How to Evict Squatters in Louisiana
Louisiana Property Owners and Squatters
Do you own residential and/or commercial property in Louisiana, and have found that squatters are taking over your property? Learn more about Louisiana squatter's rights, property rights, and the steps you can take to safeguard your property. A squatter is a person, or a group of people that occupy vacant or abandoned homes, without the consent of the property owner, with the intent to obtain possession over the immovable property. Squatters are becoming more common across the United States, especially in Louisiana.
It is important to note that squatters are not housing insecure people, who have fallen on hard times with their rent, and move temporarily into vacant homes or abandoned commercial property. Housing insecure people almost always vacate the premises when they are found to be occupying without a valid lease or rental agreement.
This is not the case with squatters. Squatters are very meticulous in their actions, often staking out properties for a few weeks or months before moving in. The most advanced squatters actually search the local mortgage and conveyance records and draft false mortgage documents. Squatters are often equipped with false leases and rental agreements. Squatters use these documents to deter law enforcement, in the event that someone files a suspicious person report on them. This often works, because Louisiana landlord-tenant and property disputes are civil, not criminal. When the squatter presents the false lease or rental agreement to law enforcement, law enforcement takes no action.
How to Get a Squatter Out of My Louisiana Property?
Do Squatter's Have Rights in Louisiana? Yes and no. In order to remove squatters (unlawful occupants) from your property, you must go to Court and evict them. The Louisiana eviction process is a serious legal process, that must be followed correctly. Thankfully, Louisiana law favors homeowners and commercial property owners in squatter disputes. Under Adverse Possession Louisiana law, a squatter may rightfully gain possession of someone else's home or property, once they have occupied the premises for thirty (30) years or more. This law gives Louisiana property owners plenty of time to discover, and legally remove, squatters from their property.
If you discover that a person or a group of people are squatting in your Louisiana property, do not panic. Here are some tips to start the eviction process against the squatters.
Do NOT confront the squatters in a violent or angry manner! Your safety is key!
Try to find out the name(s) of the squatters (unlawful occupants).
Contact law enforcement (they may tell you that this is a civil matter that they can not assist you with).
Contact an attorney to start with the eviction process. The Louisiana eviction process begins with a Notice to Vacate. A Notice to Vacate gives the squatter five (5) legal days (not including weekends and holidays) to Vacate the premises.
If the squatter does not vacate within that time, then you must file a Petition for Eviction, with the appropriate Louisiana Court.
If the Petition for Eviction is granted, the squatter has 24 hours to vacate.
If they do not vacate within 24 hours, the Court will request that the Constable remove them and their belongings from the premises.
Want to Protect Your Louisiana Property from Squatters?
Prevention is always key. While not foolproof, these steps can help you deter Squatters or be made aware of squatters immediately.
Manage your property correctly. It is always important to know how many properties you own in Louisiana; their condition; and if they are occupied lawfully, vacant, or abandoned.
Install high-definition security cameras and security systems that alert you immediately when someone enters your property.
Always check the locks and windows on your property for sign of force entry.
Employ a property manager or rely on your good neighbor. If you have commercial property, a property manager can help maintain order on your property. If you have residential property, a good neighbor will inform you when someone begins to occupy your home.
Do an online search of the addresses of your property, to see if any unscrupulous person is illegally offering your property for rent (Facebook, Craig's List, Google, Bing, Yahoo, Etc.)
It's important for Louisiana property owners to know, that evicting squatters in Louisiana depends on case law, Louisiana law, and the specific facts surrounding your dispute with a squatter. If you are a Louisiana property owner and need assistance with evicting a squatter, contact Chareese "Queen" Haile. Belle Terre Law Firm. She is experienced in Louisiana landlord-tenant and squatter's disputes. Click the button below to schedule a consultation.
Nothing in this blog post is meant to be taken as legal advice. All information is for educational and informational purposes only. If you are having issues with someone squatting in your Louisiana property, you have the right to choose your own attorney, based on your own informed decision. Belle Terre Law Firm is based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Belle Terre Law Firm is owned and operated by Chareese "Queen" Haile, Esq. We assist Louisiana landlords and property owners with evicting squatters in Baton Rouge and the surrounding parishes, New Orleans, Alexandria, Shreveport, and throughout the entire state of Louisiana.