Although single-family homes managed by our Charleston property management company are always full, there are many other property managers who must deal with the problem of squatters in the rental homes. You might think that getting people out of a home that do not live there would be as easy as calling the police, but most states, including South Carolina, have laws that protect squatters in some cases. There are no laws regarding removing squatters, but all property owners will need to go through the judicial process to have squatters removed. The best thing a property manager can do is prevent squatters from occupying empty rental in the first place.
Tips to Preventing Squatters
If your Charleston property management company wants to avoid dealing with squatters in rental properties, there are a few precautions you can take.
- Proper Tenant Screening- Squatters do not always come from people breaking into a home and occupying it without permission. Some people become squatters by overstaying their lease without signing a new one, letting friends or family stay in the home after they have moved out, or unauthorized subletting. Proper and rigorous tenant screening is the best way to avoid these problematic tenants.
- Move Out Inspection- Every Charleston property management company should be conducting move out inspections. These not only look for damages and lease violations, but also make sure there is no one else still in the home, that all locks have been changed, and the home is properly secured before the property manager leaves.
- Security- Having lights on timers, proper locks on doors and windows, and even security cameras can help prevent squatters from occupying empty homes after moveouts. Property managers should be showing the empty home regularly through marketing which also discourages break-ins and squatters from trying to enter.
If you are a long-distance real estate investor, the need for property management is even more important because you are not onsite to ensure your investments are protected when they are empty. Do not let squatters take advantage of you. Hire our qualified Charleston property management company to manage your homes today.
Scott Properties is here to help manage your investment homes. Call us for a consultation today at 843-790-4929.