Squatters | Illegality in waiting

Squatters are anyone who illegally occupies a property without approval from the landlord or property managers.

Squatters are people who take up possession of a building without the owner’s permission whether completed or under construction. In as much as there is no mutual understanding between a property owner and an occupant, the said occupant is referred to as a squatter. Squatting is synonymous with residential property since its use is that of comfort, rest or habitation.

There are various types of squatting depending on the intent of the person or people;

Long-Term Squatting:

This category of squatters usually preempts criminal intents, they move into a building with their belonging for a permanent stay. The plans for occupants may have been well orchestrated within a long period from when it became obvious that there is the possibility of occupying a space for a long. There are cases where legitimate tenants smuggle in squatters such as friends, colleagues, acquaintances relatives etc to live with them for long without recourse to the landlord. Long-term squatters are sometimes referred to as thieves since they live in a house that is not theirs without paying rent to the real owner and at the same time mounting pressure on the available facilities which ordinarily should serve the real tenants had they (the squatters) not illegally moved in.

Medium-Term Squatting:

These are people who illegally occupy an accommodation to stay for a few months before moving out. This is common among students where the main tenant invites a friend (mostly the opposite gender) to stay for an uncertain period which sometimes lasts for months or up to a year.

Short-Term Squatting:

These are people who occupy a property illegally for a planned period not exceeding six months. They are also known as overstayed visitors. Short-term squatters are the most reasonable, acceptable and pardonable since it’s for a calculated and determined period.

Problems Associated With Squatting

Diverse problems creep in when squatters overstay, they include:

  1. Pressure on Facilities: Squatters add to the population of buildings which over time could lead to a breakdown of existing facilities like pipe-borne water, electricity etc. due to pressure from the population.
  2. Environmental Pollution: An increase in population means that there will be more waste disposal; the waste bags get filled quickly and spill over thereby polluting the environment.
  3. Population Overplus: Squatters cause a rise in the population density of buildings. When not adequately controlled other tenants may bring in squatters which increases the overall population of the subject building.
  4. Increased Cost of Maintenance: As the population in a building continues to grow so will the cost of maintaining available facilities increase because of the many users involved.
  5. Social Vices: When squatters become too many to control bad people could infiltrate the numbers to cause problems in the house such as theft, burglary, prostitution, kidnap etc.

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