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Old 02-10-2020, 09:15 AM
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Squatting


Here I'm talking about abandoned buildings, traditionally occupied by artists and other counterculture types. Is this still a thing in some urban areas? Has anyone tried it? If so, what condition was the house (or other structure) in when you found it? How much money+labour did it cost to make it habitable? What legal problems did you encounter--- were you able to gain title after however many years, did the city eventually evict everybody, or did everything remain in a legal limbo indefinitely?

Last edited by DPRK; 02-10-2020 at 09:16 AM.
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Old 02-10-2020, 10:25 AM
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I think it can really vary a lot.

Mostly, squatters will be harassed until they leave, or forcibly removed. Squatters can wind up with heavy fees and criminal charges, and rarely is a good idea.

There was a case of that in my neighborhood last year. Empty house had been sitting there for years, and someone moved in, somehow got the water and power turned on, but within a couple of weeks, the sheriff was hauling their possessions to the curb, and I'm not sure what happened to the squatter, but probably nothing good.

But I have heard of the odd case of adverse possession, and I've also heard of derelict buildings that allow a squatter to live there rent-free as a sort of security rather than have it completely unoccupied, in a sort of don't ask, don't tell type situation.
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Old 02-10-2020, 11:54 AM
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Not uncommon here in Detroit for squatters to take over abandoned homes.
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Old 02-10-2020, 12:11 PM
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Oh crap!
I thought this thread was gonna be about something completely different.

Is these woods there's a few abandoned cabins and one abandoned school bus used as a hunting camper. No one would want to live in any of them. I assume wildlife is squatting in them.
Mr.Wrekker found an old log cabin on some state-owned land (he was leasing the land, at the time). It nearly took an act of Congress but he got possession of the cabin. Him and his buddies dismantled it and brought it here. Put it back together, put a metal roof on it. He calls it 'Pop's doghouse'. The grand-wreks call it the 'playhouse'

My loghouse is built around an original 1800s log cabin. My back rooms are the old cabin.

Last edited by Beckdawrek; 02-10-2020 at 12:13 PM.
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Old 02-12-2020, 02:24 AM
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Back in 1977, I was a squatter. I rode by an old abandoned farm house on my way from my camp site on BLM, (Bureau of Land Management), land to my job at a small lumber mill every day. We had Sundays off. At that time I could camp on BLM land using one site for two weeks before I had to move on.

One cold, wet, Sunday, I was moving with no idea as to where I was moving to. After lightning struck near me, I remembered that old farmhouse. It stood off of the road about 100 yards. About half of the windows were either missing completely, or were broken. The back door was splintered very badly, & the roof looked like it had many holes in it.

I rode down the driveway into a small shed. Leaving my Triumph in the dry shed, I went exploring in the farm house. There were four bedrooms, a dining room, a living room, a kitchen, & a library with lots of books & a piano in it. No bathroom, the bath tub was on the back porch. Three of the bedrooms had good windows & beds in them. I chose one & after cleaning it up I put my bedroll on the bed. I stayed there for about six months.

The few neighbors that stopped by to meet me told me that it had been abandoned for around four years. No one knew who owned it, nor where the previous renters went. None of them seemed to care whether I stayed or not.

I never had the electricity turned on, I used the wood burning kitchen stove for all of my heating needs, including baths in the old claw foot tub. A two-holer was out behind the shed. Water was had through the kitchen hand pump, or from the rain barrels on the corners of the house.

I replaced all of the broken windows & the back door. I had to borrow a pickup from the mill, as hauling things like windows on my motorcycle was extremely awkward. It only took one trip from the Habitat store. The roof did not leak at all. The "holes" were moss patches.

In any case, the mill work slowed down & one of my coworkers needed my hours as he had kids. I only had my bike, so I quit & moved on.

That house was still there in 1999. Except for the weeds in the driveway, it looked about the same way I left it.

I do not recall how much money I spent to make it "habitable". My needs were a lot less than most folks would live with, so I did not spend much. I would guess less than 100 bucks. My labor? I can not recall.

