SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Steve Fox (D-Palmdale) today announced that Assembly Bill (AB) 1513, a bill that deters illegal squatting in residential real properties, received bipartisan support from members of the Assembly Judiciary Safety Committee and passed by a margin of 9-1.
The bill now will move to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
“Homeowners in the Antelope Valley who have a squatter in their house bear the cost of not being able to lease or sell their home, as well as the cost of having to go to a court in downtown Los Angeles,” said Fox. “This program will give homeowners a local solution.”
Squatters are individuals who break into an unoccupied home and live on the property without the knowledge or consent of the landowner. Over the past decade there has been a rise in the reported number of properties that are unlawfully occupied by such individuals.
Currently, there is no state law that provides local government officials with specific tools to combat the illegal occupancy of residences. It can take two months to evict a sophisticated squatter.
AB 1513 would create a pilot program in the cities of Palmdale and Lancaster that allows landowners to file a Declaration of Ownership with local law enforcement agencies identifying a property that will be vacant. The property owner would then post the Declaration on an unoccupied home and regularly inspect the property to ensure it is vacant.
AB 1513 provides a means to deter illegal squatting on residential real property at an early stage and to provide a chance for squatters to vacate the premises in lieu of arrest.
“Homeowners should have the right to remove a trespasser,” concluded Fox.
(Information via press release from the office of Assemblymember Steve Fox.)