Could Your House Become a Squatter’s Human Right?

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Could Your House Become a Squatter’s Human Right?
Could Your House Become a Squatter’s Human Right?

Imagine dining at a restaurant. The waiter delivers his food. The patron gets up for a moment to thank the cook. Meanwhile, another person rushes over, occupies the table, and refuses to leave. The patron registers shock and then anger. However, the occupier, enjoying the food, claims it is his human right. Only after a call to the police is the person finally removed.

That situation may sound absurd. However, something very similar is taking place every day across America. Instead of taking over a lunch table, the thieves illegally occupy a house or apartment. The theft is called squatting. The process is simple. Find a vacant house, enter it by fair means or foul, install new locks and set up home there. It is a brazen strategy, but it often works, at least temporarily.

Amazingly, many defend the practice, claiming that “housing is a human right.”

Illegal but Often Effective

The issue is, perhaps, most acute in Atlanta. Market Watch related the saga of a real estate investor. It took “nearly six months and $15,000” to evict a group of squatters in one of his houses.

“’What we’re seeing in Atlanta in terms of trespassing and illegal occupations far surpasses other markets,’ David Howard, the chief executive officer of the National Rental Home Council, told MarketWatch.” A survey run by the organization found that approximately 1,200 Atlanta area homes had been commandeered by squatters. The same organization estimated squatters also occupied 475 homes in Dallas-Fort Worth and 125 in Orange County, Florida.

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Amazingly, squatting has now become a business. According to investment site Zero Hedge, an operation called “1 Time Payment Homes” will help people find vacant homes into which they can move for a one-time fee of $1,400. None of the money goes to the legal owner of the house.

Some owners are reluctant to list their houses on the market since it alerts squatters of the availability of an empty house.

Government on the Side of the Criminals

In the modern sense, there are two ways to become a squatter. One is to move into a property without permission from the legal owner. The other is to legally rent a property and then default on the rent payments while refusing to vacate. In either case, the landholder is the victim. In a USA Today op-ed column, George Washington Law School professor Jonathan Turley pointed out the government is often an effective co-conspirator.

“Prosecutors and politicians play a critical role in these scams. Local authorities have done little to assist homeowners for a variety of reasons—from political calculations to negligence. Instead, they force landowners to go into overtaxed housing courts with notoriously slow dockets. It often takes months or years to get an eviction order.

“The people involved are committing crimes, from breaking and entering to fraud to forgery. Yet, they are rarely prosecuted.”

Economic Verses Social Justice

Landlords offer property, usually worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, for the use of others. In a matter of minutes, the occupants can ruin a house. By the time the landlords know about it, the damage is done. They have two legal protections, one before the fact and one after. Before renting, the landlords can investigate the prospective tenants, excluding those they believe will abuse the home. After the tenant takes possession, the landlord’s only protection comes from the courts.

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Under such circumstances, it is prudent for landlords to take whatever steps they can within the law to protect themselves. Many landlords are dependent on rental income for their livelihoods. They often use the rent money to pay the mortgages they used to purchase the house. Clearly, a squatting situation could be economically disastrous for millions of landlords.

On the other hand, leftists love squatters. In Marxist theory, landlords are enemies of “the people.” By nature, squatters are often poor and are, therefore, victims of oppression. The thought of homeless and needy people prevailing over greedy and privileged landlords warms the revolutionary soul of many liberals.

A “Fair Chance” Denied to Land Owners

One way the government is favoring squatters is through laws preventing proper screening.

According to a 2022 story from Fox News, Alameda County, California supervisors voted 4-0 for a “Fair Chance” law. The article states, “The measure will prohibit both private and public landlords from requiring applicants to disclose arrests or convictions.”

An organization called the National Low Income Housing Coalition approvingly expressed that “The Board of Supervisors’ passage of the Fair Chance Ordinance follows the lead of two of Alameda County’s incorporated cities, Oakland and Berkeley, which passed some of the nation’s strongest fair chance housing policies in 2020.”

Nor is the push for such laws limited to liberal locales. Another Fox News article, this one from 2023, pointed out that “A new bill introduced by “Squad” members Reps. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., and Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., would stop consumer reporting agencies from including criminal history information on reports that are now used to screen potential renters.”

“True Housing Justice” for “Protected Classes”

A joint press release spelled out the representatives’ reasons behind this radical piece of legislation.

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“Safe, stable and affordable housing is a fundamental human right, including for the millions of people with a record,” said Rep. Pressley. “It’s time we remove the systemic obstacles that have exacerbated the prison-to-homelessness pipeline, perpetuated the cycle of mass incarceration, and denied housing to people who need it. Our bill does just that and will move us closer to true housing justice in America.”

“From Detroit to Boston, every human being deserves access to safe, affordable housing, including people who were formerly incarcerated,” said Rep. Tlaib. “We must prioritize restorative justice, lead with compassion, and recognize the human dignity of our neighbors as we work to dismantle the cycles of mass incarceration and housing discrimination. This legislation will end the systemic barriers to stable housing returning citizens face every day as they begin to rebuild their lives in our communities.”

The Administration apparently agrees with the two congresswomen. In 2022, Secretary for Housing and Urban Development Marcia L. Fudge added a racial element.

“We also cannot ignore the fact that persons who have been involved with the justice system are disproportionately racial minorities or persons with disabilities. We must understand the potential discriminatory impact exclusions based on criminal history can have on protected classes.”

False Compassion and Real Damage

All three statements sing the notes of false compassion that are doctrines of the left. In typical liberal fashion, they imply that ex-convicts share no fault for their imprisonments.

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On the other hand, landlords are essential to the life of any community. They provide homes to those without the means to purchase one themselves. They offer a legitimate service to their tenants. The profit they earn doesn’t oppress the poor. It is a well-deserved return for their service to those who would otherwise be homeless.

The leftists fail to understand that self-defense is also a human right. Avoiding precarious situations is a vital component of that ability. That includes protecting oneself from theft. Regardless of the leftists’ assumptions, squatting is a form of robbery. The squatter is stealing the ability to use and enjoy a dwelling from the property owner. Treating them as children placed under government protection harms all society.

Photo Credit:  © Sono Creative –

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