New Squatter Laws Help Remove Them Faster

Las Vegas Foreclosed Homes

In housing markets like Las Vegas, when homes became vacant at a rapid rate, the squatter problem grew to record numbers. The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department estimates that the number of homes with people illegally living in them is up more than 40 percent from last year. A number that was around 3,600 homes has exploded to over 5,000. This growing problem is what prompted the new state law, AB 386, which took effect in October.

How the Squatter Law Changed

Prior to AB 386 removing a squatter from a home was considered a civil matter. Squatters took advantage of the rules and knew how to take advantage of them. The harshest penalty that was placed on them was trespassing. With the passing of this law, all of that has changed. Now it is a criminal matter with penalties from gross misdemeanors to class-D felonies, depending on the number of offenses.

The change from a possible trespass to home breaking and even unlawful occupancy is a huge shift, which both the LV Metro Police and the GLVAR hope helps combat the problem.

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