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Irish landlord gets squatter's rights

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#1 Hum

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 15:08

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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#2 Solid Knight

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 15:35

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

#3 OP Hum

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 15:36

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

#4 vetCalum

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 15:39

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.

#5 SPEhosting

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 15:41

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

#6 Solid Knight

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 15:44

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?

#7 ElliottLan

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 15:45

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.

#8 jakem1

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 15:45

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.

#9 OP Hum

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 15:50

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

#10 jakem1

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 15:59

^ 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.

#11 The Laughing Man

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 16:05

Is breaking and entering not considered a crime anymore?

#12 vetCalum

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 18:31

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.

#13 abecedarian paradoxious

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 18:51

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.

#14 Hardcore Til I Die

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 19:10

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.

#15 Hardcore Til I Die

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 19:22

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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