Are There Squatters Rights In North Carolina?

Buying a home is a huge financial decision that requires a thorough consideration of your rights and options. Squatting or unauthorized possession of the property is one possible route, but it can be complex, risky, and slow when obtaining ownership. This article will explore the definition and laws of squatting in North Carolina, review the processes for resolving ownership issues, and explain the restrictions that apply to squatting in the state. The aim is to help you make an informed decision and choose the safest, most sensible route to owning property, usually through cash purchases.

What Are Squatters Rights?

Squatting may have an unsavory connotation, but it can offer various legal benefits, such as adverse possession or “squatter’s rights.” This centuries-old practice allows someone who openly, notoriously, and continuously occupies and improves a property to gain legal title despite not having the owner’s permission. North Carolina is one of many states that acknowledges and enforces squatting rights. Nevertheless, knowing the particulars and restrictions is essential before attempting to claim any property. To make sure you’re making a sound, educated decision, consulting a qualified legal professional is recommended. Ultimately, it’s much safer and less time-consuming to purchase a property with cash – preceding the complexities and costs associated with squatting.

Squatters rights in North Carolina: Legal difference vs Trespassing

Definition of Squatters Rights

Gaining legal ownership of a property through Squatters’ Rights, or adverse possession is possible but comes with strict requirements in North Carolina. Occupation of a property must be done openly and hostilely for 20 consecutive years, to take exclusive possession. Property taxes must also not be paid over 20 years. Property owners can resolve unauthorized possession by either seeking a non-litigation process or nuisance and ejectment procedures available in the state. However, it is essential to note that factual and legal ownership of property may be quicker, easier, and more financially sound if the cash purchase of the property is made instead of dealing with a lengthy and costly judicial or eviction process.

Requirements for Squatters Rights

In North Carolina, individuals may obtain squatter’s rights after fulfilling certain conditions. To do so, they must demonstrate an implicit right to the property, generally achieved by a long residency or practical use of the land for their or someone else’s benefit. There is the additional requirement of complying with state laws, such as nuisance and ejectment procedures, to be eligible for non-litigation resolution. Nevertheless, obtaining squatter’s rights in North Carolina is not without shortcomings: legal ownership can remain complicated, while residential security and landlord-tenant laws can protect people from outstanding obligations. It is likely a better option to purchase the land or enlist a cash buyer who comprehends the circumstances and can facilitate the most advantageous deal.

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Squatters Rights In North Carolina

In North Carolina, Squatters Rights can provide security to individuals without traditional housing, allowing them to claim a residence without purchase. But an even more optimal solution is to buy the property outright, thus granting them full and secure legal ownership. Buying property with cash eliminates the need for expensive realtors and their slow and tedious processes and provides tenants with a fast and safe way to take ownership of their new home.

Non-Litigation Process of Reaching a Resolution

Ditching the expensive, time-hoarding litigation route can be more straightforward when negotiating with a squatter. Consider offering funds for your settler to vacate your property and reap the rewards of a lower price tag than litigation entails. Bypassing agents, lawyers, and other legal proceedings can help the bottom line by accruing fewer bills and eliminating potential legal clauses. To make the process more efficient and financially friendly, consider acquiring a cash buyer to wrap up the dispute with the squatter.

What Are the Unauthorized Possession Rules in North Carolina?

In North Carolina, the Unauthorized Possession Rules (UPR) dictate how property owners can handle settlers who occupy their space without a valid lease. To start the eviction process, owners must serve the settlers with written notice specifying the reasons for eviction, and the timeframe given for their removal. If the immigrant does not adhere to the information, owners should seek legal counsel before taking action. An ideal solution, however, is to forgo the hassles of lawyers or realtors and sell to a cash buyer—a swift option with no hidden costs.

