i heart learning

i heart learning

Saturday, July 02, 2011

pop a squat

Humans squat.

We squat for sport.

We squat on roadtrips.
Hey Sally, wanna use that portapotty behind us?
No Susie, here is much more fun.
We squat to draw pictures of people squatting.

We squat by water
We squat to smell Dale's orchid

And 'we' squat on property that is not ours.

train track.
I guess the lions den was full...

That's a lot of squatting
Although I would love to describe in detail the last time I squatted outside a friends cottage in the dead of winter to do a number 2 because she had no running water so her toilet was off limits...today's blog will instead focus on something crazy I learned about illegal squatters squatting in properties that they do not belong.

My Dad today asked me if i wanted to join him in a 24 hour trip to Prince Edward Island and back. He wants to go there, check on his empty plot of land that my parents bought in 2000 to make sure that no squatters have turned it into a 'little toronto' or anything, then return in the same breath once the squat coast is clear.

'Dad,' I said, doing my best are-you-some-kind-of-nutjob face.

'Seriously? You are just gonna go and come back?'
'Yep.' He answered matter-of-factly. 'Gotta make sure no one is living there or building a garden or  anything.'

That is what squatters do I guess. Live illegally and grow gardens.

Then my Dad told me something that I just cannot believe. It is so backward.

Dad: 'Have you heard of squatter's rights?'
Me: 'Squatter's have rights?'
Dad: 'Yeah - squatter's rights. They can stay on property if the owner doesn't kick them off.'

Is this not the most insano law you have heard since finding out that criminals can sue their victims if they get hurt in the process of committing their crime?

But it is true. A property owner is considered negligent if squatters are able to trespass, and may lose the right to kick squatters off if the squatters have been taking care of the land (or building gardens!) It is called 'adverse possession,' and they can gain the right to occupy or even own the land that does not belong to them.

And that's a law - and not a new one either.

Squatter's rights have been around at least since 1946 - because I discovered there is a Disney Short starring Mickey, Chip and Dale called 'squatters rights,' where the little chipmunks move in on Mickey's turf.

My next squat will be in style at one of puff daddy's barely visited vacation homes...this happened to Guy Ritchie and his 6 million pound mansion....why buy a property when the law lets you usurp one?


  1. Happened to my friend. She was living on a reserve up north, she came home for Christmas. When she got back to her place up north, people had moved into her apartment and lived in it. They got to stay, she had no right to it anymore! Squatters rights! It was not her property so she could not kick them out, and they would not do it for her. But her stuff inside was all being used. Terrible mess. She had to find a new place.

  2. Speaking of which, want to wait until someone from westmount goes on vacation this summer, and move in?

  3. Five points for use of the word "usurp", and another five for the Lion's Den comment (reference to a certain reality show perhaps?)