Is there anything called squatters rights?


Q: About 3 months ago my daughter had her heroin dealer and his girlfriend move into my parents (her grandparents) home. Before my parents knew they were drug dealers they all agreed they would pay my parents $200 a week to stay here. My parents have only received $100 up to date. These people are dealing drugs out of my parent’s home, eating all the food, not to mention taking things from them, destroying the house and back yard. My parents told them they must move out, and had an agreement with them to leave on August 2,2017. They are still here and now are completely avoiding my folks. They have built some sort of lab or shop in the back half of the basement and my parents cannot go in there. Now they are stating they have squatter’s rights and don’t have to move out (because the guy was in jail and receives his “bail mail” here). They also say they have the right to live here until they get a written 30-day eviction notice. Please help. (Monessen, PA)

A: As far as I know, “squatters” have no rights in PA. There are several areas of law applicable. I don’t know how old your parents are but they sound like they are being exploited so you can call Adult Protective Services and see if they will do a home assessment. If these people are dealing drugs, call the police. I am not sure how policing is in your community, but it can be quite good. Police can observe, conduct surveillance and they can investigate. Just stopping in may freak these people out. Also, see a lawyer about eviction and securing their financial assets. These people may unfortunately have tenant rights and an eviction may be necessary

If you feel like this issue relates to you, or a problem that you are experiencing, please contact me so that we can discuss your situation.