Hey Ya'll. Making the jump from lurker... (1 Viewer)

Daniedanielle

Lurker
Joined
May 24, 2020
Messages
1
Location
Cleveland, Oh raised me. Portland currently
Hello. I'm Danielle. I've followed Squat the Planet on a minimal basis, but now I have an imminent need for some people that may have more knowledge than I do. I have been living in an abandoned house in Portland, Oregon for the past 2 plus months. The home owners (a sketchy second chance type bank) as well as the police showed up on Wednesday. Basically after some mild harassment they asked us to be out by Sunday night.
I"m just wondering if anyone has any info on the legality of this and if I really must go without a court order.
 
Click here to buy one of our amazing custom bandanas!

Matt Derrick

Semi-retired traveler
Staff member
Admin
Joined
Aug 4, 2006
Messages
9,745
Location
Austin, TX
Website
youtube.com
I'm no lawyer, so take what I say with a grain of salt. From what I understand, you cannot be evicted without a court order. Now, just because they don't have one doesn't mean they won't try to throw you out. Some friends of mine had been squatting a house and the police came with the owner and were clearly on the owners side, threatening to arrest them if they didn't leave on the spot.

Changing the locks will make a big difference if you want to fight it. Don't open the door and tell them to get a court order and don't say anything else. It's technically a civil matter at that point and you'll have to go through the court system. That's the ideal scenario, you might be able to stretch it out for a few weeks or months but the end result will be your eventual eviction, but it buys you time and it's extremely unlikely you will go to jail or have any fines.

That is a lot of stress and hassle though, so you might want to just pack your things and move on to another abando somewhere and repeat your current process. It's up to you, just keep in mind that unlike countries that have laws defending squatters, the usa only has tenants rights and the police or even landlords sometimes can just complete ignore those laws with virtually no repercussions and kick in the door and drag you away kicking and screaming. So again it's up to you how much risk you want to take.

@Older Than Dirt has some lawyer experience so maybe they have something to say about it.
 

Older Than Dirt

Wise Sage
Joined
Mar 5, 2019
Messages
527
Age
61
Location
Upstate
I do not know Oregon law from dog shit. BUT:

It often makes a difference whether you have been in possession more, or less than 30 days. You've been there more than that, so this might not be a trespass/criminal matter, but rather an eviction/civil matter.

If it was me, i'd be inclined to hang on and see what happens after removing any valuable property of yours, and anything that might over-excite cops, like drugs and guns. The more people are there on Monday morning, the better. Change the locks if you haven't already.

Here are some resources i found, that seem to indicate that there might be an eviction moratorium in place in Portland, and some info you might be able to use to fight:







Disclaimer: i do not practice law; i have never set foot in Oregon in my life. Nothing contained in this post is legal advice; I am not your attorney. As always, everyone should always get legal advice from a competent attorney admitted in their jurisdiction before doing, or failing to do, anything whatever.
 

Kenada

Rambler
Joined
May 7, 2020
Messages
74
Age
25
Location
Portland, OR
Hello. I'm Danielle. I've followed Squat the Planet on a minimal basis, but now I have an imminent need for some people that may have more knowledge than I do. I have been living in an abandoned house in Portland, Oregon for the past 2 plus months. The home owners (a sketchy second chance type bank) as well as the police showed up on Wednesday. Basically after some mild harassment they asked us to be out by Sunday night.
I"m just wondering if anyone has any info on the legality of this and if I really must go without a court order.
I’ve been living in Portland for a long time and have a few friends that have enforced “squatters rights” now this is literally just a saying as we don’t really have any. However that being said you can claim the property is yours or as Matt said ask for a court order. Both should only be done if the police get involved. If the police are involved doing this will make it so the actual owner has to provide proof of ownership before the police will take any action against you. So legally you have a way to extend how long you have. How long that is I couldn’t say. At the very least this will make it so if they do show up with police you can use one of these as an excuse and you’ll have time to pack up and move on with no legal trouble.
 

japanarchist

Wanderer
Joined
Oct 24, 2011
Messages
117
Location
Portland
I'm no lawyer, so take what I say with a grain of salt. From what I understand, you cannot be evicted without a court order. Now, just because they don't have one doesn't mean they won't try to throw you out. Some friends of mine had been squatting a house and the police came with the owner and were clearly on the owners side, threatening to arrest them if they didn't leave on the spot.

Changing the locks will make a big difference if you want to fight it. Don't open the door and tell them to get a court order and don't say anything else. It's technically a civil matter at that point and you'll have to go through the court system. That's the ideal scenario, you might be able to stretch it out for a few weeks or months but the end result will be your eventual eviction, but it buys you time and it's extremely unlikely you will go to jail or have any fines.

That is a lot of stress and hassle though, so you might want to just pack your things and move on to another abando somewhere and repeat your current process. It's up to you, just keep in mind that unlike countries that have laws defending squatters, the usa only has tenants rights and the police or even landlords sometimes can just complete ignore those laws with virtually no repercussions and kick in the door and drag you away kicking and screaming. So again it's up to you how much risk you want to take.

@Older Than Dirt has some lawyer experience so maybe they have something to say about it.
I agree with Matt, change the locks and don't open it until they have papers or until they kick it down. Portland is under the moratorium status right now due to covid19 and no one is legally supposed to get evicted. I would read up on that and try to play that angle to them too. If you're ready to let the place go I would also try negotiating with the property owners and ask them to pay you if they what you out immediately. I've heard stories of people successfully pulling that off.
 