I never had any issues legally as no one seemed to care about my presence. I kept to myself & did not cause anyone any grief. I did run off the other folks that wanted to have beer bashes on the property. I needed my sleep.
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Old 02-12-2020, 03:17 AM
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nm

Last edited by 48Willys; 02-12-2020 at 03:20 AM. Reason: Double post. How does this happen?
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Old 02-12-2020, 12:32 PM
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There was a case recently in west Oakland that was in the local news quite a bit for a few days. First one and then several single mothers with children squatted in an empty (rental) house, and when the landlord found out he took steps to have them evicted. At which point there were protests and there were a lot of claims that housing is a right, especially for single mothers. Somehow they got the water and electricity and internet turned on. I don't think they had to do anything to repair the house, it was being sold so it was probably in decent shape.

Eventually they were evicted. They really didn't have a case -- they happened to see a house that was vacant for a few months (while a sale was in progress) and just moved in, two days before the sale was completed. All the protesters wanted to blame the (new) landlord for the price of housing in the Bay area.
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Old 02-12-2020, 01:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 48Willys View Post
Back in 1977, I was a squatter. I rode by an old abandoned farm house on my way from my camp site on BLM, (Bureau of Land Management), land to my job at a small lumber mill every day. We had Sundays off. At that time I could camp on BLM land using one site for two weeks before I had to move on.

One cold, wet, Sunday, I was moving with no idea as to where I was moving to. After lightning struck near me, I remembered that old farmhouse. It stood off of the road about 100 yards. About half of the windows were either missing completely, or were broken. The back door was splintered very badly, & the roof looked like it had many holes in it.

I rode down the driveway into a small shed. Leaving my Triumph in the dry shed, I went exploring in the farm house. There were four bedrooms, a dining room, a living room, a kitchen, & a library with lots of books & a piano in it. No bathroom, the bath tub was on the back porch. Three of the bedrooms had good windows & beds in them. I chose one & after cleaning it up I put my bedroll on the bed. I stayed there for about six months.

The few neighbors that stopped by to meet me told me that it had been abandoned for around four years. No one knew who owned it, nor where the previous renters went. None of them seemed to care whether I stayed or not.

I never had the electricity turned on, I used the wood burning kitchen stove for all of my heating needs, including baths in the old claw foot tub. A two-holer was out behind the shed. Water was had through the kitchen hand pump, or from the rain barrels on the corners of the house.

I replaced all of the broken windows & the back door. I had to borrow a pickup from the mill, as hauling things like windows on my motorcycle was extremely awkward. It only took one trip from the Habitat store. The roof did not leak at all. The "holes" were moss patches.

In any case, the mill work slowed down & one of my coworkers needed my hours as he had kids. I only had my bike, so I quit & moved on.

That house was still there in 1999. Except for the weeds in the driveway, it looked about the same way I left it.

I do not recall how much money I spent to make it "habitable". My needs were a lot less than most folks would live with, so I did not spend much. I would guess less than 100 bucks. My labor? I can not recall.

I never had any issues legally as no one seemed to care about my presence. I kept to myself & did not cause anyone any grief. I did run off the other folks that wanted to have beer bashes on the property. I needed my sleep.
Thanks for the story! That's exactly the type of thing I was asking about.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roderick Femm View Post
There was a case recently in west Oakland that was in the local news quite a bit for a few days. First one and then several single mothers with children squatted in an empty (rental) house, and when the landlord found out he took steps to have them evicted. At which point there were protests and there were a lot of claims that housing is a right, especially for single mothers. Somehow they got the water and electricity and internet turned on. I don't think they had to do anything to repair the house, it was being sold so it was probably in decent shape.

Eventually they were evicted. They really didn't have a case -- they happened to see a house that was vacant for a few months (while a sale was in progress) and just moved in, two days before the sale was completed. All the protesters wanted to blame the (new) landlord for the price of housing in the Bay area.
Yeah, that house was not abandoned at all. I am fairly sure adverse possession needs to be maintained for years.
  #9  
Old 02-13-2020, 04:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roderick Femm View Post
There was a case recently in west Oakland that was in the local news quite a bit for a few days. First one and then several single mothers with children squatted in an empty (rental) house, and when the landlord found out he took steps to have them evicted. At which point there were protests and there were a lot of claims that housing is a right, especially for single mothers. Somehow they got the water and electricity and internet turned on. I don't think they had to do anything to repair the house, it was being sold so it was probably in decent shape.

