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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.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


see SQUAT.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

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.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
Meanwhile, Johor Housing, Communication and Multimedia Committee chairman Dzulkefly Ahmad agreed that the squatter issue in the state would persist if not addressed properly.
A former Anakpawis Party-list congressman, Hicap said fishermen living along the coast of Manila Bay will be severely affected by the plan to relocate squatter residents.
A squatter would oust another squatter from possession of the lot that the latter had illegally occupied, emboldened by the knowledge that the courts would leave them where they are.
A clear instance of this tension between the self-identifying political and the strategically 'non-political' squatters was manifested in the debate about the Squatter Action Council's (SAC) pamphlet, Squatting: What's it all about?
The application will be automatically rejected unless the squatter can make out one of three grounds - if the registered proprietor of the land has led the squatter to believe that the squatter did actually own it and if the squatter has acted in some way to his own detriment on the basis of this then the registered proprietor cannot change his mind and get the land back.
In Lacson's time squatters were prevented from building shanties/lean-tos/barong-barong near the Pasig, creeks, breakwater, and Intramuros.
Deshapriya has promised some relief action to squatters of Wilpattu on 06 April at a patch of squattimg grounds, in Wilpattu.
Ad Hoc Property Management said it hopes to "deter squatters, thieves and vandals" by arranging for tenants to move into empty non-residential buildings.
A Whilst the new legislation is to be welcomed, we are already witnessing a rise in the number of "lifestyle squatters", rough sleepers and other vulnerable groups targeting commercial property instead of residential housing.
Squatters opened its first brew pub in Salt Lake City in 1989.
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.
If the landowner starts asking questions when they don't receive a tax bill, they have a better chance of discovering the squatter.