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Irish landlord gets squatter's rights


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Posted

DUBLIN, Ireland, Feb. 17 (UPI) -- An Irish man who broke into a deceased woman's home 30 years ago and has been renting out the property was granted squatter's rights by a court.

The city Supreme Court in Dublin ruled Desmond Grogan, who broke into the Enniskerry Road house in Dublin 30 years ago and has been collecting rent from tenants, has squatter's rights to the home and prosecutors can't obtain court orders to force him to give up the property, the Belfast (Northern Ireland) Telegraph reported Friday.

The house's previous owner, Alice Dolan, died in February 1982 at the age of 80 without leaving a will or any next of kin to claim the house.

One of the house's tenants told the Telegraph Grogan is an attentive landlord.

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Posted

Squatter's rights? Why would you ever come up with that?

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Posted

I guess it is a law designed to prevent unused, uncared for buildings -- beats me.

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Posted

Squatter's rights? Why would you ever come up with that?

It's a big issue in the United Kingdom. Some people have returned from holiday to find that their house has been taken over by someone while they were away, and the law allows it, so those people no longer have a house. It's terrible and a ridiculous happening.

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Posted

meh why not... he has kept it up has he not? no one else gave a **** for 30 years?

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Posted

It's a big issue in the United Kingdom. Some people have returned from holiday to find that their house has been taken over by someone while they were away, and the law allows it, so those people no longer have a house. It's terrible and a ridiculous happening.

Do they get to take over all the payments and backpay the owner?

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Posted

This is good news in my eyes. You only hear horror stories about squatting these days. If someone breaks a place and no one notices them there for 30 years I would say it's a lot better to put the building to good use and have someone live in it instead of the alternative - a locked and empty building and people on the streets.

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Posted

It's a big issue in the United Kingdom. Some people have returned from holiday to find that their house has been taken over by someone while they were away, and the law allows it, so those people no longer have a house. It's terrible and a ridiculous happening.

That's a slight exaggeration. While there have been cases where people have found their houses occupied by other people and while it can be a hassle to kick the squatters out, nobody has actually lost their houses permanently under the circumstances that you describe. Squatters rarely move into houses that are currently occupied (for instance when the homeowner is away on holiday) and can only enter a property if a door or window is left unlocked.

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Posted

^ Should be burglary if the owners are gone a short time.

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Posted

^ Should be burglary if the owners are gone a short time.

Even if nothing's taken? I think breaking and entering is closer than burglary.

There were a couple of cases around where I live recently of squatters moving into homes that weren't occupied because they were being renovated. The owners claimed that the squatters broke in but the police couldn't find any evidence of damage so no law had been broken. The owners finally had the squatters evicted after taking them to court.

The law is slightly weird but I agree that in cases such as the one in the OP they make sense. If the owners of a property don't turn up for 30 years (I think it's 9 years here in England) then they should forfeit the right to that property.

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Posted

Is breaking and entering not considered a crime anymore?

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Posted

That's a slight exaggeration. While there have been cases where people have found their houses occupied by other people and while it can be a hassle to kick the squatters out, nobody has actually lost their houses permanently under the circumstances that you describe. Squatters rarely move into houses that are currently occupied (for instance when the homeowner is away on holiday) and can only enter a property if a door or window is left unlocked.

I may have believed too many tabloid reports then :) I saw a story last year (on Daybreak, I believe) about some Romanian people who had occupied a property while the couple were on holiday. The lady was either close to being in labour or had just had the baby, and the squaters would not initially leave of their own accord. The squaters eventually left after pressure from a lot of people, but they didn't have to leave by law, and they could have stayed there forever by law (meaning the couple who actually bought the house would have lost it just like that).

That is just from my memory and is my understanding, so if I am wrong, please let me know. I admit that this is an issue I haven't had chance to look into much, so I shouldn't have originally commented.

Do they get to take over all the payments and backpay the owner?

I'm not sure what happens with things like that. I haven't looked into this issue much; I've just watched news reports.

Is breaking and entering not considered a crime anymore?

I believe squater's rights only applies when the horrible person/people enter the property through things like unlocked windows or doors, rather than actually "breaking in." It's still absolutely ridiculous that this is allowed to happen, though.

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Posted

Even if nothing's taken? I think breaking and entering is closer than burglary.

...

The house itself was stolen; that's not burglary?

I do wonder if it's possible to steal from a dead person without named heir(s) though....

Over here, property left by the deceased without heir is forfeit to the government and auctioned off.

If I remember correctly, USA squatters can only stake claim if the property shows obvious apparent evidence of abandonment and disuse / neglect.