Eventually they were evicted. They really didn't have a case -- they happened to see a house that was vacant for a few months (while a sale was in progress) and just moved in, two days before the sale was completed. All the protesters wanted to blame the (new) landlord for the price of housing in the Bay area.
My understanding is this was more-or-less a publicity stunt from the beginning. Housing rights advocates were involved from the get-go. They planned it and arranged for protesters, media attention, etc. It was never clear exactly what their legislative goals were - i.e., what changes to the "system" they were advocating.
  #10  
Old 02-14-2020, 07:40 PM
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I squatted in a Lower East Side (Manhattan NYC) X-flat (condemned tenement) in 1968. Power and water were on. Working toilets were down the hall in the 6-floor walkup. Folks a couple floors below kept a spider monkey in their closet - filthy beast. Folks next door had a cat that had never left their 2 1/2 room flat. Nobody tried evict us. Free cloathes and appliances could be had at the nearby Tompkins Square ESSO (East Side Service Org) free store, an UAW/MF (Up Against the Wall, MotherFuckers) project. Yippies wandered about. Hairy Krishnas gave free food if you could stand their rap. It was a strange community.
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Old 02-14-2020, 08:17 PM
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Title obtained by adverse possession requires two things:

(1) occupation must be open and notorious. No you don't have to commit felonies. But you occupy and use the property as if you actually own the place.

(2) pay property taxes. That is the sticking point. The assessor's office isn't going to send you the tax bill simply on your sayso. In very rare instances, the tax bill may be mailed directly to the property in question, and an open and notorious resident could "intercept" the bill and pay it. You'd have to pay it in person, though, and keep the receipt.

Check local real estate laws to see how long you have to take possession of the property, and how long you'd have to pay the tax bill.

ALL PROPERTY belongs to somebody. There is no such thing as "abandoned," meaning anyone can show up and say "Mine!" If the owner dies, it goes to the estate. If there are no heirs, ownership reverts to the State. Most "abandoned" property these days is because of a defaulted mortgage. In that case, the property belongs to the BANK. And banks frown mightily on adverse possession. Banks typically employ legions of attorneys well-versed in real estate laws, and you don't stand a friggin' chance against them.

Other property which may be abandoned could be condemned. There is extensive damage, and the code enforcement considers occupation to be dangerous. You won't be able to occupy that and obtain ownership. Instead, you will be forcibly removed, and possibly cited. There was an "artist colony" in Oakland which took over a condemned warehouse and non-code modifications were made. Hot wire electric was brought in, but there was no water or sanitation. The place caught fire with tragic results.

Squatters who move into bank-owned property, oftentimes paying "rent" to rip-off agents have no rights of possession. However, unless it can be proven the occupiers knew of the scam, they must be treated like tenants, and undergo the process of legal eviction. That may allow the residents two to six months to stay, but they will be assessed rent, and a money judgment will be filed against them.

Long story short: don't.


~VOW
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  #12  
Old 02-14-2020, 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by 48Willys View Post
Back in 1977, I was a squatter. I rode by an old abandoned farm house on my way from my camp site on BLM, (Bureau of Land Management), land to my job at a small lumber mill every day. We had Sundays off. At that time I could camp on BLM land using one site for two weeks before I had to move on.

One cold, wet, Sunday, I was moving with no idea as to where I was moving to. After lightning struck near me, I remembered that old farmhouse. It stood off of the road about 100 yards. About half of the windows were either missing completely, or were broken. The back door was splintered very badly, & the roof looked like it had many holes in it.

I rode down the driveway into a small shed. Leaving my Triumph in the dry shed, I went exploring in the farm house. There were four bedrooms, a dining room, a living room, a kitchen, & a library with lots of books & a piano in it. No bathroom, the bath tub was on the back porch. Three of the bedrooms had good windows & beds in them. I chose one & after cleaning it up I put my bedroll on the bed. I stayed there for about six months.

