Local News


What's being done about squatters?

Posted at 6:01 PM, Jan 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-10 21:11:27-05

An early morning fire off Boulder Highway is just one example, some say, of the problem of squatters across the valley.

Some houses have had multiple complaints about people who aren't supposed to live in those homes, and Clark County is taking notice.

Clark County District E Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani represents the east side of the valley, where the problem has gotten especially out of hand.

She says part of the problem is that even when the county takes control of abandoned properties, it's a long and difficult system to try and get them demolished. By the time code warnings are issued and the process moves along, houses are left vacant long enough for squatters to move in.

She also says in some cases, squatters are able to get electricity and water turned on without any proof that they own or rent the property.

Giunchigliani says she wants to see the county have more power to demolish structures if they're deemed to be dangerous.  

"I would really think we should have the authority to tear it down to the ground, just level it, clean up the property and not be vulnerable to another break in," she says.

Meanwhile, lawmakers are the state level are also taking action. State Assemblyman Edgar Flores, D-Las Vegas, says there are still a few legal loopholes contributing to the squatting issue.

Flores is working this session in Carson City to pass a bill that would require leases to be notarized. He says right now, some people are showing fake leases to police when they get squatter complaints.  

"I think for the greater scheme of getting rid of these individuals, it's the right way to go," Flores says.