Like I keep saying. Animals.
I'm sure it's somehow Bu$h's fault.
"they even had a bird in the oven"
That's pretty darn shady but very prevalent throughout Detroit. It's common knowledge within the city that you simply can not leave property abandoned for any length of time. Another reason, why no one of means should reside there. At least outside of a few pockets within the city.
First, the US:
In the United States, squatting laws vary from state to state and city to city. For the most part, it is rarely tolerated to any degree for long, particularly in cities. There have been a few exceptions, notably in 2002 when the New York City administration agreed to turn over eleven squatted buildings in the Lower East Side to an established non-profit group, on the condition that the apartments would later be turned over to the tenants as low-income housing cooperatives.
Squatters can be young people living in punk houses, low-income or homeless people, street gang members, or artists. Recently there have been increasing numbers of people squatting foreclosed homes  There are also reports of people resquatting their own foreclosed homes.
Then in the UK, where our common law thinking originates to some degree:
Now, regarding "Adverse Possession" which is part of common law in the US:England
In England, squatting has a long historical tradition. The BBC states that squatting was "a big issue in the Peasants' Revolt of 1381 and again for the Diggers in the 17th Century [who] were peasants who cultivated waste and common land, claiming it as their rightful due" and that squatting was a necessity after the Second World War when so many were homeless. The BBC also reported in 2011 that the British government estimated that there were "20,000 squatters in the UK" and "650,000 empty properties".
Effective 1 September 2012, under Section 144 of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012, squatting in a residential property was re-defined by the Government, as a criminal offence.
Seems like England is phasing out squatting, despite its "long, historic tradition."
Wikipedia: Squatting in the United States
Now I checked some of the statutory periods in US states and they seem to range from 2 year (rare) to 21 years of "continuous and uninterrupted" occupation. The most common number of years is 7 with the next most common being 20.In common law, through the legally recognized concept of adverse possession, a squatter can become a bona fide owner of property without compensation to the owner. Adverse possession is the process by which one acquires the title to a piece of land by occupying it for the number of years necessary, dictated differently in practice by each state's statute of limitation for an eviction action. A necessary component of this transfer of ownership requires that the landowner is aware (or should be aware) of the land occupation and does nothing to put an end to it. If the land use by the new occupant goes unchecked for the said number of years, the new occupant can claim legal rights to the title of the land. The occupant must show that the "possession is actual, open, notorious, exclusive, hostile, under cover of claim or right, and continuous and uninterrupted for the statutory period." As Erin Wiegand notes, the most difficult part of claiming adverse possession on the part of squatters is the continuous part. Squatting is a very transient lifestyle and many are evicted on a frequent basis. In an article regarding recent foreclosures in the United States, a current squatter in Miami stated of her housing, "It's a beautiful castle and it's temporary for me, if I can be here twenty-four hours, I'm thankful." Thus, while adverse possession allows for the legality of a squatter's situation, it is not common that a person can claim continuous possession of the land long enough to claim title by adverse possession.
Even in liberal California (my state) it's 5 years.
Also, in every state, the property owner must know about the squatting and have done nothing about it.
Now, if I leave a property or piece of land utterly abandoned for 5 years (in my state) and there's a group of homeless living on it and it can be proved that I have known about it and done nothing about it, then the homeless can try to take adverse possession. However, if I visit my property even once in that 5 years, kick the homeless off it, and then they return, they cannot take my land.
Edited to add:
At 1:20 on the tape, you will find a neighbor claiming the owner had been away from the home only 3 months. 3 months. In Michigan, to have any claim to a right of adverse possession, you need to have been away (without visiting) for 15 YEARS.
The owner herself claims to have visited the house the week before (last Tuesday). The fact that she had food in the fridge and full bottles of alcohol also indicates that she hadn't abandoned the property.
But legal schmegal: the asshole they interview is not citing American law but the law of the streets: "This is Detroit and we will come squat in your house if you're not home."
Last edited by Elspeth; 07-28-2013 at 03:28 PM.
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