What are squatters’ rights in MD?

What are squatters’ rights in Maryland?

Firstly, it is important to understand what squatters’ rights are. Essentially, it refers to the legal concept that a person who has been living in a property for an extended period of time may be entitled to certain rights, even if they do not own the property or have a lease agreement. In Maryland, there are specific laws pertaining to squatters’ rights that should be considered.

Specifically, it is important to know how long a person needs to live in a property before they can claim those rights, as well as what type of property is covered under these laws. Additionally, it is important to understand that there are limitations to squatters’ rights and that the laws can vary based on the circumstances of each case.

What is the squatting/squatter?

Squatting is the act of occupying or living in a property, such as a house, without permission or payment of rent. Squatters are those who engage in this behavior, typically preferring abandoned or derelict buildings to call their own. Moreover, squatting can happen for a variety of reasons, ranging from necessity to political activism. For instance, a downturn in the economy or high housing prices may leave individuals with no option but to squat. A prime example of squatting is the occupation of a vacant lot in Los Angeles, where homeless residents live in tents and shacks they have built themselves. While it is often seen as an illegal and problematic practice, squatting can also be used as a means of raising awareness about poverty and homelessness, and to promote social change.

What is Adverse posession in Maryland?

Adverse possession in Maryland is a legal concept that allows someone to gain ownership of a property without actually buying it. Essentially, if someone uses a property consistently and openly for a certain amount of time, they could potentially claim ownership over it. However, this process is not immediate or simple. Firstly, the person seeking ownership must prove that they have been using the property continuously and uninterrupted for a certain period of time.

Secondly, they must show that they have been using the property in a manner that is “hostile” or against the owners’ wishes. Finally, they must demonstrate that they have been using the property openly and notoriously, meaning that they have not been trying to hide their use of the property.

So, while adverse possession can be an option for those seeking ownership of a property they have been using for some time, it is a complex legal process that requires careful attention to the specifics of the law in Maryland.

Is it legal to squat in Maryland?

To answer the question, “Is it legal to squat in Maryland?”, there are several factors to consider. First, the term “squatting” typically refers to occupying someone else’s property without permission. This is illegal in Maryland, as it is in most states.

However, there are situations where a person may be able to legally occupy a property, such as when they have a rental agreement or are in the process of purchasing the property. Additionally, Maryland has laws in place to protect tenants from being evicted without notice or just cause. So while squatting is generally not legal in Maryland, there are certain circumstances where a person may be able to legally occupy a property.

Can police remove squatters in Maryland?

Firstly, it’s important to understand that squatting is considered illegal in the state of Maryland. Secondly, if a property owner discovers squatters on their land, they can take legal action to remove them. However, before resorting to an eviction process, it’s recommended that the owner tries to negotiate with the squatters and comes to a peaceful resolution.

If negotiations fail, the owner can then file an eviction lawsuit, and the police may get involved to ensure the squatters are removed. It’s essential to note that the legal process can take some time, and in some cases, squatters may be able to claim rights over a property, making the process more challenging. Therefore, it’s best to address any potential squatting situations as soon as possible.

How to evict squatter in Maryland?

Evicting a squatter in Maryland can be a complex process, but if you follow the necessary legal steps, it can be done successfully. Firstly, you must provide notice to the squatter in writing, giving them a deadline to vacate the property. If the squatter still refuses to leave, you must file a lawsuit for eviction with the court. When you win the lawsuit, you can obtain a writ of possession, allowing you to remove the squatter from the property.

However, it’s important to note that the process of evicting a squatter can take time, and having a lawyer to guide you through the legal process can be very helpful. Ultimately, by understanding and following the necessary steps, you can successfully remove a squatter from your property in Maryland.


Q: What are squatters’ rights in Maryland?
A: Squatters’ rights, also known as adverse possession, allow a person who has continuously occupied a piece of property without the owner’s permission for a certain amount of time to claim legal ownership of the property.

Q: How long must a person continuously occupy a piece of property to claim adverse possession in Maryland?
A: In Maryland, the required period of continuous occupation to claim adverse possession is 20 years.

Q: Are there any other requirements to claim adverse possession in Maryland?
A: Yes. In addition to 20 years of continuous occupation, the person claiming adverse possession must also prove that they have had exclusive and hostile possession of the property during that time, meaning that their possession was without the owner’s permission and was not shared with any other person or entity.

Q: Can a tenant claim adverse possession of a rental property in Maryland?
A: No. A tenant, by definition, has permission from the property owner to occupy the property and therefore cannot claim adverse possession.

Q: What should a property owner do if they suspect someone is attempting to claim adverse possession of their property?
A: Property owners should seek legal counsel immediately to begin the process of reclaiming their property.

Q: Are there any exceptions to the 20-year rule for adverse possession in Maryland?
A: Yes. In some cases, the 20-year period can be shortened to as little as 10 years if the person claiming adverse possession can prove certain exceptional circumstances, such as payment of property taxes during that time.

Q: Can a person who has been granted adverse possession sell or transfer the property to another person?
A: Yes. If a person successfully claims adverse possession of a property, they become the legal owner of the property and can sell or transfer it to whomever they choose.

Q: How can property owners prevent adverse possession from occurring on their property?
A: Property owners should be vigilant about monitoring their property and promptly evicting any unauthorized occupants. They should also consider placing a fence or other physical barrier around the property and posting “No Trespassing” signs. Additionally, regular inspections and maintenance of the property can help deter squatters.

Author – Stan Huxley

Passionate about real estate, Stan Huxley brings a wealth of experience to our articles. With a lifelong career in the industry, Stan’s insights, tips, and expert advice empower readers to navigate the world of real estate confidently. Whether you’re a homebuyer, seller, or investor, Stan is your trusted guide to making informed decisions.

Also Reading

Top things to know before moving to South Dakota
Seattle average rent
Mobile average rent

Spread the love