Navigating Squatter Rights And Adverse Possession In Kentucky

What Are Squatter Rights and Adverse Possession In Kentucky? 

Do Squatters have rights in Kentucky? First let’s start off by going over the definition of a “Squatter” and “Squatter Rights In Kentucky”, A squatter is somebody who unlawfully occupies a building or unused land, This includes tenants who are living in your property who have not paid rent as well as people who have broken into the property and who are trespassing. Kentucky squatters’ rights and adverse possession Laws are pretty straightforward for the most part, If a squatter has not been on your property for more than 15 years then they can not claim ownership of your property, if they have been there for 15 years or more there is a chance adverse possession in Kentucky could kick in at that point …

What is The Adverse Possession Law in Kentucky? Adverse possession in Kentucky is wear for a squatter who has occupied your property for 15 years or more during that time. They have paid the property taxes and kept the property in good shape then they are able to file and claim ownership on that property after that time frame if you have a property you have not visited in a while you might want to go and check that property out to see if there are any squatters in that property. One key point to note as well is the squatter has to be in the property for 48 to 72 hours or longer to be able to claim being a squatter if you catch them as soon as they do it or right after they do it then you still have the possibility to get them out for trespassing.

The aftermath and damage of a squatter House in Kentucky
The aftermath of a squatter House in Kentucky

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A Brief History of Squatter Rights in Kentucky

Historically, squatter rights originated as a solution to land disputes in times when property records were spotty at best. Kentucky, as a frontier territory, was a fertile ground for these laws to take root, back in the day there were probably a lot more squatter and adverse possession cases where people actually took and claimed ownership of the property more frequently during the earlier days of the United States establishment as a country.

While early Kentucky law was lenient toward squatters, Kentucky squatter rights and adverse possession laws have evolved to be more strict on squatters and the laws have ultimately become better for the homeowners of the property to be able to get squatters out of their property since we do not have the same problems as we did as a country in the 1800s with land records and home ownership documents and things of this nature.

Kentucky’s Specific Requirements for Adverse Possession

In Kentucky, the statutory period for adverse possession is 15 years, a relatively long span compared to other states, reflecting the state’s intent to ensure stable property ownership and to not let squatters take over properties that do not belong to them.

In many cases, paying property taxes for at least five consecutive years is a factor they will consider to claim ownership if they have paid more then that then it is a plus, serving as concrete evidence of one’s claim to a property. To stake a claim, one must present documentation in order to do this—utility bills, photographs, and witness testimonies can all serve as powerful evidence for a squatter along with improving the property.

The truth is 15 years is quite a long time and the likeliness for somebody to be in your Kentucky property for that long while improving the property and paying taxes and the bills are very unlikely.

What Are My Options When Dealing With Squatters In Kentucky

How Does The Eviction Process In Kentucky Work?

So whenever you have squatters in your house in Kentucky you have a few options available, obviously one of the most common ones is to evict the squatter from your house and get an attorney to handle that process for you and go to eviction Court to get this person out of your house as soon as possible. Well, this is a very common and good option it can get quite expensive attorneys usually around 5 to 600 bucks to start the process and then from there you would need to pay four to five people to vacate the premises and the items inside of it whenever you do the eviction and sit them on the side of the road for 3 days then dispose of them and then change the locks the board and secure up the place and then from there fix the property up to rent it out again or sell it.

You can also file for an eviction yourself but it is not recommended. You would first need to file a 7-day notice to the tenant but we have seen that the 7-day notice has not been working as well since covid and things do not usually start happening until after the 30-day notice with the tenant is sent you need to send that to them via certified mail. Once doing that you would need to file an eviction notice with the courthouse which is called a Forcible Detainer Judgement.

