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What qualifies as squatters rights in MI?

Zeeland, MI |

We are buying a condo in MI. There was a previous offer on it that was unable to be approved for financing but the person was allowed to move "some" of her stuff into the garage two months ago. Our offer was accepted and we discovered all of her stuff is in the garage and she is refusing to leave. What can we do? We have to be out of our house and are supposed to close on that one the same day we move anytime in the next month.

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Attorney answers 3


It sounds like the squatter would need to be evicted. This is something that your seller should take care of for you, as the hassle and expense should not be YOUR problem. That is especially true, if the seller allowed this to happen. I would not close until this is taken care of. Otherwise, this will be a problem that YOU inherit.

James Frederick

*** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and Ingham Counties. My practice is focused in the areas of estate planning and probate administration. I am ethically required to state that the above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. These responses should be considered general legal education and are intended to provide general information about the question asked. Frequently, the question does not include important facts that, if known, could significantly change the answer. Information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in your state. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state. If I refer to your state's laws, you should not rely on what I say; I just did a quick Internet search and found something that looked relevant that I hoped you would find helpful. You should verify and confirm any information provided with an attorney licensed in your state.


The seller's anticipated failure to tender absolute possession to you at closing is a problem -- just like if you had discovered a problem during the inspection. Further, because you are aware of the squatter (it is not a problem being "hidden" from you) you need to use your bargaining power during the process of this sale to fix the problem, prior to closing, at which time it will be left up to you to deal with in court. You should demand that the sellers remove the squatter through a legal eviction process prior to, and as a condition of, closing.


This is a seller's legal problem, but a very practical concern for you considering your eminent move date. While it may be arguable that storing materials in a garage is not occupancy which requires eviction (because it may be considered a license or bailment scenario), that is an argument seller needs to make, not you. You will want to review with a legally advisor your purchase agreement with the seller to fully understand your rights should the seller not be in a position to close as promised.

Disclaimer: This response is for general information only and covers only broad legal concepts. In no way is this response intended as formal legal advice. If you have further questions regarding a legal matter, please consult a licensed attorney.

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