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Alabama House passes bill to protect homeowners from squatters illegally occupying their property

On Thursday, the Alabama House of Representatives passed bipartisan legislation to protect homeowners from squatters illegally occupying their property. HB182, sponsored State Rep. Craig Lipscomb (R-Gadsden) HB182 passed the House with a unanimous vote.

“This legislation is important as we have seen the trend of squatting take hold across the nation,” Rep. Lipscomb explained. “It is important that we do not allow this practice to become a trend in Alabama.”

HB182 increases penalties for individuals who enter a residence that is not their own and also increases the penalty for anyone who presents a falsified document that they claim to be a lease, deed or other instrument authorizing ownership or occupancy.

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“Individuals work hard to save money to purchase property,” Rep. Lipscomb said. “It is vital that we have laws on the books that protect that property from those who are searching for a way to steal a home from someone. If it is not your property and you do not have a legal document allowing you to be there, you will be committing a serious crime in this state. You will be arrested and removed from the property promptly after the rightful homeowner’s affidavit is filed. Property rights are serious, and we are not playing around with this.”

Lipscomb said this has not yet become a serious issue in Alabama, yet; but that it has become an increasingly common issue in other states. Lipscomb said that he believes that it is necessary to clarify Alabama’s laws to ensure that any attempt to conduct what he refers to as a “squatter scam” can be dealt with quickly and swiftly.

“By passing clear legislation on this matter, we are closing the door to squatting scammers before they cross the state line,” Lipscomb said.

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