After going to eviction court either yourself or with a lawyer you will need to wait until the “Sherrif sit out” to get the squatters out of your house legally and you will need 3-5 people with you to sit the tenant’s stuff on the side of the road for 72 hours to give them a chance to get it before throwing it away. We have done this process multiple times already with past tenants and if you want to do this process and need somebody to help you clean the property out and get the tenants out our recommendation is Harry Vinegar with Eviction Crew Now! You can also reach out to Harry by calling or texting at 502-417-0007

Other Options Besides Evicting Your Squatter

There are other options though that might suit somebody better than having to spend all the money to get the person out and then all the money to fix the property back up once that person is out of the house. Two other options that you have whenever dealing with squatters and Kentucky are you can do cash for keys. What is cash for keys in Kentucky? Cash for keys in Kentucky is essentially giving the squatter money to leave the property and they would sign a cash for keys document stating all of this then what you can do it also is sell your house as is to an investment company Like Louisville Cash Real Estate who will take care of the squatters for you or will help you through the eviction process you can call us at 502-461-1450 for a no obligation cash offer, we also wrote a article on what to do if you have squatters in your house in Louisville you want to sell fast.

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When to Consult A Kentucky Real Estate Attorney For The Eviction Process

So our recommendation for when you should consult a Kentucky real estate eviction attorney is as soon as possible even if you were not going to file the eviction and you are going to try to do cash for keys with the tenants or squatters I would still reach out to one as soon as possible for guidance to make sure what you are doing is correct. So for example, if you’re going to be doing cash for keys just make sure that they give you the correct document that you would need to get signed by the squatter. If you are planning to do an eviction I would reach out as soon as possible to get the process started because

A Kentucky homeowner's property
 after a squatter eviction
A Kentucky homeowner’s property
after a squatter eviction

How To Prevent Future Squatters From Getting Into Your Kentucky Property.

Being able to prevent the squatters from getting your property in the first place is always the first place I would start and the best place to start honestly. If we can prevent the squatters from getting into the property in the first place then we can deter this whole process of trying to get these people out. Yes, some squatters are just past tenants who have not paid rent so it’s kind of hard to prevent that but what you could do is tighten up your renting requirements so that you have less of a chance for this to happen.

To prevent squatters in an abandoned house in Kentucky you need to secure the property as soon as possible! Securing the property means more than just locking the doors and windows…

Whenever we secure houses to prevent squatters we always board up all the windows on the outside if we are going to replace the siding or the inside if we are not replacing the siding along with putting 2X4s on the backdoor and boarding up the front door with plywood. Along with boarding the windows and doors up, we put up REOLINK Security Cameras to monitor everything happening at the house, you will need an SD card and a Wi-Fi router or Mint Mobile SIM cards for the camera to work. Along with that we also use SimpliSafe security systems for all of our properties in case somebody does break in the alarm will go off and allow you time to call the police for trespassers. The last thing we do is make sure we have motion sensor lights in the front and back yard to deter anybody away from the house and always make sure alleyways are not accessible on foot onto our property and we have a fence.

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Navigating Squatter Rights In Kentucky And Adverse Possession
Speaker 1:
Do you have a squatter in your house that you are trying to get out? Do you have somebody squatting in one of your rental properties that you want to sell without dealing with it? Are you dealing with a family member that could potentially be squatting in one of your properties? If so, you are like many of the people that we’ve helped out in our company, Louisville Cash Real Estate.

So in this video we’re going to be talking about squatter rights in Kentucky’s. What are your rights as an owner? What are the squatter’s rights as an owner? And we’re also going to be going over adverse possession in Kentucky as well. So let’s get into it.

Squatter rights in Kentucky. Do squatters actually have rights in Kentucky? So yes, squatters have rights in Kentucky. So what is a squatter? A squatter is somebody who is going to be in your property that is not supposed to be in that property. So this could be a family member who you let stay there. They don’t want to move. They’re not paying any rent. They refuse to move. This could be a tenant who is once paying rent, is not paying rent anymore and does not want to move. They could be technically considered a squatter at that point.

