Are There Squatters Rights In New York?

Amidst the hustle and bustle of real estate transactions in New York, squatters’ rights have been a long-standing mainstay. As a landlord, it is vitally important to understand the rights of squatters, as well as those of your tenants. The specific statutory rights afforded to both will vary depending on the type of ownership, and you must be aware of protecting your investment correctly. Realtors may help, but to save time and money, seeking a cash buyer could yield the best results.

What are Squatter’s Rights?

Rewrite: Squatting is an ancient practice that has been utilized for centuries, and it’s not just a popular fad – it’s a legitimate historical action. Squatters can inhabit and use the uninhabited real estate, with fluctuations in their rights based on the individual case and location of the property. Property owners and landlords in New York must comprehend the ramifications of possessing real estate in their state before the confrontation with squatters occurs.

Squatters Rights to Vacant Foreclosed Homes in New York


Squatter’s rights, although a topic that has been around for centuries, should still be taken very seriously by landlords in the New York area. These rights allow individuals, who have moved into vacant properties and legally established their residency, to remain in the property under certain circumstances. Depending on the type of property ownership, these rights may permit the squatter to pay taxes. However, no one-size-fits-all exists. When it comes to eviction, property owners must follow specific protocols, regardless of how they initially gained access, while attempting to uphold these rights. Although they are difficult to enforce, it is recommended that residents look into purchasing or leasing properties, rather than striving to attain a legal claim on an unowned property.


The concept of squatter’s rights has a long and fascinating history. From a form historically practiced as a form of protest to reclaim the forcibly-taken property, it has since evolved into a much more limited set of rights. In New York, squatters, unlike tenants, do not have the same legal rights as those who’ve purchased or rented property. Landlords should be particularly mindful of rights and limitations, following applicable procedures for eviction. Investing in buying or renting property is the safest option for legal protection, whereas cash buyers can offer quicker and cost-efficient solutions.

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Squatter’s rights can vary wildly depending on the type of property ownership in New York. Rights may be granted if the property is privately owned, however, if it is owned by the state or another public entity, no rights are available. To protect their interests, landlords should be aware of all tenant rights in their current lease and understand the challenges of eviction if it becomes necessary to remove a squatter. In most cases, a cash buyer is the most efficient route to take, as using a realtor can increase fees and delay the resolution process.

Do Squatter’s Rights Exist In New York?

When it comes to ‘Squatter’s Rights’ in New York, there is a need for clarity around the various types of property ownership and associated rights.Landlords should also be aware of their tenants’ rights, as well as the legalities of evicting someone in New York. In this article, we’ll examine the different kinds of property ownership, tenants’ rights, and any squatter’s rights left in New York to help landlords protect their investments. Armed with the correct information, landlords can then decide if they want to sell the property directly or go through a realtor. Ultimately, it is in the best interest of all parties, regardless if it is a cash buyer or someone with a realtor, to get the best deal so that the transaction goes smoothly, swiftly and without any complications.

Types of Property Ownership

In New York, fee ownership grants the owner exclusive rights to possess, use, and dispose of the land, while lease ownership bestows upon tenants limited rights to occupy a space. Landlords must be aware of their tenants’ rights and responsibilities and the proper eviction protocols should the need to vacate a tenant arise, voluntarily or involuntarily.

Consequently, there are no squatters’ rights in New York, meaning a cash buyer can avoid the lengthy process of evicting someone from a property and purchasing an offering from a seller without utilizing a licensed broker.

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Rights According to Type of Property Ownership

In New York, it’s important to understand how property ownership impacts a landlord’s rights to possess the land. For some property owners, they have the power to remove tenants swiftly. Others have to undergo a formal eviction process. Cash buyers are usually the most preferred, as this path eliminates the need for a real estate agent and can be more time and cost-effective. Squatter’s rights are not allowed in New York since landlords must always be respected.

What Do New York Landlords Need to Know?