Matt Derrick

Semi-retired traveler
Staff member
Admin
Joined
Aug 4, 2006
Messages
9,745
Location
Austin, TX
Website
youtube.com
If you're ready to let the place go I would also try negotiating with the property owners and ask them to pay you if they what you out immediately. I've heard stories of people successfully pulling that off.
Personally, I'm a little on the fence about the asking for money thing. Morally, I don't care about extorting real estate companies, banks, etc in order for them to get you to leave (i don't think there's anything wrong with extorting criminals), but it does set a bad precedent for squatters/squatting as a whole in america. I've been reading a lot of articles that mention these kinds of incidents, and from their perspective it's a strong argument for laws against squatting which, obviously, would make squatting harder for people in the future that actually need to do it.
 
Joined
Jan 28, 2008
Messages
816
Location
The woods
My attitude had always been just leave when asked. Long term squats are extremely rare and in heavily gentrified cities there's a 99.9% chance you're gonna get the boot one way or another.
That being said, now might be the time to stick it out. You're dealing with a bank that probably doesn't want many legal issues its self and there's an eviction moratorium. I knew some people who ended up squatting the house they had been renting cause the landlord fled the country. The bank ended up owning it and after about 6 months of nonsense they all got $500 to get out.
 
Last edited:

Older Than Dirt

Wise Sage
Joined
Mar 5, 2019
Messages
527
Age
61
Location
Upstate
Adverse possession mostly happens in the real world with shit like: one landowner has a fence 6' on a neighbor's property, and the neighbor ignores it, so the first person eventually owns the 6' x whatever strip of land on their side of the fence.

The idea that you are going to squat some shit ,and end up with legal title to it is mostly delusion- it certainly has happened, but it is super-duper rare.

All of the folks that i'm aware of that have done this (which would include examples on LES, and in South Bronx, NYC, and i've heard of examples in UK and Netherlands) have been very very organized, very political, and very lucky.

But running at the first sign of someone trying to run you off may be premature. Squats are most often medium-term, but not long-term, housing.

Disclaimer: i do not practice law; i have been drinking for more than 12 hours today as i post this. Nothing contained in this post is legal advice; I am not your attorney. As always, everyone should always get legal advice from a competent attorney admitted in their jurisdiction before doing, or failing to do, anything whatever.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jan 28, 2008
Messages
816
Location
The woods
It varies by state but normally you need to maintain a property, pay the taxes on it and document that you're doing so for x amount of years without the legal owner causing a ruckus. I know in most NE states it's normally 20+ years before you can claim it. I've heard VA and MO are only a few yrs but don't take my word for it. Most successful longterm squats in the states are out in the middle of nowhere. Cabins who's owners have long died and the new ones live outta the country kinda thing.
 
Joined
Jan 28, 2008
Messages
816
Location
The woods
Really all depends on situation. Could be a night, could be a year. Although anything going for more than 6 months is fairly unusual these days. Kids always seem to get the genius idea to talk to reporters and all of a sudden the city targets them specifically. Funny how that works.
 

japanarchist

Wanderer
Joined
Oct 24, 2011
Messages
117
Location
Portland
How long do most of them last? Are you saying adverse possession never actually happens?
There is one notable case where a guy in Cali got a house through AP but I think from all the publicity he got the state/banks stayed on his ass and he might have gotten evicted. I forgot the guys name but he a popular CA squatter and it was posted on here years ago. You really have to be down and ready to persevere and fight it out if you seriously want a house through AP. If it was easy then everybody would be doing it.
 

Older Than Dirt

Wise Sage
Joined
Mar 5, 2019
Messages
527
Age
61
Location
Upstate
So, @Daniedanielle - what happened? Did cops/property owner return? Did you get out?

One post from OP, with The Man coming the next day, and then silence- probably they left, but just curious.
 

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

About us

  • Squat the Planet is the world's largest social network for misfit travelers. Join our community of do-it-yourself nomads and learn how to explore the world by any means necessary.

    More Info

Support StP!

Donations go towards paying our monthly server fees, adding new features to the website, and occasionally putting a burrito in Matt's mouth.

Total amount
$0.00
Goal
$100.00

Monthly Goals

  1. Paying the Bills
    $0.00 of $50.00
    The first $50 in donations go towards paying our monthly server fees and adding new features to the website. Once this goal is reached, we'll see about feeding Matt that burrito.
  2. Buy Matt a Beer
    $0.00 of $75.00
    Now that we have the bills paid for this month, let's give Matt a hearty thank you by buying him a drink for all the hard work he's done for StP. Hopefully his will help keep him from going insane after a long day of squishing website bugs.
  3. Feed Matt a Burrito
    $0.00 of $100.00
    Now that the bills are paid and Matt has a beer in his hand, how about showing him your love by rewarding all his hard work with a big fat burrito to put in his mouth. This will keep him alive while programming new features for the website.
  4. Finance the Shopping Cart
    $0.00 of $200.00
    Now that the bills are paid and Matt is fed, perhaps it's time to start planning for those twilight years under the bridge... if only he had that golden shopping cart all the oogles are bragging about these days.

About us

  • Squat the Planet is the world's largest social network for misfit travelers. Join our community of do-it-yourself nomads and learn how to explore the world by any means necessary.

    More Info

Support StP!

Donations go towards paying our monthly server fees, adding new features to the website, and occasionally putting a burrito in Matt's mouth.

Total amount
$0.00
Goal
$100.00

Forum Statistics

Threads
25,736
Messages
237,112
Members
9,404
Threads in last 24 hours
5
Messages in last 24 hours
42
Members in last 30 days
785
Latest member
Barnowl