Additionally, if the owners are paying property taxes, this is sufficient proof the property / dwelling has not been abandoned.

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Posted

Even if nothing's taken? I think breaking and entering is closer than burglary.

There were a couple of cases around where I live recently of squatters moving into homes that weren't occupied because they were being renovated. The owners claimed that the squatters broke in but the police couldn't find any evidence of damage so no law had been broken. The owners finally had the squatters evicted after taking them to court.

The law is slightly weird but I agree that in cases such as the one in the OP they make sense. If the owners of a property don't turn up for 30 years (I think it's 9 years here in England) then they should forfeit the right to that property.

There's no such offence as breaking and entering in the uk. Burglary is breaking in with dishonest intent, eg theft, rape, assault or criminal damage. If you wandered into someone's house through an open door uninvited to admire the decor then left, I don't think you're actually guilty of anything. The difficulty would be proving your case before a magistrate or jury. if you broke a door or window in the process of getting in to admire the decor, that would be criminal damage.

The house itself was stolen; that's not burglary?

I do wonder if it's possible to steal from a dead person without named heir(s) though....

Over here, property left by the deceased without heir is forfeit to the government and auctioned off.

If I remember correctly, USA squatters can only stake claim if the property shows obvious apparent evidence of abandonment and disuse / neglect.

Additionally, if the owners are paying property taxes, this is sufficient proof the property / dwelling has not been abandoned.

Theft is permanently depriving somebody of something, which you clearly can't do to a dead person. It's not theft.

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Posted

I may have believed too many tabloid reports then :) I saw a story last year (on Daybreak, I believe) about some Romanian people who had occupied a property while the couple were on holiday. The lady was either close to being in labour or had just had the baby, and the squaters would not initially leave of their own accord. The squaters eventually left after pressure from a lot of people, but they didn't have to leave by law, and they could have stayed there forever by law (meaning the couple who actually bought the house would have lost it just like that).

That is just from my memory and is my understanding, so if I am wrong, please let me know. I admit that this is an issue I haven't had chance to look into much, so I shouldn't have originally commented.

In the circumstances you describe the squatters have a right to be there until evicted by a court order, but there's no way anybody can lose their property just like that. It has to have been unoccupied for X amount of years.

Squatters rights only applies when the squatters enter through an unlocked door/window, so lock your property every time you go out and you have the full protection of the law.

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Posted

There's no such offence as breaking and entering in the uk. Burglary is breaking in with dishonest intent, eg theft, rape, assault or criminal damage. If you wandered into someone's house through an open door uninvited to admire the decor then left, I don't think you're actually guilty of anything. The difficulty would be proving your case before a magistrate or jury. if you broke a door or window in the process of getting in to admire the decor, that would be criminal damage.

Ah yes, you and Hum are right. Funny because I always think of burgling as stealing rather than breaking in.

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Posted

Ah yes, you and Hum are right. Funny because I always think of burgling as stealing rather than breaking in.

That's because the vast majority of burglaries are committed for the purpose of theft, so it's easy to see why you'd make the connection. :p

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Posted

There's no such offence as breaking and entering in the uk. Burglary is breaking in with dishonest intent, eg theft, rape, assault or criminal damage. If you wandered into someone's house through an open door uninvited to admire the decor then left, I don't think you're actually guilty of anything. The difficulty would be proving your case before a magistrate or jury. if you broke a door or window in the process of getting in to admire the decor, that would be criminal damage.

I'd think wandering into dwellings, univited, locked or unlocked, much like wandering onto private property would be considered trespass. Obviously, to enter a dwelling one must traverse the property surrounding it, unless perchance one came in through the roof via parachute.

Maybe that's the difference between how things are looked upon there versus here.

Theft is permanently depriving somebody of something, which you clearly can't do to a dead person. It's not theft.

Technically, you can steal from a dead person. Though the deceased person in the OP had no clearly defined will or such establishing transferrence of ownership to another party, what would happen were a previously unknown daughter or son, sister or brother, maybe even long-lived mother or father even... what if someone came forward and claimed lawful inheritance tomorrow? Perhaps legitimate heirs weren't aware of their sibling's passing until after reading this judgment in the local paper?

Then you run up against such things as due diligence, statute of limitations, and the like. We are speaking of someone whom experienced death some 30 years ago, and birth a fair time before that when birth records were easily falsified and many even unreported.

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Posted

I guess it is a law designed to prevent unused, uncared for buildings -- beats me.

^ Should be burglary if the owners are gone a short time.

It's not an offence at the moment so long as the door was unlocked. It can't be burglary for the reasons I mentioned in my other post. You can't trespass when the house is unlocked and unoccupied at the point of entry.

