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NYS property laws altered to combat squatting, enhance police authority

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In Albany, significant last-minute revisions to the state’s property laws were unveiled and approved as part of the freshly endorsed budget over the weekend.

The key amendment centers around redefining the term “tenant” within the legal framework, a move intended to specifically exclude individuals engaging in squatting activities.

The modified legislation, championed by lawmakers, aims to streamline law enforcement’s ability to address trespassing incidents where individuals enter residences or properties without lawful consent or documentation and subsequently refuse to vacate.

This strategic amendment bypasses the often-lengthy process of housing court proceedings, empowering law enforcement with a more direct avenue for intervention.

Previously, handling such cases invariably necessitated navigating the complexities of housing court procedures, a cumbersome and resource-intensive process for addressing illegal occupation scenarios.

The refined definition of “tenant” under the revised statutes is anticipated to not only bolster law enforcement efficacy but also provide property owners with more expedient recourse against unauthorized occupancy.

This pivotal adjustment was encapsulated within the overarching budget package passed by the state Senate and Assembly this past Saturday. The incorporation of this legal refinement underscores a concerted effort by legislators to fortify property rights and reinforce the parameters of lawful tenancy across New York State.

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