The few neighbors that stopped by to meet me told me that it had been abandoned for around four years. No one knew who owned it, nor where the previous renters went. None of them seemed to care whether I stayed or not.

I never had the electricity turned on, I used the wood burning kitchen stove for all of my heating needs, including baths in the old claw foot tub. A two-holer was out behind the shed. Water was had through the kitchen hand pump, or from the rain barrels on the corners of the house.

I replaced all of the broken windows & the back door. I had to borrow a pickup from the mill, as hauling things like windows on my motorcycle was extremely awkward. It only took one trip from the Habitat store. The roof did not leak at all. The "holes" were moss patches.

In any case, the mill work slowed down & one of my coworkers needed my hours as he had kids. I only had my bike, so I quit & moved on.

That house was still there in 1999. Except for the weeds in the driveway, it looked about the same way I left it.

I do not recall how much money I spent to make it "habitable". My needs were a lot less than most folks would live with, so I did not spend much. I would guess less than 100 bucks. My labor? I can not recall.

I never had any issues legally as no one seemed to care about my presence. I kept to myself & did not cause anyone any grief. I did run off the other folks that wanted to have beer bashes on the property. I needed my sleep.
Yes that is a really cool story actually.
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  #13  
Old 02-14-2020, 09:54 PM
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Originally Posted by RioRico View Post
I squatted in a Lower East Side (Manhattan NYC) X-flat (condemned tenement) in 1968. Power and water were on. Working toilets were down the hall in the 6-floor walkup. Folks a couple floors below kept a spider monkey in their closet - filthy beast. Folks next door had a cat that had never left their 2 1/2 room flat. Nobody tried evict us. Free cloathes and appliances could be had at the nearby Tompkins Square ESSO (East Side Service Org) free store, an UAW/MF (Up Against the Wall, MotherFuckers) project. Yippies wandered about. Hairy Krishnas gave free food if you could stand their rap. It was a strange community.
Except for the Yippies, the East Village was pretty similar in the 80s, when I lived on 4th Street and Avenue B. Plenty of squats (and heroin, on Avenue B just north of Houston). And the Hare Krishnas still cooked up a big bunch of rice and stuff and fed anyone who needed it in Tompkins Square.
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Old 02-14-2020, 10:01 PM
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I squatted in a Lower East Side (Manhattan NYC) X-flat (condemned tenement) in 1968. Power and water were on. Working toilets were down the hall in the 6-floor walkup. Folks a couple floors below kept a spider monkey in their closet - filthy beast. Folks next door had a cat that had never left their 2 1/2 room flat. Nobody tried evict us. Free cloathes and appliances could be had at the nearby Tompkins Square ESSO (East Side Service Org) free store, an UAW/MF (Up Against the Wall, MotherFuckers) project. Yippies wandered about. Hairy Krishnas gave free food if you could stand their rap. It was a strange community.
That would go for 1.5-2K now.
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Old 02-15-2020, 01:06 PM
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That would go for 1.5-2K now.
East Village? Really shitty apartments go for more than that.

In the early '80s, there were plenty of squats. Also empty buildings that had been taken over by heroin dealers. The operation on Avenue B just north of Houston Street was quite organized, with steerers, security people, one place to hand in money, another to pick up your bag of shit.

The owners really didn't give a shit about people squatting in their buildings, or even dealing heroin out of them. They were warehousing them. They didn't want the hassle of tenants who would be hard to get out once real estate prices starting going up. They'd rather have the buildings empty (or at least empty of paying tenants with legal rights). Then, when prices went up, they could rehab the buildings, evading the city's rent stablization laws, and charge obscene rents. Or simply sell the property to developers who would build luxury apartment buildings. Or build luxury housing themselves.

