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Squatters Are Becoming A National Problem. In Wyoming? Not so much.

Eviction Notice

“Not in my house!”

Recent horror stories about squatters taking over homes without punishment have abounded recently.

But Cowboy State Daily reports that’s a situation homeowners in Wyoming won’t have to deal with.  That’s because Wyoming has laws that favor the rights of homeowners, making it not-so-friendly to squatters.

Squatters are defined as people who take occupancy of a home without permission.  And the trend is becoming a public problem across the country.

In New York, a suspected squatter is accused of taking over a $1 million home in Queens and then subletting the space in the house.  One renter told the New York Post he was conned into paying $1,500 a month to live in the basement of the home.

Many squatters claim to have a lease that they are paying faithfully, and therefore claim a right to live in the home.  And they have the receipts to “prove” it.

In Los Angeles, a woman was sentenced last week to 240 months in federal prison and ordered to pay $3.9 million in restitution after taking occupancy of a dead man’s home.  She was also accused of dismembering his body and stealing money from his bank accounts.

But things are a bit different in Wyoming, where laws allow homeowners to evict tenants.

Charlie Paschall, manager at Foothills Apartments in Gillette tells Cowboy State Daily that he’s been to court twice to deal with renters who wouldn’t leave voluntarily. The process took about three months each time..

Compare that to New York City, where it can take two years to evict a squatter, Newsweek reported.

Wyoming law does provide rights for squatters and if someone lives on the property uncontested for 10 years, that person can end up with the title — even if he wasn’t paying the property taxes during the decade, he said.

State law outlines the rights and duties of landlords and tenants in statutes 1-21-1201-1211.

It requires renters to maintain their homes in clean and safe conditions, dispose of garbage, maintain plumbing fixtures, be reasonable about heating and electrical use, stay current on payment and other terms, and clean the home as agreed.

It also directs landlords not to rent unless the unit is safe and fit, and it requires them to maintain electrical systems, plumbing, heating, hot and cold water, and to otherwise maintain the place as the agreement specifies.

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