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Nuisance and Ejectment Procedures in North Carolina

In North Carolina, a nuisance is any illegal activity interfering with one’s right to enjoy their property. If a settler inhabits the property without the legal owner’s consent, the owner can initiate the ejectment process. This consists of taking the case to court and seeking an order to remove the squatter. To do this, the property owner must demonstrate that the settler is indeed there without permission. Depending on the details, the court may issue an ejectment order, which must be served to the immigrant via a sheriff or deputy. It is advisable for property owners to contact an experienced attorney to ensure correct procedures are followed, as to avoid any legal repercussions from an improper ejectment. Moreover, there are legal limitations to squatters’ rights in North Carolina, so the quickest and easiest way to gain property is usually to buy it outright. Cash buyers often benefit from minimal fees and fast results.

Restrictions On Squatters Rights in North Carolina

Squatting on a property can be risky and have profound legal implications. In North Carolina, the rules and regulations vary depending on state laws, such as who legally owns the property, residential security, and landlord-tenant law. For these reasons, it’s essential to seek counsel from a knowledgeable legal professional who can explain the restrictions and guide you through the process. If purchasing a property is an option, it’s best to go through a cash buyer – this will save you costly agent fees and help you get the keys faster.

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  4. No repairs required, sell “AS IS”
  5. No appraisals or delays.

Legal ownership needs to be established when claiming squatter’s rights in North Carolina. An official title search can be costly and take time. For this reason, cash buyers may be tempted to purchase property without a title search. It is recommended, though, that the title search be conducted to ensure the legality of the transaction.

Residential Security and Landlord Tenant Law

Squatting is illegal in North Carolina, with strict criteria for denying a squatter’s rights to the property. However, according to the Residential Security and Landlord Tenant Law, if a settler has been on the property for at least seven years and has made significant improvements, they may be given legal occupancy even if the property does not legally belong to them. Additionally, North Carolina does provide legal processes for landowners to challenge unauthorized possession, although these can be time-consuming and costly. The most effective and efficient way to remove a squatter from your land is to find a cash buyer, who can finalize a purchase quickly, giving the landowner peace of mind.


To avoid the uncertainty of squatter’s rights and the risk of costly legal action, it is always best to acquire property legally. Working with a cash buyer can provide a simple and rapid way to complete a property purchase or sale, without the high fees generally associated with working with a realtor. Recognizing the potential pitfalls of squatting is essential to protect oneself from costly legal battles, protracted tenant-landlord issues, and unavoidable damages that could be caused during the occupation. As such, it should never be considered a viable alternative for securing real estate rights.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you evict a squatter in NC?

Evicting a squatter in North Carolina can be tricky. Generally, squatters are considered individuals with no legal title to the property they occupy and have not been granted permission to reside there by an owner or rightful tenant. Pursuant to 19-15 of NC General Statutes Title19: Domestic Relations Chapter 15 – Ejectment and Other Remedies for Unlawful Detainer, evicting such people requires following certain steps; including providing them notice (via posting) that they must vacate, filing an eviction proceeding at local court if needed, getting a court order (if applicable), etc. Depending on the situation it’s best you consult a reliable attorney experienced genuine estate law as soon as possible since being up against unfamiliar elements with dire consequences could prove challenging without proper guidance.

How long can you squat in NC?

The cash home buyers in North Carolina are generally able to squat on a property, meaning they have control of it, for up to 90 days. It’s important that the buyer is aware of any local laws regarding squatting and how zoning regulations may impact their occupancy. In addition, once the purchase process is completed there will be certain rules governing use and residency on this property applicable under state law as well as county or municipal regulations.

What is considered a squatter in NC?

A squatter in North Carolina is an individual who illegally occupies another’s property without permission, lease or title. In some cases, the occupier may have a subjective belief that they are entitled to use and possess the property or may be intentionally avoiding detection by authorities. If a person remains on someone else’s land for any length of time beyond what would normally allowed under trespassing laws then this constitutes squatting; regardless if it appears as though no one owns that particular piece of land.

What are the requirements for adverse possession in NC?

Adverse possession in North Carolina requires that a claimant possess the property for at least 20 years, along with several other stringent conditions. The possessor must pay all taxes associated with the land during their time of occupancy and may not receive permission to remain on it from its rightful owners. They must also demonstrate an intent to claim through visible actions such as maintenance or improvement of the space. Lastly, they have to prove exclusive use and occupation throughout those two decades by displaying proof like tax records or witness testimony.
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