And that's exactly what happened.
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Old 02-15-2020, 09:26 PM
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Originally Posted by DPRK View Post
Here I'm talking about abandoned buildings, traditionally occupied by artists and other counterculture types. Is this still a thing in some urban areas? Has anyone tried it? If so, what condition was the house (or other structure) in when you found it? How much money+labour did it cost to make it habitable? What legal problems did you encounter--- were you able to gain title after however many years, did the city eventually evict everybody, or did everything remain in a legal limbo indefinitely?
Squatters are quite a little subgenre on youtube, and feature prominently in a few British TV shows.
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Old 02-17-2020, 02:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DPRK
Here I'm talking about abandoned buildings, traditionally occupied by artists and other counterculture types. Is this still a thing in some urban areas? Has anyone tried it? If so, what condition was the house (or other structure) in when you found it? How much money+labour did it cost to make it habitable? What legal problems did you encounter--- were you able to gain title after however many years, did the city eventually evict everybody, or did everything remain in a legal limbo indefinitely?
I feel like this is relatively rare these days in NYC. Sure, maybe it happened more frequently in the 70s and 80s, but let's be honest. We aren't talking about "artist communities". More often than not, these were simply abandoned buildings being used as flop houses for drug addicts and homeless people.

The "legal problems" you would encounter is that you are basically trespassing. If the rightful owners find out, they are well within their rights to have you evicted. They may need a lawyer, but let's face it, if you are the sort of person who "squats", chances are you probably don't have a lot of finances for a legal defense.

"Adverse possession" can take up to 5 to 30 years, depending on the state. So I imagine it would be relatively rare to find a property that one could occupy where the legitimate owners didn't give a crap about it for years or decades.










Quote:
Originally Posted by Roderick Femm View Post
There was a case recently in west Oakland that was in the local news quite a bit for a few days. First one and then several single mothers with children squatted in an empty (rental) house, and when the landlord found out he took steps to have them evicted. At which point there were protests and there were a lot of claims that housing is a right, especially for single mothers. Somehow they got the water and electricity and internet turned on. I don't think they had to do anything to repair the house, it was being sold so it was probably in decent shape.

Eventually they were evicted. They really didn't have a case -- they happened to see a house that was vacant for a few months (while a sale was in progress) and just moved in, two days before the sale was completed. All the protesters wanted to blame the (new) landlord for the price of housing in the Bay area.

I actually saw that on the news when I was in Palo Alto a month or so ago. I thought it was insane. As VOW pointed out, all property belongs to someone. What made these people believe they had any "right" to be there without entering into a legal agreement with the people who actually owned it?



Quote:
Originally Posted by Saintly Loser
East Village? Really shitty apartments go for more than that.

In the early '80s, there were plenty of squats. Also empty buildings that had been taken over by heroin dealers. The operation on Avenue B just north of Houston Street was quite organized, with steerers, security people, one place to hand in money, another to pick up your bag of shit.

The owners really didn't give a shit about people squatting in their buildings, or even dealing heroin out of them. They were warehousing them. They didn't want the hassle of tenants who would be hard to get out once real estate prices starting going up. They'd rather have the buildings empty (or at least empty of paying tenants with legal rights). Then, when prices went up, they could rehab the buildings, evading the city's rent stablization laws, and charge obscene rents. Or simply sell the property to developers who would build luxury apartment buildings. Or build luxury housing themselves.

And that's exactly what happened.
You say that like it's a bad thing. IMHO, the East Village is much nicer now, high rent and all, compared to the romanticized view of "edgy and gritty" New York from the 70s and 80s. Yeah, tell me again how wonderful it was to have all those heroine addicts lounging about on St Mark's St, guy who moved to Westchester.

Really, you're just making one of the main arguments against rent control. If those landlords didn't think they were getting locked into a shitty rent, they might have been more inclined to fix up and rent out their properties.
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Old 02-17-2020, 03:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VOW View Post
Title obtained by adverse possession requires two things:

(1) occupation must be open and notorious. No you don't have to commit felonies. But you occupy and use the property as if you actually own the place.

(2) pay property taxes. That is the sticking point. The assessor's office isn't going to send you the tax bill simply on your sayso. In very rare instances, the tax bill may be mailed directly to the property in question, and an open and notorious resident could "intercept" the bill and pay it. You'd have to pay it in person, though, and keep the receipt.

