What are squatters rights in New Hampshire?

New Hampshire is known for its picturesque mountain landscapes and idyllic coastal towns. However, like any state in America, it still has its fair share of people who struggle to find affordable housing. This can result in some individuals resorting to occupying vacant properties without the owner’s permission. These individuals, commonly known as squatters, might be under the impression that they have legal rights to the property they occupy. In this article, we will explore squatter’s rights in New Hampshire and what the law says about them.

Squatters’ rights in New Hampshire are defined by a set of legal and practical considerations. Firstly, squatters may have rights to occupy an unclaimed property after a period of time, known as adverse possession. This requires them to demonstrate continuous and uninterrupted possession for at least 20 years. Additionally, squatters must visibly occupy the property and treat it as their own by maintaining it, paying taxes, and claiming ownership as a defense against evictions in court. However, illegally occupying someone else’s property does not grant squatters any legal rights, and they may be subject to criminal prosecution or civil lawsuits. Overall, squatters should be aware of their legal standing and seek expert advice to avoid any legal issues.

What is the squatting/squatter?

Squatting, also known as occupying or holding an empty property, involves living in a property without permission from the owner or government. Squatting is often done out of necessity by those who cannot afford housing or lack access to affordable housing. Squatters typically move into abandoned or unused buildings, often renovating them to make them habitable. However, squatting is illegal in many countries, and squatters can face eviction, fines, or other legal consequences for occupying buildings without permission. Despite the legal risks, squatting provides a means for individuals to access shelter and create a sense of community in areas where alternative housing options may not be available.

What is an example of a squatter?

A squatter is someone who occupies a property – typically a residential building or land – without permission from the owner. An example of a squatter might be a homeless person who sets up camp in an abandoned building or vacant lot. Another example is someone who moves into a foreclosed property that has been left vacant by the bank or previous owner. In some cases, squatters may try to claim legal ownership of the property through adverse possession, which means they have occupied the property for a certain amount of time and have made improvements or repairs to it. Overall, squatting is considered illegal and can result in legal action taken by the property owner to reclaim their property.

What is Adverse possession in New Hampshire?

Adverse possession in New Hampshire is a legal principle governed by the common law that allows someone to gain ownership of a property through the continuous possession of it for a certain period of time without the owner’s consent. The law recognizes adverse possession as a way to resolve disputes over the ownership and possession of a property. To establish a claim of adverse possession in New Hampshire, the occupier must prove that they possessed the land openly, notoriously, exclusively, and continuously for a period of 20 years. Additionally, the occupant must have had hostile, actual, unwavering, and continuous possession during the whole twenty-year period. Once an occupier meets these requirements, they may file a claim of adverse possession and seek a court order to gain ownership of the property. It is important to note that the application of the adverse possession law varies from state to state, and anyone seeking to establish a claim of adverse possession in New Hampshire should consult a licensed attorney.

Is it legal to squat in New Hampshire?

As per the laws of New Hampshire, squatting is considered a violation of property rights and is not legal. Squatting refers to occupying land or property that belongs to someone else without their permission or a legal right. While it may be an option in some states, New Hampshire’s law on trespassing and property rights is clear. Therefore, it is essential to obtain legal ownership or proper authorization before occupying any property in New Hampshire. Breaking these laws may lead to legal action, fines, and even imprisonment. Hence, it is always advisable to seek legal counsel in case of any doubts or concerns regarding property rights and ownership in the state of New Hampshire.

Can police remove squatters in New Hampshire?

Police in New Hampshire have the power to remove squatters from private property if the proper legal procedures are followed. Squatting is defined as someone who occupies a building or land without permission, and it is considered a civil rather than criminal offense. Property owners in New Hampshire must file a formal complaint with the court to evict squatters. Once the court issues an eviction notice, law enforcement officials can then intervene and remove the squatters from the property. However, homeowners should not take the matter into their own hands as it can lead to legal consequences. It is best to seek the guidance of an attorney to ensure proper procedures are followed when evicting squatters.

How to evict squatter in New Hampshire?

Evicting a squatter in New Hampshire can be a challenging process. The first step is to provide written notice to the squatter, stating that they are illegally occupying the property and have a certain amount of time to vacate. If they refuse to leave, the landlord or property owner will need to file an eviction lawsuit in court. The court will then schedule a hearing and provide the squatter with an opportunity to present their case. If the court rules in favor of the landlord, a writ of possession will be issued, allowing the sheriff’s office to physically remove the squatter from the property. It is important to note that this process can take several weeks or even months, so it is crucial to start the eviction process as soon as possible. It is also recommended to seek the advice of an experienced attorney to guide you through the legal process.


Q: What is squatters’ rights?
A: Squatters’ rights refer to the legal right of a person to occupy and use a property that they do not own or have any legal right to, without the owner’s permission.

Q: Is squatting legal in New Hampshire?
A: No, squatting is not legal in New Hampshire.

Q: Can I claim a property by squatting on it for a certain period of time?
A: No, New Hampshire does not recognize adverse possession or squatters’ rights as a means of claiming ownership of a property.

Q: What is the penalty for squatting on someone’s property in New Hampshire?
A: Squatting is considered trespassing and can result in criminal charges, including fines and imprisonment.

Q: Can a squatter be evicted in New Hampshire?
A: Yes, a property owner can evict a squatter by obtaining a court order and having a law enforcement officer remove them from the property.

Q: What should I do if I suspect someone is squatting on my property?
A: If you suspect someone is illegally occupying your property, you should contact local law enforcement and file a trespassing complaint.


New Hampshire Supreme Court Cases

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.

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