How to Get Rid of Squatters in North Carolina

How to Get Rid of Squatters in North Carolina

Squatters can be a significant issue for property owners in North Carolina. These individuals unlawfully occupy properties without the owner’s permission, creating problems such as property damage, illegal activities, and legal complications. If you find yourself dealing with squatters, it is essential to understand the legal process and take appropriate measures to regain control of your property. In this article, we will discuss how to get rid of squatters in North Carolina and provide answers to frequently asked questions.

1. Understand the Law:
In North Carolina, squatters are treated as trespassers. To remove them from your property, you need to follow the state’s eviction laws, which typically require filing an eviction lawsuit in court.

2. Serve a Notice:
Before initiating legal action, serve a written notice to the squatters, informing them that they are unlawfully occupying your property and must vacate within a specified period, usually 10-30 days. The notice should be delivered in person or by certified mail with a return receipt.

3. File an Eviction Lawsuit:
If the squatters fail to vacate within the specified time, file an eviction lawsuit with the appropriate North Carolina court. Ensure you have all relevant documentation, such as property ownership records, lease agreements, or any evidence of your legal right to the property.

4. Attend the Court Hearing:
Once the lawsuit is filed, a court hearing will be scheduled. Both the property owner and the squatters must attend the hearing. Present your case to the judge, providing evidence of the squatters’ unauthorized occupancy and your legal right to the property.

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5. Obtain a Writ of Possession:
If the judge rules in your favor, you will be granted a writ of possession. This document authorizes law enforcement to remove the squatters from your property. The writ must be executed by a sheriff or other authorized officer.

6. Enforce the Writ:
Coordinate with law enforcement to enforce the writ of possession. They will physically remove the squatters from your property and ensure they do not return.

7. Secure the Property:
After the squatters are removed, it is crucial to secure your property to prevent further unauthorized entry. Change the locks, repair any damage, and consider installing security measures such as cameras or alarms.


Q1. Can I physically remove squatters from my property without going to court?

No, physically removing squatters without following the legal eviction process is illegal. You must file an eviction lawsuit, obtain a court order, and have law enforcement execute the writ of possession.

Q2. How long does the eviction process take in North Carolina?

The eviction process duration can vary depending on factors such as court availability, the complexity of the case, and the squatters’ response. Generally, it can take several weeks to a few months.

Q3. What if the squatters claim they have a right to stay?

If the squatters assert a legal right to the property, such as a valid lease agreement, you may need to consult an attorney to determine the best course of action.

Q4. Can I change the locks immediately after serving the notice?

No, changing the locks without a court order or the squatters’ consent is illegal. You must follow the legal process to regain possession of your property.

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Q5. How can I prove that the squatters are damaging my property?

Document any property damage thoroughly by taking photographs or videos. Additionally, gather any available evidence, such as witness statements or police reports, to support your claim.

Q6. Can I recover any damages caused by the squatters?

Yes, once the squatters are evicted, you can pursue legal action to recover any damages they caused to your property.

Q7. What if the squatters return after being evicted?

If the squatters return after being lawfully evicted, you can contact law enforcement and report their trespassing. Provide them with a copy of the court order and the writ of possession as evidence.

Dealing with squatters can be a stressful and challenging situation. By understanding the legal process and following the appropriate steps, you can regain control of your property and protect your rights as a property owner in North Carolina.