We all have rights as members of society, and understanding our rights and responsibilities is a critical part of making sure that we're getting the most out of our lives. One particular form of rights and responsibilities that is often overlooked is that of squatter rights. Squatting, or living on land without permission of its owner, is a tactic used by people to claim land as their own and reap the reward of its autonomous governance, sometimes in the form of agricultural use or tenancy.
Squatter rights can become a difficult thing to untangle, given the fact that often each country or local jurisdiction may have vastly different laws and regulations that will govern squatters’ rights and responsibilities. Generally speaking though, it’s important to ensure that you understand the legal implications before setting out. If you're interested in living a life of off-the-grid autonomy, learning the intricacies of land rights, property laws, and trespass regulations will be key to successfully living by squatting.
The first step in this process is to understand the boundaries of the land that you are intending to squat upon. Establishing that the land is legitimately unowned and that your intention is to occupy the land with respect and consideration of the laws in place is essential in finding successful squatting practices that have been accepted in your area. Doing this research can provide you with insight into the conditions and regulations of the local jurisdiction, such as what is defined as "trespassing," and also how you might be able to establish the legal right to occupy the land.
Another key element to successful squatting is understanding the necessary duties and obligations that are placed on you as the squatter. Since you have to assume the responsibilities of any owner, you should be aware that actions such as introducing new occupants or structures to the land require consent by the qualified authority.
The final step in understanding squatter rights is to learn the proper measures that must be taken when something goes wrong. This includes understanding the legal procedures in place to evict you if someone else claims ownership of the land or if your actions break any local laws. Being aware of the specific powers that the local authorities have over you is the best way to protect yourself in case of any lawbreaking events.
While understanding squatting can be a difficult concept to unpack, knowing and abiding by the rights and responsibilities that come with it may be essential to creating an autonomous, self-sufficient living style. Taking time to research your specific area and following up with local organizations that have experience in your jurisdiction can be key in living off-grid and owning your own piece of land.
Ed Pill is a science fiction author and mathematician with a passion for fly-fishing, lasertag, unicyling, and dodgeball. When he's not out playing, he enjoys researching the H.P. Lovecraft universe and all it's secrets. Though he has multiple degrees in maths and physics, he can't remember them very well. His pet cat Emmett Brown loves playing on his computer keyboard and causes typos, and his parrot only says 'parrot' so he named it Parrot.