Squatters Rights in New York

Stories of squatters in NYC are quite frequent due to the rights they gain after just 30 days of occupying a property. And once that occurs, it can become a lengthy and challenging process to remove them. Unfortunately, many property owners in New York are not aware of how simple it is for illegal tenants to obtain squatters’ rights. On top of the insult, removing individuals who have unlawfully occupied someone else’s property can be quite complex in New York. In New York City, an illegal trespasser or squatter can become a legal tenant in just 30 days.

Do Squatters Have Rights in NYC?

Indeed, squatters have access to different rights and protections in NYC and New York State. In New York, if someone resides on a property without the owner’s permission for at least 10 consecutive years and pays taxes during that time, they can make an adverse possession claim.

However, in New York City, things become a bit more intricate. In particular, the city has its own unique adverse possession laws regarding apartments. When a squatter occupies an apartment unit in New York City, they gain what is known as “squatter’s rights.” In New York City, squatters gain legal rights in just 30 days. That’s right, just 30 days. For small landlords and mom-and-pop landlords, it can be more cost-effective to settle with squatters rather than dealing with expensive legal fees that can drag on for months.

Gain Squatters’ Rights in NY

In the United States, there are five specific legal requirements for squatters who want to claim adverse possession. These particular conditions must also be met to assert adverse possession in New York State. Here is a list of the following:

1. Actual

To gain squatters rights, the first step is to be in actual possession of the property. Actual possession is exactly what it sounds like – the squatter has possession and control over the property.

2. Open and Notorious

In order to claim adverse possession, a squatter must have openly and notoriously possessed the property. This implies that the squatter needs to occupy a property in a way that is clear and visible. They are unable to live there without being noticed.

3. Hostile

When it comes to adverse possession, “hostile” refers to the occupancy encroaching on the owner’s interests and rights. Using the property is not considered hostile possession if you have permission. In New York, the provision regarding hostility is more stringent, as it mandates that the squatter must genuinely believe they have ownership of the property.

Also Read: Squatters Rights in Colorado Everyone Should Need to Know

4. Exclusive

Having exclusive possession indicates that the squatter has sole control over the property. The adverse possessor must have sole occupancy of the property as if they owned it.

5. Continuous

To claim adverse possession, a squatter must have lived on the property without interruption for a continuous period of time. In New York, a squatter needs to maintain continuous possession of the property for a period of 10 years to establish adverse possession.


Squatters in New York City can gain legal rights within 30 days of occupying a property without owner’s permission. In New York, squatters can claim adverse possession if they occupy a property without permission for at least 10 consecutive years and pay taxes. In New York City, squatters can gain “squatter’s rights” in just 30 days, making it cost-effective for landlords to settle with squatters instead of dealing with expensive legal fees.

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