Can I physcally remove belongings of a squatter in my apartment building?
Question Details: I own an apartment building. One of my tenants had her sister and 4 children there for a vist. The tenant moved out but left the sister and children there. How can I get the squatter out?
I am a lawyer in CT and practice in this area of the law. Send a letter to the squatters (place note under the door) informing them that if they do not move out you will be having a state marshal come there and remove them from the premises and that they could face criminal charges for trespassing since you own the unit they are in (i.e. the tenant has moved out and no longer has a right to give permission for the squatters to be there). If the squatters fail to leave, file an eviction action - make sure to hire a lawyer to make sure the papers are done correctly if you have not done this before.
Since the sister is not a legal occupant she will be considered to be a "licensee"; that is someone who entered and remained on the premises with permission. Now that such permission has been revoked the lawful way to remove him from the premises is to serve her with a notice to quit (under these circumstances in some states this notice can be for a little as 3 days, in other as much as 30 days). If she fails to leave at the end of that time you will have to go through the requisite procedures for eviction in your state. At this stage the police will be most probably refuse to get involved. Once the court enters an order for the tenant to vacate the property it will be enforced by the sheriff, using physical force if necessary.
What you need to do now is to speak with an attorney in your area. They will advise you on the correct procedures for all of this. If you fail to comply with these procedures you could find yourself on the receiving end of a lawsuit for unlawful eviction.