Squatter Scams Creeping Back in Detroit


Squatter Scams Creeping Back in Detroit

As the rental market in Detroit continues to heat up, landlords are facing a growing challenge: squatter scams. These malicious schemes involve individuals illegally occupying rental properties, often with the intent to exploit landlords and tenants alike.

Now, squatters have become increasingly adept at exploiting legal loopholes to gain unlawful access to rental units. That means landlords in Detroit need to be vigilant and educate themselves on the tactics used by these squatters to better safeguard their investments.

So today, let’s take a closer look at these scams and what landlords can do to protect themselves.

What are Squatter Scams?

Squatter scams often involve forging documents, such as fake leases or deeds, to make it appear as though they have a legal right to occupy the property. They may also change the locks or make minor repairs to the unit, further complicating the eviction process.

One report from Chicago showed that one particular type of squatter scam is gaining popularity recently: the “fake landlord” scam. This is when an individual creates a lease and rents out a vacant property that doesn’t belong to them – all without the tenant or the actual property owner knowing any better.

Once these fake tenants are in, it can be really hard to get them out – especially if they can produce a signed lease.

Case in point, Fox did a segment recently where they helped a property owner in Detroit evict a squatter who had been staying in her house since 2014!

All of this underlines just how difficult the issue of squatter scams can be to deal with.

So where does that leave landlords?

How to Deal with Illegal Squatters in Detroit

There are a few things you can do to be proactive and protect against squatters:

  • Regularly inspect vacant properties.
  • Maintain clear documentation of ownership, like titles and deeds.
  • Install security cameras both inside and outside vacant units to detect trespassers immediately.
  • Familiarize yourself with the local laws regarding eviction procedures.

By staying informed and taking the necessary precautions, Detroit landlords can mitigate the risks associated with squatter scams and ensure the security of their rental properties.

But what about if a squatter is already living on your property?

In that case, you have two options:

1 . Call Your Local Police’s Precinct Commander:

In some cases, police will try to avoid getting involved by telling you it’s a civil matter and you need to go through the courts. But, if you can prove ownership, they should be able to assist you with removing a trespasser from your property and having the locks changed.

2. Get An Eviction:

If the police don’t remove the squatter, you’ll need to file through the courts, just as you would with a normal eviction proceeding.

But prevention is better than a cure, so make sure you’re monitoring your vacant units with eagle eyes, and hopefully, it won’t get to this point.

Keep Squatters Out of Your Rental Units

Detroit landlords must be aware of the rise of squatter scams and understand the steps they can take to protect their properties.

Maintaining detailed records, securing properties, and working closely with law enforcement can all help mitigate the risks of squatter scams.

By staying informed and taking preventative measures, Detroit landlords can safeguard their investments and ensure their rental properties remain in the hands of legitimate, paying tenants.

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