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Alabama lawmakers pass bill to combat squatting on private property

Following a nationwide surge in squatting, State Rep. Craig Lipscomb brought forward legislation in the Alabama House to protects owners from squatters taking residence inside their homes or on any property they privately own. On Thursday, the both the Alabama House and Senate approved that bill. It now goes to Governor Kay Ivey to sign into law.

“Large cities and metropolitan areas across the county have recently experienced an epidemic of squatters who seek to live rent free in properties they do not own and to which they have no legal rights or access,” Lipscomb (R-Gadsden) said.

“This legislation provides Alabama property owners with a strong measure of protection that helps inoculate them from this epidemic and ensures they do not fall victim to this unfortunate national trend.”

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

The law will increase the penalties for individuals who illegally enter a residence they do not own and creates a new transgression for entering a property and causing $1,000 or more in damage.

Under HB 182, the crimes would be classified as a Class C felony, which is punishable in Alabama by one to ten years of imprisonment.

The bill also increases the punishment for presenting a falsified document purporting to be a binding lease, deed, or other instrument authorizing ownership or occupancy. Breaking this law can result in a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and fines of up to $6,000.

Austen Shipley is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News.

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