New York Changes Tenant Law to Exclude Squatters


A New York budget bill includes language to make it harder for squatters to take possession of homes or apartments. New Yorkers have suffered under the squatter laws for years.

After squatters murdered a woman, lawmakers changed the wording of the tenant law.

The State Assembly and the State Senate passed a bill they hope will make a difference.

They voted to change the state’s property law: “A tenant should not include a squatter.” The language defines a squatter as someone staying on a property without permission from its owner or the owner’s representative.

Some squatters come up with fake paperwork, which won’t help in those cases. Stiffening the prison sentences would but that’s not on the table.

7 On Your Side Investigates reported on numerous cases of accused squatters – including one that was criminally charged last weekend in Queens. After the reports, at least four lawmakers filed anti-squatting legislation, which led to a last-minute compromise over the weekend.

“Included within our budget is language that will exclude squatters from tenancy rights and define squatters under the law, which is a key component of the legislation we spoke about last time,” said Senator Blumencranz.

Gov. Hochul signed it on Monday.

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