For New York landlords, knowing your rights alongside those of tenants can be instrumental to success. Not only is it wise to be familiar with regulations and the eviction process, but purchasing a property with cash instead of using a realtor is often much faster and comes without hefty fees. Cash purchases from a regular real estate transaction make for a cost-effective and time-saving option for investors.

Rights of Tenants

In New York, tenants are legally protected, but it’s important to know that squatters—those who occupy a property without permission—are not legally considered tenants and thus do not receive those same entitlements. An alternate option for squatters is adverse possession, where a resident must live on the property for at least ten years and pay all related taxes. Real estate owners in New York may find that selling to a cash buyer can be more ideal, as there are fewer contingencies to consider and a much faster closing time.

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Call Now (818) 651-8166

Why Sell Your Home to ASAP Cash Offer?

  1. You Pay Zero Fees 
  2. Close quickly 7-28 days.
  3. Guaranteed Offer, no waiting.
  4. No repairs required, sell “AS IS”
  5. No appraisals or delays.

Limitations of Tenants

New York tenants have various rights and limitations, including a right to privacy, livable conditions, and a right to expect their rent money to be used for property improvements. Furthermore, landlords must follow a proper protocol if they need or want to evict a tenant. Evicting simply because they no longer want a tenant living there is not allowed. It’s generally best to negotiate a favorable agreement instead of going to court, which can be costly and time-consuming. To avoid eviction, the best tactic is to become a cash buyer, which eliminates the need for realtor fees and results in faster processing.

Eviction Protocols

New York landlords must thoroughly understand their state’s eviction protocol. If the tenant fails to pay and overstays the lease, the landlord must legally file an official eviction to the court and provide formal notice to the tenant and the property. This gives the tenant five days to vacate, after which a final inspection occurs to determine if any personal belongings were left behind. Given the time constraints, selling the property to a cash buyer without a realtor is recommended, as the process tends to be faster, and realtor fees can be pretty expensive.


To wrap it up, landlords in New York must be well-versed in the rights of squatters, possession regulations, and eviction protocols. According to common law, squatters’ rights depend on the ownership status of a property and the effects of eviction. When considering residential properties, the requests are limited. To avoid hefty courtroom fees, the best practice is to pay a lump sum as a cash buyer and settle quickly and painlessly with the squatter.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does squatters rights work in NY?

Squatters rights allow individuals to take possession of an abandoned or vacant space in New York. This dormant tenancy is known as adverse possession and can be complex since each state has unique rules about squatters’ rights. In general, it requires the squatter to occupy a property for at least 10 years without disruption by its legal owner demonstrating clear intention of taking on ownership over that period such as paying taxes or making improvements. It’s important to note that this right only applies if the original tenant left voluntarily and never had an agreement with another party regarding who was responsible for continued occupancy after their departure.

How long does it take to evict a squatter in New York?

Evicting a squatter in New York can require some time and effort. Generally, the process consists of filing an eviction notice with your local magistrate or court clerk, serving it to the squatters who are occupying your property, submitting affidavits that prove you own the property as well as any other required documents relating to ownership rights; followed by a hearing before a judge if necessary. The eviction procedure may range from several weeks up to six months depending on specific circumstances surrounding each case. In addition, attorneys’ fees for evicting trespassers must be taken into consideration when undertaking this legal matter.

Is squatting illegal in New York?

Squatting is not legal in New York, as it violates laws regarding trespassing and property ownership. Squatters occupy land that does not belong to them without permission or a valid lease agreement from the rightful owner of the premises. Although squatters may establish tenancy for a period of time if certain conditions are met, unauthorized occupation could result in criminal charges being filed against those living on someone else’s private property.

Can a squatter be evicted if there is no lease in NY?

In New York, when a tenant has no lease agreement in place they are considered an at-will, or squatter occupant. In these cases it is possible to have the individual evicted by following the state’s guidelines for self-help eviction. A notice of demand must be sent to the unleased tenant giving them 15 days’ notice and also any other applicable remedies as specified under NY law; if this fails to remove them then court action may follow. It is important that all legal requirements are met throughout this process as per local laws for evicting squatters without a lease agreement in order to ensure its effectiveness and legality.
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