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  1. #1
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    Default How to squat a house in Detroit

    This is not a serious question. I do not plan to squat a house in Detroit. However, I know people who have, and it would be interesting to know how to do it.

    So how would you go about finding a house, taking it over, and holding it as a squat house? What skills do you need to survive?

  2. #2
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    Ive pondered this question myself. As far as I can tell you have to be pretty familiar with the hood of the house your thinking about squatting in. Its been vacant for so long, you do a soft move in, just staying there with the bare essentials. When no one bothers you over time you probably get more comfortable and start securing the place. Eventually your going to get the boot though. I dont know of any squatters laws where you can actually take over a house without paying it off somehow.

    I know drug operations in my area regularly take over vacant houses. They will move from vacant to vacant when one house gets hot. Some are total wrecks and some are actually pretty nice. I really dont know the inside scoop though. Let us know how it goes for you.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Django View Post
    Ive pondered this question myself. As far as I can tell you have to be pretty familiar with the hood of the house your thinking about squatting in. Its been vacant for so long, you do a soft move in, just staying there with the bare essentials. When no one bothers you over time you probably get more comfortable and start securing the place. Eventually your going to get the boot though. I dont know of any squatters laws where you can actually take over a house without paying it off somehow.

    I know drug operations in my area regularly take over vacant houses. They will move from vacant to vacant when one house gets hot. Some are total wrecks and some are actually pretty nice. I really dont know the inside scoop though. Let us know how it goes for you.
    You can squat in a home if the following two conditions are met.

    1. Absent landlord. If the landlord is one of those owners who just don't care about the property and just let it sit then it's for the taking

    2. Neighbors who don't care. If the neighbors around said empty house don't have a vested interest in the vacated home in their neighborhood then a squatter will occupy it.

  4. #4
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    The house also has to be deemed habitable. Squatters are evicted from vacant homes on a regular basis because there are holes in the roof, fire damage, etc.

    The only reason a squatter would get removed from a vacant house is:

    1. If they become a nuisance to the neighborhood
    2. The home is purchased and the new owners want them out.
    3. Property is deemed unsafe
    4. Property is up for demolition.

  5. #5
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    I have actually heard of communities that accept squatters (ie: homeless families)since an occupied home is a better bet than a vacant home.

    We have had a few here. If they mind their own business and cut the grass I ignore them.

  6. #6
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    Default

    Wow, maybe I need to quit thinking about buying one and find one to squat in instead

  7. #7
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rid0617 View Post
    Wow, maybe I need to quit thinking about buying one and find one to squat in instead
    Instead of downsizing, the city should just designate districts that are squats with the inclination that you are on your own(no city services).

  8. #8
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    Uh, what about the law? It is illegal to squat. Essentially you are stealing someone else's property.

  9. #9
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    I have heard that regularly getting mail at a squatted location increases your legal rights to be there.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by DC48080 View Post
    Uh, what about the law? It is illegal to squat. Essentially you are stealing someone else's property.
    Like it or not, private property is not absolute. I was surprised, for instance, to learn that there are provisions for squatting in common law, and some American judges are friendly to that legal tradition. So can squatters take over legally? Rarely, but I believe it happens sometimes.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Detroitnerd View Post
    Like it or not, private property is not absolute. I was surprised, for instance, to learn that there are provisions for squatting in common law, and some American judges are friendly to that legal tradition. So can squatters take over legally? Rarely, but I believe it happens sometimes.
    I also believe the law does not allow for the eviction of squatters unless the request comes from someone with a legal interest in the property.
    The cops will not kick someone out of the house becuase you call and say they are squatting. I'm sure when confronted they say "this is my Auntie's house and she said I could stay here for awhile". Can anyone prove this is not true? From the police's perspective now, no laws have been broken.

  12. #12
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    squat a house in Detroit. However, I know people who have, and it would be interesting to know how to do it.
    I guess you should go to the source, are they still squatting?

  13. #13
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    http://www.wikihow.com/Squat-in-Abandoned-Property

    It works in the UK. Not so sure how it would work in the USA.
    or as it says in the article, go for it!

  14. #14
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    Look up "adverse possession" in Michigan. I think you have to openly occupy the property for at least 15 years and pay property taxes on it for that time, then you have to apply for title for that property and prove all of those things.

    Consult property lawyer, as these laws are quite confusing.

  15. #15
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    Over here in the Netherlands a building needs to be unoccupied for a year. This doesn't apply if developments are going on. It is still legal to squat but there's new law underway which would make this more difficult. To the dismay of some city councels. I know Amsterdam is very much against this new law. Squatting is also somewhat a stick behind the door to prevent specularting.

    I don't think our housing problems can be compared to Detroit. Demand way surpasses the supply. There are enough houses, just not enough in the social ranges.

    One of the more famous squatter palaces over here is Vrankrijk.


    Lately they had some legal problems of a whole different order...
    You can also read some of the history behind squatting in the Netherlands scrolling down. I understand the need to live somewhere but I detest the anti-globalists who seem to refuse to earn a decent living and make living miserable for everyone else.
    Last edited by Whitehouse; May-07-10 at 12:12 PM.

