Local News


Cracking down on squatters in the valley

Posted at 7:14 PM, Apr 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-08 22:53:28-04
Henderson Police and local realtors are teaming up to crack down on the valley's squatting problem.
Sgt. Kirk Moore addressed roughly 300 professionals Friday during a luncheon. Stressing safety, he told members of the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors that they can help in law enforcement investigations dealing with squatting.
"First and foremost they have all the information we need to investigate the crime," said Moore. "They're an agent for a property owner, so they have information that they can pass our way."
In the past, removing illegal occupants required a lengthy eviction process but now law enforcement has the ability to remove squatters fast. In October new laws went into effect. Those laws deal with housebreaking and unlawful occupancy.
Broker Vandana Bhalla tells 13 Action News in the past year her she's dealt with at least 20 cases involving squatters.
"Sometimes we had to get attorneys involved," she said. "It a long process but now things are getting easier.
Bhalla has housebreaking packets on hand that she hands to agents dealing with squatters.
"We want our people to be safe," she said "but we also want to be able to show and sell the homes under our watch."
Sgt. Moore tells 13 Actions News if detectives can substantiate that a person is living somewhere illegally, they can remove them from the property and locks can be changed.