Define Squatters

Learn about squatters, individuals who occupy vacant properties illegally. Understand the different types, legal issues, and real-world examples of squatting.

What are Squatters?

Squatters are individuals or groups of people who live in vacant or abandoned properties without the permission of the owner. They often occupy these spaces illegally, typically for free or at a significantly reduced cost.

Types of Squatters

  • Adverse Possessors: Individuals who occupy a property long enough to gain legal ownership through adverse possession laws.
  • Political Squatters: Groups who occupy buildings as a form of protest or activism.
  • Homeless Squatters: Individuals who have no other place to live and occupy abandoned properties for shelter.

Legal Issues

Squatting is illegal in most countries and can lead to eviction, fines, or criminal charges. Property owners have the right to remove squatters through legal means, but the process can be expensive and time-consuming.

Case Studies

In the UK, squatters took over an empty mansion in London and turned it into a homeless shelter. The owners struggled to get them evicted due to complex legal procedures.


  • According to a study, there are over 10,000 squatters in the Netherlands, with a significant increase in recent years.
  • In the US, there are an estimated 250,000 to 1 million squatters, with higher numbers in urban areas.

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