Check Squatters Rights in Illinois Applying in 2024

A squatter is someone who resides on a property without legal ownership. In Illinois, squatters can gain rights through adverse possession laws. An owner should have a clear understanding of the situation before pursuing legal action against an unwanted occupant, particularly when distinguishing between squatters and trespassers.

Squatting vs Trespassing in Illinois

In Illinois, a squatter is someone who lives in a property that is empty, foreclosed, or abandoned without the owner’s consent. Unlike a squatter, a trespasser intentionally occupies a property despite knowing it is against the law. Trespassing typically occurs when someone unlawfully enters a property with the intention of committing a crime.

How to Evict Squatters in Illinois?

In Illinois, property owners have the right to remove squatters who are unlawfully living on their property. It is crucial to follow the correct legal process and respect the rights of the squatter when evicting them in Illinois. To begin the process of evicting a squatter in Illinois, the first step is to contact the police and file a police report.

Next, the owner needs to provide the squatter with a notice to leave the property. If the squatter does not leave the property by the specified date, the owner can pursue legal action by initiating an eviction lawsuit. The court will decide if the squatters are eligible to claim adverse possession. Squatters will be evicted if they do not fulfill all the requirements for adverse possession.

Squatters Claim Adverse Possession in Illinois

Adverse possession laws outline the necessary steps for someone who is occupying another person’s property without permission to legally claim possession of it. In Illinois, to claim another person’s property through adverse possession, five required elements must be met. In addition to these five requirements, individuals must have paid property taxes during that period and not have engaged in illegal activities such as prostitution or drug dealing.

Actual Possession

Having physical possession means the squatter must live on the property as if it were their own. Put simply, when they start living in the property, they need to take care of it like an owner. Actual possession in a legal setting establishes a formal connection between the property and the resident, instilling a feeling of ownership.

Hostile Possession

Hostile possession involves taking control of or using a property without the owner’s consent. It can occur through various means and doesn’t always have to be on purpose. For instance, if a neighbor constructs a fence on a portion of your property and starts using it as their own, it could be considered unintentional adverse possession. When squatters occupy a property, they are usually aware that they are trespassing and treat the property as their own.

Open and Notorious Possession

Open and notorious possession indicates that the squatter is not concealing their presence from the property owner. It is clear to anyone who sees the property that the squatter is in possession of it. The possession must also be widely known, so that other people are aware of it, including the property owner. The squatter does not keep it hidden or secret.

Also Read: 2024 Squatters Rights in New York Everyone Should Know About

Exclusive Possession

To be eligible for exclusive possession, the squatter must be the sole occupant of the property. If there are no other squatters on the site, a single squatter can claim adverse possession rights. Having multiple squatters on the property prevents the owner from claiming adverse possession.

Continuous Possession

Continuous possession is the period during which a squatter must have lived in a property to assert their right of adverse possession. In Illinois, the timeframe is 20 years. In Illinois, a squatter needs to have lived on the property continuously for 20 years to establish adverse possession. Leaving the residence temporarily would prevent the squatter from claiming adverse possession.

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