Showing the Squatters Out…

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How do I get rid of homeless people in my neighbor’s foreclosed home?

Homeless woman asleep with dogs in public park.

Goooood luck!

First, know that in the U.S. the house is NOT a public place, as one Quora commenter has offered. It belongs to the bank or lending institution that foreclosed it. So…

  1. Call the police. Call every time you see the transients in there, because these folks will keep coming back, no matter how many times the cops tell them to move along or arrest them for trespassing (the latter is unlikely to happen unless they’re clearly using and selling drugs or storing stolen property in the building).
  2. Find out who owns it. This is public record. You should be able to find out through your county assessor’s office. If not, ask someone at the county assessor where you go to learn who the owner of record is.
  3. Contact the owner and ask that they secure the structure against trespassing and occupation by transients.
  4. They will not do this, so now you call your city council representative and raise hob. Demand that the city pressure the owner to secure the structure, and that the police patrol the area and evict the squatters regularly — at least several times a week.
  5. Meanwhile — this is crucial — organize the neighbors. If you do not already have a neighborhood organization, take the lead in forming one. Have this group put pressure on the city and the building’s owner, too. Consistently and repeatedly.
  6. Keep complaining. Put the immediate neighbors up to complaining to the police, the city, and the building owners, and keep up the complaints yourself. Persist! Success will not happen overnight.
  7. Find out if your city has a social service outreach agency for the homeless. Ours had to form one, as our city has the second- or third-worst homeless rate in the country. These people have proved to be surprisingly effective. They reach out to help people who are sick, addicted, or down on their luck, assisting with treatment and shelter.
  8. Keep it up, keep it up, keep it up, and then keep it up some more. Remember: the squeaky wheel gets the grease.

We’ve had similar issues here. It has taken a LONG time to get the problem properties cleaned up and secured, but eventually you can make it happen. If you make enough noise about it…