I say "at the moment" because I think the government are planning on making squatting in residential properties illegal, from what I've read.

The law protects squatters because of the need for shelter - it seems unjust that people are homeless when there are unoccupied houses around.

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Posted

I'd think wandering into dwellings, univited, much like wandering onto private property would be considered trespass. Maybe that's the difference between how things are looked upon there and here.

It's only trespass when it's occupied in this country. If you walk through an open door but people are occupying the property, it's trespass and you must leave, but if nobody is there, you have squatter's rights.

Technically, you can steal from a dead person. Though the deceased person in the OP had no clearly defined will or such establishing transferrence of ownership to another party, what would happen were a previously unknown daughter or son, sister or brother even... what if someone came forward and claimed lawful inheritance tomorrow? Perhaps legitimate heirs weren't aware of their sibling's passing until after reading this judgment in the local paper?

Then you run up against such things as due diligence, statute of limitations, and the like. We are speaking of someone whom experienced death some 30 years ago, and birth a fair time before that when birth records were easily falsified and many even unreported.

You can't STEAL from a dead person. You could perhaps commit some other form of offence, but it can't be theft. A dead person can't "own" something because they're not alive. It would probably fall under some other kind of dishonesty offence.

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Posted

In the circumstances you describe the squatters have a right to be there until evicted by a court order, but there's no way anybody can lose their property just like that. It has to have been unoccupied for X amount of years.

Squatters rights only applies when the squatters enter through an unlocked door/window, so lock your property every time you go out and you have the full protection of the law.

Perhaps I should read up on it more then because Daybreak and other media outlets stated that by law, a squater can claim a property if they merely occupy it by entering through an unlocked door or window, even if the property is not unoccupied.

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Perhaps I should read up on it more then because Daybreak and other media outlets stated that by law, a squater can claim a property if they merely occupy it by entering through an unlocked door or window, even if the property is not unoccupied.

Yeah Daybreak's talking rubbish.

A squatter can claim a property as their own after they've lived there for X amount of years (I think seven), so long as they entered through an unlocked/door window into an unoccupied property when they first went in (entered legally in other words). If the rightful owner returns and finds squatters in their property, they either have to convince the squatters to leave or pursue a court order through the civil courts, which is very expensive and can be quite time consuming. Daybreak may have been referring to what happens if the rightful owner can't afford to bring about court proceedings, as they have no legal rights to evict the squatters until they secure a court order.

Squatters have no rights when the property is occupied, because if the rightful owner manages to convince the squatter to allow them to reside at the property, the squatter forfeits all rights. Therefore if the property is occupied the squatter has no rights to begin with. This is why the initial recommendation is try to reason with the squatters, perhaps offer a reward for them to vacate the premises. It must be a very difficult situation because it seems like it would be very difficult to be nice to people who've taken it upon themselves to live in your house without your authority, but that's apparently the best way to deal with the situation!

Interesting and peculiar area of law to say the least.

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Yeah Daybreak's talking rubbish.

A squatter can claim a property as their own after they've lived there for X amount of years (I think seven), so long as they entered through an unlocked/door window into an unoccupied property when they first went in (entered legally in other words). If the rightful owner returns and finds squatters in their property, they either have to convince the squatters to leave or pursue a court order through the civil courts, which is very expensive and can be quite time consuming. Daybreak may have been referring to what happens if the rightful owner can't afford to bring about court proceedings, as they have no legal rights to evict the squatters until they secure a court order.

Squatters have no rights when the property is occupied, because if the rightful owner manages to convince the squatter to allow them to reside at the property, the squatter forfeits all rights. Therefore if the property is occupied the squatter has no rights to begin with. This is why the initial recommendation is try to reason with the squatters, perhaps offer a reward for them to vacate the premises. It must be a very difficult situation because it seems like it would be very difficult to be nice to people who've taken it upon themselves to live in your house without your authority, but that's apparently the best way to deal with the situation!

Interesting and peculiar area of law to say the least.

Thank you very much for taking the time to explain to me. I appreciate it :)

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Posted

Some people have returned from holiday to find that their house has been taken over by someone while they were away, and the law allows it

Actually that is nonsense. IF a property is currently occupied then squatters cannot take possession of the property and in order to be considered legally squatters, with full rights they must have been present undisturbed at the property for a period of 10 years, or 12 years for unregistered property.

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It's a big issue in the United Kingdom. Some people have returned from holiday to find that their house has been taken over by someone while they were away, and the law allows it, so those people no longer have a house. It's terrible and a ridiculous happening.

Thank Gif for the2nd amendment ...

Thank God for the2nd amendment ... In the US

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