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Squatters Rights Indiana – Everything you need to know!

Are you curious about the squatting laws in Indiana? Do squatters have rights in the state of Indiana? Well, you’re in the right place. In Indiana, squatters do have rights under certain circumstances and there are specific laws that regulate these rights. Whether you’re a property owner or a potential squatter, it’s important to understand the specific laws and rights regarding squatting in Indiana.

If you’re a property owner in Indiana, it’s important to know how to avoid squatters on your property. There are several steps you can take to prevent squatters from taking up residence on your land or in your unoccupied buildings. By knowing your rights as a property owner and taking preventative measures, you can decrease the likelihood of dealing with a squatters’ situation in Indiana.

In our upcoming articles, we’ll be sharing tips and information on a variety of topics related to squatters in Indiana. We’ll cover topics such as adverse possession claims, how to legally get rid of squatters, and what steps to take if you find yourself in a situation involving squatters.

Stay tuned for more information on how to navigate the laws and rights surrounding squatters in Indiana.

Squatters Rights Indiana

What are Squatters Rights in Indiana

In Indiana, squatters’ rights refer to the legal principle of adverse possession, which allows individuals to gain ownership of a property through continuous and open occupation.

However, this does not apply to properties with a valid title and owner, and certain conditions must be met for squatters to make a claim.

Understanding Squatters Rights

Squatters rights, also known as adverse possession, is a legal doctrine that allows a person to claim ownership of a property if they have occupied it for a certain period of time without the permission of the legal owner. In Indiana, the statutory period for adverse possession is 10 years.

Requirements for Adverse Possession

In order to establish adverse possession in Indiana, the squatter must prove actual, open, notorious, exclusive, and continuous possession of the property for the entire statutory period. This means that the squatter must use the property as if they were the true owner, without any attempts to conceal their occupation.

Defenses Against Adverse Possession

There are certain defenses that a legal owner can raise to prevent a squatter from acquiring property through adverse possession in Indiana. These defenses include paying property taxes on the land, giving permission for the squatter to occupy the property, or challenging the squatter’s claim of adverse possession in court.

Legal Process for Adverse Possession

If a squatter believes they have met all the requirements for adverse possession, they can file a quiet title action in court to assert their claim to the property. The legal owner will have the opportunity to present evidence to dispute the squatter’s claim, and the court will ultimately make a decision on the matter.

Implications for Property Owners

Property owners in Indiana should be aware of the potential for adverse possession and take steps to protect their property rights. This may include regularly inspecting the property, paying property taxes, and addressing any unauthorized occupants in a timely manner to prevent adverse possession claims from arising.

Squatting vs. Trespassing in Indiana

Squatting is the act of unlawfully occupying an uninhabited building or unused land without the owner’s permission.

While Trespassing, on the other hand, is entering someone else’s property without authorization or staying on the property after being asked to leave.

Definition of Squatting

Squatting is the act of occupying an abandoned or empty property without the owner’s permission. It is a form of unauthorized occupation where individuals or groups take up residence in a property with the intention of establishing a living space without legal entitlement.

Definition of Trespassing

Trespassing, on the other hand, is the act of entering or remaining on someone else’s property without permission. It involves knowingly and unlawfully entering onto or remaining on land owned by another without the owner’s consent.

The main difference between squatting and trespassing lies in the intention of the individual. While trespassing involves the unauthorized presence on someone else’s property, squatting involves the intention to establish a living space without legal entitlement.

Penalties for Squatting in Indiana

In Indiana, squatting is considered a criminal offense. Individuals found guilty of squatting may face criminal charges, including trespassing, theft, and criminal damage. Penalties for squatting in Indiana may include fines, community service, probation, and in some cases, imprisonment.

Penalties for Trespassing in Indiana

Trespassing in Indiana is also considered a criminal offense. Individuals found guilty of trespassing may face criminal charges and penalties, including fines, community service, probation, and possible imprisonment. Repeat offenders may face more severe penalties.

Squatters Rights Indiana

How Do Squatters Claim Adverse Possession in Indiana

Squatters in Indiana can claim adverse possession by openly and notoriously occupying a property for a continuous period of 10 years, as stipulated in Indiana Code 32-21-7-1. This means that the squatters must physically possess the property, use it as their own, pay property taxes, and act as the true owner would.

Criteria for Adverse Possession

In order to successfully claim adverse possession in Indiana, squatters must meet several criteria, including actual possession, exclusive possession, open and notorious possession, continuous possession, and hostile possession. Actual possession refers to physically occupying the property, while exclusive possession means acting as the sole owner of the property.

Open and notorious possession means that the squatters openly demonstrate their control of the property, such as by making improvements or paying property taxes. Continuous possession requires that the squatters occupy the property without interruption for the entire 10-year period. Hostile possession refers to occupying the property without the permission of the true owner.

Legal Process for Adverse Possession

If squatters meet the criteria for adverse possession, they can file a legal claim to gain ownership of the property. This process involves providing evidence of their possession and demonstrating that they have met all the necessary criteria.