But where this term originally comes from, to my understanding, is back in the day whenever they had squatter rights and everything else, there was a bunch of open land. There was a bunch of open properties, stuff like this. So that is where they originally came up with squatter rights. If you went onto a property and you were there for a certain amount of time, then you had rights to be at that property unless you were legally evicted from that property by the owner.

Now we’re also going to talk a little bit about adverse possession. So what is adverse possession? So basically in a short, brief of things, adverse possession is basically where you are in the property for a certain amount of time, and then after that certain time period, you actually have rights to that property for ownership. So this is in Kentucky, the time period is 15 years. So you have to be in a property for 15 years or more in order to be able to claim or file adverse possession.

So it’s a very, very long process. And they do this because somebody might have a house that’s vacant. They might forget about it for a couple years or not go by it, but then go by it again, and if you’re there they still have the right to get you out. 15 years is how long you have to be in the property.

In order to do this, you also have to make upgrades to the property. You also have to pay the property taxes on the property as well. So you have to actually be living in the property, make the property in better condition, and also pay the last five years of the property taxes whenever you are at your 15-year period. And you need to be able to require documentation and proof of when you got to the house, how long you were at the house, how the bills that you paid, the taxes that you paid. So if a squatter is in your property and they’re trying to claim adverse possession, if they don’t have all these things, I wouldn’t even worry about it. It’s probably more of just a scare than anything else.

But they still do have rights and you still have to legally evict them, unfortunately. So you can do this eviction through yourself or you can sell to a company as is, like us at Louisville Cash Real Estate. And we’ll buy your property with the squatters in there and deal with it so you don’t have to deal with it. If you’re in this current situation and you would like an offer on your property for this solution, please reach out to us at (502) 461-1450. Again, that is (502) 461-1450. Or you can visit our website at

If you’re wanting to evict them yourself. Let’s go over that process really quickly. So I just got done with an eviction in Louisville and it took about 90 days to get to the judge to make a decision. And then after that, it took around 120 days for the sheriff to come and evict the person. So that’s seven months it took me for the eviction. And three months prior to that, the tenants were not paying. So I had 10 months of rent from tenants not paying before I was able to get them out of my property. And during that time I’m still paying insurance, taxes and these things and also code violations from them making the yard dirty. So evictions take some time, and it’s not the eviction attorney’s fault either. It’s just the state and the judges and how slow things are right now.

So if you need an eviction attorney in Kentucky, I would call Michelle Ron, and let me pull her number up real quick for you all. She will be able to help you. Her office will be able to help you with the eviction. And her number is (502) 416-0150. Again, that is (502) 416-0150. You can reach out to her for all of your squatter needs and assistance with that.

So the cost for evictions, I think it’s around $500 or $600 for the attorney fees. Then you have to look at doing a sit out. So if you’re evicting somebody, you need five people there for the sit out of the property. So if you’re going to evict a tenant, you need yourself and four other people there. Reasoning for this is so that you can carry all the stuff from inside the house out to the curb, and then you have to leave their stuff on the curb for three days in Louisville, Kentucky so that they have a chance to get it. And then after that, if they don’t get it you can take it off your property. You can put it in the dumpster. At that point, they have had their timeframe. So you get all the stuff from inside and then you move it outside, onto the porch for Kentucky and in Louisville in general.

And then you have to pay to fix the property up. So you’re out on attorney costs. You’re out on the rent and you have not been receiving. You’re out on the property taxes and insurance that you have. And also for anything that you have to hire those four people to come in, clean the house, take it out, and then also change your locks, board up the windows as well. And we personally recommend getting a security system and Reolink cameras. That is Reolink cameras, R-E-O-L-I-N-K cameras. These are the cameras that we use personally for our business.

So hopefully that has been helpful in being able to give you an option to call an eviction attorney to talk to them about getting this person evicted. Every case is unique, so I would definitely recommend talking to them. And then also as well, if you don’t want to deal with the situation we’ve dealt with it before. It’s no big deal to us. Just give us a call and we’ll see what we can do. (502)461-1450. Again, that’s (502) 461-1450.
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