Are There Squatters Rights In Texas?

Squatting is a sadly prevalent practice within the Texas real estate market. To safeguard potential buyers from legal consequences and ensure maximum return on their investment, they need to be familiar with the laws around squatting in the Lone Star State. This article provides an overview of squatting in Texas to help real estate investors understand their rights and make an educated decision when investing in or selling a property. We will examine the definition of squatting, criminal trespassing laws, and the legality of this practice within Texas. Ultimately, renting or buying a property is typically a safer, faster, and legal alternative to squatting.


Squatting on another’s property is a significant nuisance for many property owners, especially in Texas. This illegal practice can be further complicated by state laws that grant squatters certain rights if they illegally inhabit a home for an extended period. Understanding the state laws that govern these rights is essential to know how to handle squatting on your property and avoid costly legal battles. Thankfully, there is an easy option for relieving yourself of this burden: find a reliable cash buyer to purchase the property and close the deal fast, without paying those hefty realtor fees.

What Are Squatters Rights?

What is Squatting?

Squatting, or “adverse possession,” is the illegal act of occupying someone else’s property without permission. It is a serious offense that carries legal consequences in Texas, where eviction orders and monetary fines are expected consequences. Unlawful occupation can even result in jail time. To avoid these potential risks and ensure legal protection, purchasing a property through a cash purchase is recommended. Buying with cash is beneficial as it can speed up the transaction, avoid the hassles of dealing with a realtor, and spare you from expensive fees.

What are Squatter’s Rights?

Squatting, otherwise known as ‘adverse possession,’ occurs when a person or group moves in and claims residence in an unoccupied or abandoned building without legal property rights. In some places, like Texas, it’s considered a criminal offense, with potential penalties of over a year of jail time and up to $4,000 in fines. However, in rare cases, such as when a person can prove significant improvements were made to the property or entry was obtained through deception, squatting may be permissible in the eyes of the law. Ultimately, it’s still a big risk to take when it comes to owning a property – safer routes like purchasing with a cash buyer could help sidestep these potential issues.

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Texas Specifics

Texas law states that squatting on a property without the owner’s permission is illegal, yet it may lead to certain rights if the land has been abandoned or not claimed for extended lengths of time. Known as squatters’ rights, they are laws that manage possession disputes and differ from one state to the next. All potential land buyers in the Lone Star State should be well-informed of its squatting laws and their rights to mitigate the occurrence of a squatter-related issue. The most effective approach to circumvent such predicaments is to buy the land expeditiously and pay the owner in cash to negate real estate agent fees.

Definition of Squatting in Texas

Squatting in Texas can have serious legal repercussions, like being found guilty of criminal trespass if the act is not done with the owner’s permission or legal right. The individual is typically not given much protection by the law and may be asked to leave the property with or without their consent. To avoid these risks, it is best to work with a cash buyer, skipping the process of a realtor and the potential legal and financial complexities that may come with it. This way, an individual can find a more suitable home more speedily and securely.

Other Articles You Might Enjoy:

Getting Rid of Squatters in California
Are There Squatters Rights In Utah?
Are There Squatters Rights In Missouri?
Squatters Rights in California: What You Need to Know
Navigating Squatter vs Trespasser Laws in California

Criminal Trespassing Laws in Texas

Squatting in Texas is illegal; anyone found to be occupying property without the owner’s permission can be prosecuted and face severe penalties. Under the Texas Penal Code, it is considered criminal trespassing, a misdemeanor, or a felony depending on the situation. Property owners must take action to evict squatters promptly, often in partnership with a cash buyer to process the eviction notice quickly and without risk. It’s important to note that squatting provides no legal title to the land, so it’s wise to avoid the practice; otherwise, hefty fines, imprisonment, and property forfeiture may be in store.

Legalities of Squatting in Texas

In Texas, squatting is not legally protected, with eviction a real possibility if the property is not legally acquired. However, adverse possession is a path to property ownership that some may be able to use if they can meet specific criteria. According to Texas State Law, a squatter must personally and lawfully occupy the property for a continuous 10-year period, with knowledge of the landowner, openly and sincerely without interference. If these conditions are met, the settler may gain title to the property, though this route can take time, effort, and money. Finding a cash buyer and closing escrow expeditiously may be the more desirable option for those wishing to act quickly.

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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.


In the State of Texas, squatters’ rights are not lawfully recognized. Should someone be caught living on private or public land without permission, they can be arrested for criminal trespassing. In certain situations, they may even be penalized for burglary and vandalism. Before buying a home, it’s essential to verify that the dwelling is not being occupied by a squatter and to understand the legal implications of the purchase. Investing in property can be an excellent decision if you’re mindful of any possible consequences.

Key Takeaways

Squatting is an unauthorized occupation of land or property, and Texas’ criminal trespassing laws forbid it. Unsuspecting cash buyers in Texas can be left vulnerable to legal penalties for trespassing, like fines or jail time. A better option is to partner with a reliable real estate investor, who can promise quick returns without costly fees or the risks of facing legal consequences. Not only is it a more safe choice, but it’s also faster and more affordable than using a realtor.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get squatters rights in Texas?

Squatters rights in Texas can be difficult to navigate and require adherence to specific laws. Generally, a squatter has the same legal right as a tenant or landlord after living on property for at least 30 consecutive days. To protect your squatting rights you must notify local law enforcement of your new residence within that first month period, pay applicable taxes associated with ownership, ensure there are no other owners claiming title over the property and continue payment of all utility bills assigned to it. It is also wise to record/file an “affidavit of Adverse Possession” with your county recorder’s office notifying others interested in the land that you intend possess it legally under state law regulations .

How long does a squatter have to be in a house Texas?

In Texas, squatting is illegal and the amount of time a squatter may stay in an unoccupied residence depends on whether they have any rights to the property. If there is no legally binding document or agreement that grants them occupancy rights, it could result in eviction proceedings initiated by local law enforcement agencies. Additionally, if rules are broken through trespassing and other violations of civil laws then fines can be issued which must be paid within forty-eight hours upon notification from authorities.

Can you kick out squatters in Texas?

Yes, if you identify someone occupying your property without permission in Texas and they refuse to leave, you may be able to remove them using the forcible entry and detainer process. The first step of the process is usually sending an eviction notice with instructions outlining why it’s being issued along with a date giving them time to move out before formal legal action is taken. If that fails, then further court proceedings are required for removal including providing evidence in court as well as having police escort on moving day for safety purposes.

Is squatters rights legal in Texas?

Squatters rights are a unique legal concept in Texas with the state recognizing its citizens’ right to claim property that has been abandoned. Generally, if a person is occupying an uninhabited or unused piece of land for more than ten years without any challenge, they can make use of adverse possession laws to gain ownership and legal title over it. It should also be noted that squatting on someone else’s private land carries penalties under Texas law – making it important to distinguish between active claims on unclaimed public lands versus unlawful invasion on others’ properties.
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