The true owner of the property will have the opportunity to dispute the claim in court. If the court finds in favor of the squatters, they will be granted legal ownership of the property.

Evicting Squatters in Indiana: How to Get Rid of Squatters in Indiana

In Indiana , squatters have certain rights, including the right to due process and the right to a hearing before they can be evicted.

This means that you cannot simply throw squatters out of your property without following the proper legal procedures.

1. Understanding Indiana’s Squatters’ Rights Laws:

Indiana recognizes the legal concept of “squatter’s rights,” also known as “adverse possession,” which grants certain rights to individuals who openly, notoriously, exclusively, and continuously occupy and possess another person’s property for a specified period of time.

2. Proving Adverse Possession in Indiana:

To successfully assert a claim of adverse possession in Indiana, the squatter must demonstrate the following elements:

  • Open and Notorious Possession: The squatter’s possession must be visible and apparent to the public, without any attempt to conceal the occupancy.
  • Exclusive Possession: The squatter must have exclusive control over the property, excluding the owner and all other individuals from using or possessing it.
  • Continuous Possession: The squatter’s possession must be uninterrupted and unbroken for the entire statutory period, which is 20 years in Indiana.
  • Hostile Possession: The squatter’s possession must be adverse or hostile to the owner’s rights, meaning that the squatter must claim the property as their own, not as a tenant or licensee of the owner.

3. Eviction of Squatters in Indiana:

If you are the owner of a property that has been occupied by squatters, you have the right to evict them. The process for evicting squatters in Indiana involves the following steps:

  • Provide Written Notice: You must provide written notice to the squatters, demanding that they vacate the property within a reasonable time frame, typically 10 days.
  • File an Eviction Lawsuit: If the squatters refuse to leave the property, you must file an eviction lawsuit in the appropriate Indiana court. The lawsuit should include a complaint alleging the facts of the squatter’s possession and a request for a judgment of possession.
  • Serve the Summons and Complaint: The summons and complaint must be served on the squatters in accordance with Indiana’s rules of civil procedure. This can be done by personal service, certified mail, or publication.
  • Attend the Eviction Hearing: After the squatters have been served, a hearing will be scheduled in court. At the hearing, both parties will have the opportunity to present evidence and arguments supporting their respective positions.
  • Obtain a Judgment of Possession: If the court finds in your favor, it will issue a judgment of possession, which orders the squatters to vacate the property. The judgment may also award you damages for any rent or property damage caused by the squatters.

4. Enforcing the Judgment of Possession:

Once you have obtained a judgment of possession, you can enforce it by having the sheriff remove the squatters from the property. The sheriff will typically give the squatters a final opportunity to leave voluntarily before forcibly removing them.

5. Preventing Future Squatting:

To prevent future squatting, you should take steps to secure your property, such as:

  • Installing fences, gates, or other barriers to prevent unauthorized access.
  • Posting “No Trespassing” signs on the property.
  • Regularly inspecting the property for signs of squatting.
  • Taking legal action against squatters as soon as possible to prevent them from establishing adverse possession rights.

Squatters Rights Indiana

How to Protect Your Property from Squatters in Indiana

Here is the step by step process to protect your property from squatters in Indiana:

1. Secure Your Property

The first step in protecting your property from squatters is to secure it. This means taking steps to prevent unauthorized access to your property, such as installing fences, gates, and locks. You should also make sure that your property is well-lit, as this will deter potential squatters.

2. Keep an Eye on Your Property

Once you have secured your property, it is important to keep an eye on it. This means regularly inspecting your property for signs of squatting, such as broken locks, boarded-up windows, or piles of trash. If you see any signs of squatting, you should take immediate action to remove the squatters.

3. Post No Trespassing Signs

Posting no trespassing signs on your property is another way to deter squatters. These signs should be placed in conspicuous locations around your property, and they should clearly state that trespassing is prohibited. If a squatter ignores a no trespassing sign and enters your property, you may be able to have them arrested for trespassing.

4. File a Complaint with the Local Authorities

If you discover that someone is squatting on your property, you should file a complaint with the local authorities. The police will investigate the complaint and, if they find that the squatter is in violation of the law, they will take action to remove the squatter from your property.

5. Take Legal Action

If the local authorities are unable to remove the squatter from your property, you may need to take legal action. This could involve filing a lawsuit against the squatter or seeking an injunction to prevent the squatter from entering your property. Legal action can be expensive and time-consuming, but it may be necessary to protect your property from squatters.

How Much Does it Cost to Evict a Squatter in Indiana

Squatter eviction costs in Indiana can be substantial, encompassing legal fees, court costs, and potential damages. The precise amount varies based on the case’s complexity and duration.

