The State of Florida recently passed an updated law regarding Squatting, which got me thinking: What is the law in Texas?

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As a conservative state, I thought Texas's Squatting Laws would be different from those in other areas of the country, but to my surprise, they are similar in many ways.

First, there is a difference between criminal trespassing and Squatting. Trespassing is a criminal act, while Squatting is not, at least not right now in Texas.

Anyone who lives on your property for more than 30 Days with permission can claim rights and, in the eyes of the law, become your tenant. When this happens, you must follow an eviction procedure.


However, if permission was never given and an unoccupied property is forcibly entered and lived in, you must still follow the rules.

According to, Texas law requires squatters to live on a property for three, five, or ten years before they can claim their title under its adverse possession laws. Here are some things you can do to prevent the problem from happening.

  • Ensure you own the property by maintaining bordering fences, door locks, and documentation proving you are the owner.
  • Formalize temporary agreements with people living on the property with legal documents such as lease agreements. These should outline the rules and duration of the use of the property that you’ve agreed to.
  • Regularly inspect the property if it is vacant to ensure no one is occupying it.
  • Contact the police or a local sheriff if you discover trespassers.
  • Keep up to date with your property taxes. You should also check your local records to ensure that no one unknown to you is paying these taxes.

Remember, you shouldn't attempt to resolve the situation without knowing the laws in your area.

Victoria Civilian Police Academy

Gallery Credit: City of Victoria/Townsquare Lab

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