Dealing with a squatter can be a frustrating and time-consuming experience for landlords in Edmond, Oklahoma. Fortunately, there are legal methods to remove squatters from your property efficiently and effectively. In this comprehensive guide, we will cover the necessary steps to evict a squatter quickly and legally in Edmond. Remember, Premier OKC Home Buyers is here to help you with any landlord-related issues and provide a hassle-free solution for selling your house for cash.
1. Understand Squatter Rights in Oklahoma
Before taking any action, it’s crucial to understand squatter rights in Oklahoma. A squatter is an individual who occupies a property without the owner’s permission. In some cases, squatters may eventually acquire legal ownership of the property through a process called adverse possession. However, Oklahoma has strict adverse possession laws, making it more challenging for squatters to claim ownership.
2. Determine If the Occupant Is a Trespasser or Tenant
The first step in evicting a squatter is determining whether they are a trespasser or a tenant. A trespasser enters the property without permission and has no legal right to occupy it, while a tenant has a rental agreement with the landlord. If the occupant is a tenant, you must follow Oklahoma’s eviction laws, which require proper notice and specific legal procedures.
3. Contact Local Law Enforcement
If the occupant is a trespasser, contact local law enforcement and report the situation. The police may ask the trespasser to leave the property voluntarily. However, if the trespasser refuses to leave, the police may not have the authority to remove them without a court order.
4. Provide a Written Notice to Vacate
To evict a squatter legally, you must provide a written notice to vacate. This notice should inform the squatter that they are occupying the property illegally and must leave immediately. You may also include a deadline for vacating the property, typically 24 to 48 hours. Be sure to keep a copy of the notice and any evidence of its delivery.
5. File an Unlawful Detainer Lawsuit
If the squatter refuses to leave after receiving the notice to vacate, the next step is to file an unlawful detainer lawsuit. This legal action seeks to reclaim possession of the property from the squatter. You’ll need to file a petition in the local district court, pay the required fees, and serve the squatter with a copy of the lawsuit.
6. Attend the Court Hearing
Once the unlawful detainer lawsuit is filed, the court will schedule a hearing. You must attend this hearing to present your case and provide evidence that the squatter is occupying your property illegally. The judge will review the case and make a ruling. If the judge rules in your favor, the court will issue a writ of possession, which allows law enforcement to remove the squatter from the property.
7. Enforce the Writ of Possession
After obtaining the writ of possession, you must deliver it to the local sheriff’s department, which will enforce the eviction. The sheriff’s department will provide the squatter with a final notice to vacate before forcibly removing them from the property if necessary. Be prepared to change the locks and secure the property once the eviction is complete.
8. Dispose of the Squatter’s Belongings
In some cases, the squatter may leave personal belongings behind after the eviction. Oklahoma law requires landlords to store these items for a specific period, usually 30 days, before disposing of them. Be sure to follow the proper procedures for storing and disposing of abandoned property to avoid legal issues.
9. Prevent Future Squatting Incidents
After successfully evicting the squatter, it’s essential to take measures to prevent future squatting incidents. Here are some steps you can take to protect your property:
- Regularly inspect and maintain the property.
- Install security cameras and an alarm system.
- Keep the property well-lit and secure all entry points with sturdy locks.
- Post “No Trespassing” signs around the property.
- Consider hiring a property manager to oversee your property if you cannot manage it yourself.
10. Selling Your House For Cash
If you’re a landlord in Edmond dealing with squatters or other landlord-related issues, consider selling your house for cash to Premier OKC Home Buyers. Our hassle-free process allows you to sell your house quickly without the need for repairs or dealing with tenant issues. Contact us at (405) 226-5563 or visit our website at for more information.
In conclusion, evicting a squatter in Edmond, Oklahoma, can be a challenging and time-consuming process. By understanding your rights as a landlord, following the legal procedures, and taking preventive measures, you can successfully reclaim your property and prevent future squatting incidents. Remember that Premier OKC Home Buyers is here to help you navigate any landlord-related issues and provide a stress-free solution to sell your house for cash.