Item Cost (USD) Notes
Filing Fee for Eviction Lawsuit $80 – $200 Dependent on the particular court’s schedule of fees.
Attorney’s Fees $500 – $5000+ Highly variable based on case complexity, rate, and local market.
Service of Process Fee $25 – $100 The cost to have an official serve the squatter with eviction papers.
Sheriff’s Fees for Enforcement $100 – $200 If law enforcement is required to remove the squatter.
Locksmith Services $70 – $150 To change the locks after eviction, if necessary.
Storage and Disposal of Belongings $100 – $500+ Costs associated with storing or disposing of the squatter’s property, if required by law.
Court Costs for Hearings Varies Additional costs if multiple hearings are needed.
Lost Rent and Utilities Varies Calculated based on the rental value of the property and time occupied by the squatter.
Repairs and Cleaning Varies Depends on the condition the squatter leaves the property in.


Legal Fees

Retaining a qualified attorney is pivotal in squatter eviction cases. Attorneys’ fees can vary widely depending on their experience, reputation, and the case’s intricacies. On average, legal fees range from $500 to $5,000, potentially escalating if the case proceeds to trial.

Court Costs

In addition to legal fees, court costs associated with eviction proceedings must be considered. These costs typically include filing fees, service of process fees, and potential jury fees if the case goes to trial. Court costs can range from a few hundred dollars to over $1,000, depending on the county and the specific circumstances of the case.


In certain instances, property owners may be entitled to compensation for damages caused by the squatter’s unlawful occupation.

These damages can include unpaid rent, property damage, and other expenses incurred as a result of the squatter’s presence. The amount of damages awarded is determined by the court based on the evidence presented.

Squatters Rights Indiana

How To Claim Squatters Rights In Indiana

To successfully claim squatters’ rights in Indiana, you must meet specific legal requirements known as adverse possession.

What Are Squatters Rights?

Squatters rights, also known as adverse possession, is a legal doctrine that allows a person to gain ownership of real property by possessing it openly, notoriously, exclusively, and continuously for a specified period of time. In Indiana, the adverse possession period is 15 years.

Elements of Adverse Possession

To successfully claim squatters rights in Indiana, you must prove the following elements:

Procedure for Claiming Squatters Rights

To claim squatters rights in Indiana, you must file a lawsuit against the owner of the property. The lawsuit must be filed in the county where the property is located. The lawsuit must allege the elements of adverse possession and must request that the court grant you title to the property.

Defenses to Squatters Rights Claims

There are a number of defenses that the owner of the property can raise to a squatters rights claim. These defenses include:

  • Lack of Open and Notorious Possession: The owner can argue that you did not possess the property in a manner that was visible and obvious to the public.
  • Lack of Exclusive Possession: The owner can argue that you shared possession of the property with them or with someone else.
  • Lack of Continuous Possession: The owner can argue that you abandoned the property for a significant period of time.
  • Lack of Hostile Possession: The owner can argue that you did not claim ownership of the property and that you recognized their right to possess it.
  • Lack of Color of Title: The owner can argue that you do not have any evidence of title to the property.

Seek Legal Advice

If you are considering claiming squatters rights in Indiana, it is important to seek legal advice from an experienced real estate attorney. An attorney can help you assess your chances of success and can represent you in court if necessary.

FAQs about Squatters Right in Indiana

Here are some of the most asked questions.

What are the requirements for establishing squatter’s rights in Indiana?

To establish squatter’s rights in Indiana, the squatter must meet the following requirements:

  • Open and notorious possession: The squatter must possess the property in a manner that is visible and obvious to others.
  • Exclusive possession: The squatter must be the only person possessing the property.
  • Continuous possession: The squatter must possess the property without interruption for the required period of time.
  • Hostile possession: The squatter must possess the property without the owner’s permission.
  • Color of title: The squatter must have a good-faith belief that they have a legal right to the property.

How long does it take to establish squatter’s rights in Indiana?

In Indiana, the squatter must possess the property openly, notoriously, exclusively, and continuously for 15 years to establish squatter’s rights.

What are the defenses to a squatter’s rights claim in Indiana?

There are several defenses to a squatter’s rights claim in Indiana, including:

  • The owner’s actual possession of the property.
  • The owner’s constructive possession of the property.
  • The squatter’s lack of color of title.
  • The squatter’s failure to pay property taxes.
  • The squatter’s abandonment of the property.

What are the consequences of establishing squatter’s rights in Indiana?

If a squatter successfully establishes squatter’s rights in Indiana, they will gain legal title to the property. This means that they will have the right to possess, use, and enjoy the property as their own.

Conclusion: Squatters Right in Indiana

Squatting can be a major problem for property owners. Squatters can cause damage to your property, and they can also make it difficult to sell or rent your property.

If you are dealing with squatters, it is important to take action to remove them from your property as soon as possible. There are a number of ways to do this, and the best approach will depend on the specific circumstances of your case.

We recommend that you consult with an attorney to discuss your options. An attorney can help you understand the law regarding squatters in Indiana and can help you develop a plan to remove the squatters from your property.


Squatters Rights Maine – Everything you need to know!

Adam Bothun

Hey there, I'm Adam Bothun, a lawyer focusing on property law, especially stuff like "Squatters Rights" and related matters. Through my website, I aim to simplify the often confusing world of property rights and legal disputes. With years in the field, I've learned a thing or two about helping folks understand their rights and fight for fairness. Stick around, and let's navigate this legal maze together!

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