Check local real estate laws to see how long you have to take possession of the property, and how long you'd have to pay the tax bill.

ALL PROPERTY belongs to somebody. There is no such thing as "abandoned," meaning anyone can show up and say "Mine!" If the owner dies, it goes to the estate. If there are no heirs, ownership reverts to the State. Most "abandoned" property these days is because of a defaulted mortgage. In that case, the property belongs to the BANK. And banks frown mightily on adverse possession. Banks typically employ legions of attorneys well-versed in real estate laws, and you don't stand a friggin' chance against them.

Other property which may be abandoned could be condemned. There is extensive damage, and the code enforcement considers occupation to be dangerous. You won't be able to occupy that and obtain ownership. Instead, you will be forcibly removed, and possibly cited. There was an "artist colony" in Oakland which took over a condemned warehouse and non-code modifications were made. Hot wire electric was brought in, but there was no water or sanitation. The place caught fire with tragic results.

Squatters who move into bank-owned property, oftentimes paying "rent" to rip-off agents have no rights of possession. However, unless it can be proven the occupiers knew of the scam, they must be treated like tenants, and undergo the process of legal eviction. That may allow the residents two to six months to stay, but they will be assessed rent, and a money judgment will be filed against them.

Long story short: don't.


~VOW
Laws vary greatly from state to state. Here in New Jersey you have to control the property for 30 years before adverse possession kicks in.
  #19  
Old 02-17-2020, 03:19 PM
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It used to be relatively common in England until 2012, when it was made illegal to squat residential properties.

I didn't exactly squat myself - I rented a room in a flat that I later discovered was a squat, but you couldn't tell from the condition of the place. The flat was empty for years before the other people who lived there moved in, and it wasn't exactly a desirable residence - 23rd floor or so in a tower block on a very rough council estate; the block got knocked down a few years later. The flat I was in had been bought under right to buy (where a legal tenant can buy a council-owned home after a certain amount of time) and then just left empty. In the 80s and 90s quite a few similar flats were occupied in a similar manner - if the flats had owners, they definitely didn't seem to care about them. There was also a community of squatters in houses around the North Circular that had been purchased by adverse possession for road building, but then not actually knocked down, so people moved in and lived there for a couple of decades.

Water is always available because the water board basically never turns it off, not to a residential property anyway, and getting the electricity turned back on never seemed to be a problem.

Lots of people I knew squatted other properties. One at Old St became a fairly well-known nightclub and art gallery with some living space above it. Quite a few others had music nights, but those were former shops or large buildings, not a little terraced house where the noise would disturb legal residents nearby. To be honest, they never seemed like a big problem to the neighbours. I prefer it to the situation now where so many buildings are left empty at the same time as homelessness is rising.

One guy I vaguely knew managed to claim ownership of the property he was in after living in it for about fifteen years and making efforts to contact the owners. It was a large house in Hackney that would probably be worth a couple of million now. And a group of people in Southend, on the seafront, created a really nice communal living home in a former hotel and I think a couple of them ended up owning it. Technically that would still be allowed now, since a hotel isn't a residential property, but property price increases mean there are far fewer owners willing to just walk away, even if they still leave the property empty.

A lot of commercial properties now use "property guardian" companies, where the building isn't exactly brought up to code, but the company is allowed to rent to people on short lets with very few rights. Several buildings owned by my local council are let out on this basis. Not sure why they don't just sell them off in this expensive area - the buildings themselves are perfectly sound and were used as offices right up until they got turned over to the property guardians.

In Berlin, when I was studying there in the early 90s, a former department store called Tacheles was turned into the absolute coolest squat, nightclub, art gallery, anything goes area. It wasn't informally squatted, but taken over semi-officially by an artists' collective, but since they didn't pay any rent for the first several years I think it counts.
  #20  
Old 02-17-2020, 04:08 PM
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I feel like this is relatively rare these days in NYC.
Yeah, basically it works in places where not as many people want to live there as used to be the case, so you've got surplus housing that nobody wants to live in. NYC is no longer one of those places.
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Old 02-17-2020, 04:27 PM
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IMHO, the East Village is much nicer now, high rent and all, compared to the romanticized view of "edgy and gritty" New York from the 70s and 80s. Yeah, tell me again how wonderful it was to have all those heroine addicts lounging about on St Mark's St, guy who moved to Westchester.
I hardly have a romanticized view of New York in the 70s and 80s, having lived here all my life, and seen exactly how bad things got in those years.

