Purchased Sheriff Sale Prop - Removing Squatter Tips

7 Replies

Hello BP! I recently purchased a property through a sheriff's sale in Pennsylvania. I did my homework and the judgement was brought up by a first mortgage lienholder. The house has good equity  to start. I spoke with a few neighbors to get a little info on the house and they were more than willing to provide good info.

Currently the ex-girlfriend of the ex-owner's house is squatting there (actually just leaving her two dogs there and checking in on them periodically). The neighbor's called animal control but apparently the animals are not being mistreated in their opinion. 

Any tips on removing the squatter and the dogs? I get possession of the property June 21st (assuming the deed is processed quickly, which it probably won't but I'm just assuming best case scenario so I'm prepared for the rehab)

Thanks for the help!

Interesting question. I would think dogs are property not people. So do you need an eviction? Treat as abandoned property?

If you wish to remove a stubborn squatter prior to having a recorded title or other evidence of title, you may be able to have your attorney file complaint for unlawful ejectment.

The dogs can be coaxed by food. I have heard that you can roll a hamburger patty around a children's aspirin tablet to calm a small dog down. I don't know what dosage should be for a large dog but I'd be more concerned with people safety. 

I have a few similar ideas for dealing with the squatter but not about to post here.

Thanks guys...Dawn Anastasi, I've offered the cash for keys with no luck so far (out of curiosity, what amount do you typically offer or does it change depending on the circumstances?). Hoping I don't have to go the eviction route.

Rick Harmon, thanks for the advice. Still not sure what I'll do. I guess file the complaint for unlawful ejection if the squatter ends up staying once closing occurs. 

I welcome any other thoughts.

Interesting ! any luck chad ?

Originally posted by @Chad Jarrah :

Thanks guys...Dawn Anastasi, I've offered the cash for keys with no luck so far (out of curiosity, what amount do you typically offer or does it change depending on the circumstances?). Hoping I don't have to go the eviction route.

Rick Harmon, thanks for the advice. Still not sure what I'll do. I guess file the complaint for unlawful ejection if the squatter ends up staying once closing occurs. 

I welcome any other thoughts.

 I'm considering buying a pre-sheriff sale in the same situation from a wholesaler. What did you use to determine the state of the house inside? I'm assuming you were at least able to contact the tenants. The wholeseller I am talking to has told me that the seller hasn't spoken to the tenant for months, and can't get in touch with her. 

My attorney told me that it's much harder / longer to get an unlawful ejectment than it is to get an eviction, so if you can prove they're on a lease, eviction is much easier, should it come to that. That's all I've got though, hoping to see what everyone else has to say...

As an aside, did you buy this cash? I'm assuming no hard money lenders would put down on a property that they can't verify the status of...

@Ron Singh @John Matthews

Thanks for the interest. What I did was write notes and left them posted on the door of the property I bid on (where the squatter was). One firm note (lawyers, police), one note offering "cash for keys" - no response on either. After I paid for the prop in full (but still waiting on the deed), I wrote another note telling the squatter that the police would be with me a few days later when I changed the locks and she and her animals would be removed (also left an address for the local animal shelter where her dogs would be if they were there and she was not). The local police met me there, she was gone and I changed the locks. 

To answer your question John I did not have access to the inside of the prop so there was a risk taken there. But I knew the title was clear and I knew the exterior looked decent. I also knew it was a desirable area with a great school district, so at the price I got it, it was worth the risk. 

So far so good, but I won't celebrate too much until it is sold and I made a good profit. Good luck to you both!

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