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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: June 20, 2019 12:24 PM
From: Senator Lawrence M. Farnese, Jr.
To: All Senate members
Subject: Removal of persons from residential property.
Imagine coming home from months away taking care of a sick family member and finding someone else living in your home.

It’s happening every day in the Commonwealth. Scammers are taking advantage of empty properties, breaking in, changing the locks and moving in or illegally renting them out. Shockingly, these trespassers are often able to use the system of squatter’s rights to tie the rightful owners up in the court system and force them to fight to regain their own property.

This legislation gives homeowners the power to provide proof of ownership to the police, then the police may use that proof to acquire a search warrant to remove someone squatting in the home. The alleged squatter is permitted under my legislation to provide proof of a lawful right of being in the home to the police and gives the officer the right to remove the person with or without arrest for trespassing as the situation demands. This will protect people who sign, what they believe, are legitimate leases and therefore are victims too and deserve the ability to secure stable housing. Further, this legislation includes penalties for making false statements seeking the unwarranted removal of someone from the home. I hope you will cosponsor this important legislation to place homeowners back where they belong.

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