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An individual who settles on the land of another person without any legal authority to do so, or without acquiring a legal title.

In the past, the term squatter specifically applied to an individual who settled on public land. Currently it is used interchangeably with intruder and trespasser.

See: habitant


see SQUAT.

SQUATTER. One who settles on the lands of others without any legal authority; this term is applied particularly to persons who settle on the public land. 3 Mart. N. S. 293.

References in periodicals archive ?
The unidentified woman alleges the squatters have never approached her to talk about buying part of the land.
A member of Cardiff Squatters Network, which was set up last month to support people living as squatters, said: "Groups such as Ad Hoc rely on the prejudice that squatters only damage the properties they occupy, using the term 'squatters' interchangeably with 'vandals' and 'addicts'.
Taking the list on record, the court directed the alleged squatters to show cause as to why they should not be directed to vacate or surrender the premises in their occupation to the government.
In contrast to the squatters whose plight he is high-lighting, Richard and wife Judy, 64, have become rich thanks to 21 years of highly-paid stardom on ITV and Channel 4.
A spokesman for Birmingham City Council said because the squatters had ignored the deadline to leave, the authority's solicitors would now begin legal action to take possession of the property.
Irene Gardiner has lived in her cottage home, in Newchapel near Llanidloes, Mid Wales, as a squatter for the past 11 years.
Rather, squatters are people who move into unoccupied properties and, contrary to popular belief, they have very few 'rights'.
The fatality occurred as squatters blocked a road in the residential suburb of Paranaque, hurling large stones at police, armed with shields and truncheons, who were trying to disperse them.
Barton, 29, discovered the squatters had broken in yesterday afternoon - and announced it on Twitter.
Cause it's a building site now, they have no squatters rights.
The news has recently been littered with squatters causing havoc for homeowners around the country and it has also been announced that the controversial Clause 130 of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill is set to make squatting punishable by a maximum of a[pounds]5,000 fine and up to a year's prison sentence.
LATIMER Hinks Solicitors in Darlington is urging home and land owners to take special care protecting their property by investing time into checking out their boundaries and making sure that they don't have squatters.