Advice and Opinion

‘Professional squatters’ – what property investors need to know

Estate Agency generic

Investing in a rent producing property can yield outstanding returns for an investor.  But like any investment, there are risks that can effect an investment.  People who occupy private property illegally are difficult to evict and this process will often take the landlord many months to do, causing great loss in earnings and time.  They are called ‘Professional Squatters’ and they do this for a living. 

“Unfortunately there are some people who move from property to property,” says Jonathan Kohler, CEO of Landsdowne Investment Properties.  “They seem like the perfect tenant, they’re often professional in nature … but then they default on their monthly rental payments … and this continues until your investment is in jeopardy. The sheriff comes to remove them from the property on one day and literally the next day they’ve moved into the next property.”

Landlords, particularly those who manage their properties themselves, should be very careful of who they choose to occupy their premises or give keys to.

Take time to find the right tenant

Having a good tenant in your rental property that pay on time every month and never default on their payments is critical and the key to high returns on a rental property.

Don’t be slow to act – Landlords who find themselves in similar predicaments must act quickly, as the longer they wait to start the process of eviction, the more damage could be done to the property and the more difficult it becomes to get rid of the illegal occupant.