  16. #16
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  17. #17
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    Why squat in Detroit when you can take over a 4,000 square foot McMansion out in the burbs? Lots of those empty too.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hornwrecker View Post
    Look up "adverse possession" in Michigan. I think you have to openly occupy the property for at least 15 years and pay property taxes on it for that time, then you have to apply for title for that property and prove all of those things.

    Consult property lawyer, as these laws are quite confusing.

    if you in the position that you are forced to "squat" in an abandoned home, the possibility that you will have the means necessary to hire a lawyer are probably pretty slim.... just because you squat in a home for 15 years the title doesnt automatically revert to the squatter, there would be a long legal battle, probalby costing more that the actual home itself.....

  19. #19
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    There are plenty of homes in Detroit perfect for this, I actually had one behind my office....

    The problem is that these people can't legally get Water, Gas, or Electric service and will many times steal it.

    The guy who was squatting in the house behind my office had Illegal Electricity, Illegal Gas, probably had Illegal Water along with Illegal Comcast.

    I really didn't mind the Electricity, Gas and Water but the Comcast pissed me off since this guy broke the tap on the pole hooking up his illegal connection and my internet went down or got super slow everytime it rained.

    The last straw was when Comcast came around the neighborhood and did an audit and disconnected his illegal connection. When they disconnected his service, they decided to disconnect mine also.

    The first time this happened. eventhough im paying for my service 100% ligit, it was just easier to climb the pole and hook my service back up myself then to wait 3 days on a service call since I needed my internet running ASAP.

    Not an hour after I got down from re-hooking up my service, this joker was up there also redoing his illegal cable hookup, and then had the nerve to ask me (im in the cable business) if I could give him some cable with some ends crimped on.

    The second time Comcast came around and did their audit and disconnected me, I called Comcast and the Edison and reported the illegal hookup. Figuring if he had no power, he would quick screwing with the cable Tv.

    The next day and for the next few months before he moved out, he used a generator

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by DC48080 View Post
    Uh, what about the law? It is illegal to squat. Essentially you are stealing someone else's property.
    The U.S.A. was based on squatting and stealing.

    Funny. The house, the 'hood', the region can cave in on itself but as soon as someone moves in THEN it's a problem.

    I remember doing some urban exploring in the 90's and seeing a Rolodex and a phone book that ended in 1971 in a vacant office building.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by DC48080 View Post
    Uh, what about the law? It is illegal to squat. Essentially you are stealing someone else's property.
    Typically no, unless some party has interest in the property. In this case most vacant properties are held by absentee owners, many failing to pay taxes or maintain property that is actually safe. So yes, someone can move in. But when the county or some buyer comes along and wants the house back, either to inhabit or demolish, an eviction notice is served. And of course there is a ton of paperwork, money, and time involved....just because squatters do have some protections

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by CLAUDE G View Post
    ... The guy who was squatting in the house behind my office had Illegal Electricity,...
    Which is a common cause of fires, BTW.
    Quote Originally Posted by CLAUDE G View Post
    ...The last straw was when Comcast came around the neighborhood and did an audit and disconnected his illegal connection. When they disconnected his service, they decided to disconnect mine also.

    The first time this happened. eventhough im paying for my service 100% ligit, it was just easier to climb the pole and hook my service back up myself then to wait 3 days on a service call since I needed my internet running ASAP.

    Not an hour after I got down from re-hooking up my service, this joker was up there also redoing his illegal cable hookup, and then had the nerve to ask me (im in the cable business) if I could give him some cable with some ends crimped on.
    We recently lost our cable connection. I traced it back to the pole and discovered someone had unscrewed the coax at the (too high for my ladder) pole. The cable guy said they (Comcast) sometimes have to do that if they detect RF leakage because it could interfere with aircraft comms, etc. Problem is, they never contacted us or left a note about it. Was he just feeding me a line? They were quick about doing the repair, I must admit.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimaz View Post
    Which is a common cause of fires, BTW.We recently lost our cable connection. I traced it back to the pole and discovered someone had unscrewed the coax at the (too high for my ladder) pole. The cable guy said they (Comcast) sometimes have to do that if they detect RF leakage because it could interfere with aircraft comms, etc. Problem is, they never contacted us or left a note about it. Was he just feeding me a line? They were quick about doing the repair, I must admit.
    No, they probably disconnected someone else who had illegal cable coming off of your pole and where too lazy to look up the service record for your address and decided to disconnect yours also.

    Yea, they are pretty fast about connecting it back up, as not to piss you off so you switch to someone else while waiting for them to come out.

    I think it took them like 3 hours to come out and reconnect mine

  24. #24
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    After I bought & moved in to my old place on the west side, my neighbor called & reported me as a squatter (rather than say hello.) I was in my kitchen when I heard someone come in the back door. I grabbed my bat & threw the door open... dropping the bat immediately upon seeing two of Detroit's finest with guns drawn!

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtf1972 View Post
    After I bought & moved in to my old place on the west side, my neighbor called & reported me as a squatter (rather than say hello.) I was in my kitchen when I heard someone come in the back door. I grabbed my bat & threw the door open... dropping the bat immediately upon seeing two of Detroit's finest with guns drawn!
    YIKES!

    What happened? What did you have to do to convince them you were there legally?

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