DAVE & DUJANOVIC

Instances of squatting in Utah are rare, but they happen

Apr 16, 2024, 10:00 AM | Updated: 2:55 pm

An old, white house sits in front of a blue sky....

(Canva)

(Canva)

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah laws give homeowners many defenses against squatting, but Utahns are not completely immune to unwanted guests.

Squatting, or staying in a home without an invitation, is a growing problem in America. So much so that, in late March, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill that allows law enforcement to immediately remove squatters under certain conditions.

If a Utah homeowner finds squatters on their property, KSL legal analyst Greg Skordas said they should call the police.  And this applies to several types of people including renters who stop paying rent, people who move into a vacant home, or even a friend who stays beyond their welcome.

“You can get a civil injunction or a restraining order, or you can get law enforcement involved,” Skordas said.

Skordas said taking civil action can cost $1,000, which the squatter would have to pay. However, collecting from them might be a bit difficult.

“The judge would almost certainly order that the squatter paid you that back, but of course that may not be worth the paper it’s written on.” Skordas said.

Related: Can’t afford new home? Would you renovate a fixer-upper?

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Instances of squatting in Utah are rare, but they happen