole income) or risk your investments in lieu of letting us do the work for you with all the resources we have available to us.