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Squatters Finally Face Eviction Under New Bill

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Genuine squatters

New Hampshire introduced a bill to tackle eviction of illegal occupants or squatters, aiming to distinguish between wrongful accusations by landlords and cases of genuine squatters with no property connection.

Appropriate responses

The state legislature is set to vote on HB1400 to clarify squatter definitions and enable appropriate responses.

Criminally trespassing

“It was really important that if someone is truly criminally trespassing, if someone goes on vacation and somebody breaks into their house, they come home from vacation and there is someone squatting in their home, that person is criminally trespassing and they should be removed by law enforcement immediately,” State Representative Rebecca McWilliams said.

Emergency hearing

“Which is when someone has been a tenant, they have an oral or a text message chain that could be construed as [an agreement.] That eviction process should be through the courts and that should be a 48-hour emergency hearing,” McWilliams said.


The topic of squatting has captured attention nationwide, prompting legislators in various states to propose measures to address it.

Exploit the issue

However, experts note that cases of individuals unlawfully occupying properties without legitimate rights are uncommon. There are concerns that some landlords may exploit the squatting issue to infringe on residents’ legal rights.

The upcoming bill

McWilliams informed Newsweek that the upcoming bill in New Hampshire seeks to provide clarity for authorities on how to approach the issue and ensure a balanced perspective.


“We don’t want people presenting evidence to Sheriffs, Sheriffs [making decisions],” she said. “We want to direct it straight to a judge to determine whether there was or was not [trespassing].”

Legitimate ties

McWilliams highlighted the infrequency of cases where individuals occupy homes without any legitimate ties to the property.


Clear distinctions

However, legislators are determined to establish clear distinctions between criminal matters and civil disputes regarding such situations.

Away on vacation

“If you own the house you went away on vacation, you came back and someone is in your house, you immediately call the police and have the [person] removed for criminal trespassing,” she said. “But also I feel like it’s rare and not really a mainstream thing, so I suppose it’s good to have some language and be very clear.”

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