July 3rd, 2012 @ admin
To understand the problem Oregon is having with squatters taking over residential properties, you first need to know what the law says about squatters. In Oregon the law states a squatter may claim legal ownership of a property only if they can show proof that they have maintained open, exclusive and continuous use of the property for at least 10 years.
Obviously this is not the case in the majority of most of the squatter occupied properties in Oregon. A prime example of illegal squatting in Portland took place in June 2012 when Occupy Portland protesters moved into a vacant home owned by Gloria Canson, an elderly woman whose home was being foreclosed on after she spent a lengthy time in the hospital and could not pay her mortgage.
A dozen people moved into Canson’s vacant home before the foreclosure process was completed and while Canson still owned the property. Squatters trashed the house and had to be evicted and were arrested. Police found that the squatters were receiving mail, internet service and had the water bill put into their name at the property. One of the squatters Kerry Cunnen had been arrested in February for squatting in another home in Portland.
When a squatter takes over and moves into a vacant property it is up to the true owner of that property to provide the proof needed to evict them. Portland Oregon has had a rash of illegal squatters taking over properties in the past 2 years. The process of eviction may be as easy as providing proof that the squatters broke into the property by breaking windows and doors or may require legal assistance to remove the squatters.
This problem is not limited to Portland and is happening all over the state. Investigation into this problem has uncovered some revealing facts such as lists of foreclosed properties found inside homes squatters are living in, books and documents on Squatters Rights including property owners personal information. Police recommend owners of vacant properties should visit the property regularly or have a friend or neighbor check on the property.
Other things you can do are to take pictures of the property focusing on the interior, entry ways, including windows and doors. These pictures will come in handy if the police need proof that a property was broken into by squatters. Rental signs make good advertising but are an invitation to squatters. When placing ads in newspapers or online do not include the property address and always remove notices posted on the property from gas, phone and cable companies.