Squatters Rights About To Be Significantly Curtailed: No Longer Non-Paying ‘Tenants’ – New Legislation Seeks To Restore Ownership, Allow Trespass, Burglary Charges


Senator Scarcella-Spanton Announces Legislation to Combat Squatting Included In State Budget

Editor’s note: Staten Islander News recently covered issues related to property ownership as a natural right vs. as a right granted by the state.  In terms of the latter, this legislation will be welcomed by many who have lost the right to collect rent from tenants due to squatters breaking and entering, then occupying their homes, which was protected under previous law.  

BROOKLYN, NY – Senator Jessica Scarcella-Spanton held a press conference with Councilwoman Inna Vernikov, Community Board 15 Chair Theresa Scavo, Manhattan Beach Community Group, and other Brooklyn residents to announce new anti-squatting legislation included in the 2024 New York State Budget.

Stemming from her proposed legislation Senate Bill S8995, this measure clarifies that squatters are not considered tenants, ensuring property owners are not unjustly stripped of their rights. This is a crucial step in protecting homeowners and preventing situations where squatters unjustly claim more rights than the rightful property owners. It will also allow law enforcement to arrest and to charge squatters with burglary.


“People have been afraid of squatters for far too long—especially my elderly constituents, who are petrified of going to Florida for a month and leaving their homes vulnerable,” said Senator Scarcella-Spanton. “I’m glad that a portion of my legislation was included in the state budget to combat this issue of squatters that has continuously plagued New York City.

“No one should return home to find their property seized by squatters who now have more rights to their property than they do. I care about my constituents, and their homes should never have been up for grabs because of previous technicalities in the law. This measure in the budget will allow law enforcement to do their jobs, and finally make headway in the fight against illegal squatters here in Brooklyn.”

“Finally, we may see some effective change that will help remedy the squatter situation that is plaguing so many of our neighbors in Brooklyn,” said Councilwoman Inna Vernikov.

“I applaud the fact that this will take some handcuffs off of our police force, and allow them to do their job in an effective way. I thank Senator Scarcella-Spanton for advocating for our community on this issue in Albany. This isn’t the end of the fight, but it’s definitely a good step towards restoring normalcy.”

“Manhattan Beach residents have been victimized by squatters not only living in our homes but using them as a place to sell drugs! We thank our State Senator who has taken the lead in this fight to keep lawbreaking away from communities all over our State!” said Judy Baron, President of Manhattan Beach Community Group.

Senator Scarcella-Spanton was appointed as Chair of the New York State Senate Committee on Veterans, Homeland Security, and Military Affairs and continues to advocate for legislation that benefits veterans and their families. She is also a member of the Committees on Civil Service and Pensions, Cultural Affairs, Tourism, Parks and Recreation Disabilities, Insurance, Labor, and Women’s Issues.

Banner Image: Occupying without keys or permission. Image Credit – ReadyElements


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