And I'm not a "guy who moved to Westchester." WTF? I still live here. I've lived here all my life.

In the 70s and 80s we dealt with crime and collapsing infrastructure. Now, we're dealing with the fact that middle-class families, like mine, simply cannot afford space for families. I don't know how to make it work so that I can stay in NYC, with my three children. The cost of shelter is out of of control.

Quote:
Originally Posted by msmith537 View Post
Really, you're just making one of the main arguments against rent control. If those landlords didn't think they were getting locked into a shitty rent, they might have been more inclined to fix up and rent out their properties.
No, I'm not. That's bullshit. Landlords who warehouse housing stock and allow it to be used by heroin dealers while they sit on it until they can get a premium rent or sale price have simply gone into partnership with those heroin dealers, and ought to be sitting in prison alongside them.

Last edited by Saintly Loser; 02-17-2020 at 04:28 PM.
  #22  
Old 02-17-2020, 08:55 PM
msmith537 is offline
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Originally Posted by Saintly Loser View Post
I hardly have a romanticized view of New York in the 70s and 80s, having lived here all my life, and seen exactly how bad things got in those years.

And I'm not a "guy who moved to Westchester." WTF? I still live here. I've lived here all my life.
No, I didn't mean you. Maybe about ten years ago, I used to hear from people a few years older than myself about how NYC was "going downhill" and pining about the glorious days of yore when you used to be able to blaze up a joint in restaurants or whatever. Of course, they had long since left wonderful New York for places like Westchester, Long Island or NJ.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Saintly Loser View Post
No, I'm not. That's bullshit. Landlords who warehouse housing stock and allow it to be used by heroin dealers while they sit on it until they can get a premium rent or sale price have simply gone into partnership with those heroin dealers, and ought to be sitting in prison alongside them.
I guess. How did the landlords know that rents would increase?
  #23  
Old 02-17-2020, 10:56 PM
SciFiSam is offline
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Originally Posted by msmith537 View Post
I guess. How did the landlords know that rents would increase?
I don't know anything about NYC housing, but I'd guess it's the same as anywhere - rents start increasing and so so sales prices, so landlords keep hold of their properties?

Plus rents and sales prices in neighbouring areas increase, and you know that means people will need to move outwards.
  #24  
Old 02-18-2020, 07:12 AM
Saintly Loser is offline
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Originally Posted by msmith537 View Post
I guess. How did the landlords know that rents would increase?
Because New York rents, and purchase prices, always increase in the long term. There may be short-term fluctuations in prices, but they always go up. That's why New York didn't suffer a collapse in prices in 2008. Sure, prices went down a bit, but they bounced back. Investing money in NYC real estate is simply not risky. Ever.

New York is, after all, a city built on islands (except for the Bronx, but the land border between the Bronx and the rest of mainland US is pretty fixed). There's no more land. This isn't Las Vegas. We can't just build another subdivision out in the desert.

And NYC is home to Wall Street and all its ancillary businesses. People keep coming to New York, whether it's to make a fortune on Wall Street or make it on Broadway.

And enough people keep coming, and keep making enough money, that the market for high-end housing is strong. So any developer who has a dollar to invest invests that dollar in high-priced housing, be it rental housing or condos (full disclosure -- I own, with my wife, a condo in Brooklyn) rather than middle-class or working-class housing. The days when Fred Trump or Sam Lefrak made fortunes building affordable housing are long over.

And rent stabilization (NYC's rent regulation program) is on its way out. Fewer and fewer apartments are covered by the program every day.

This is not sustainable. It can't last. We're already living in a city where essential city workers can't afford to live. Let alone the bottom of the working class.

It's pathological. And it can't last.

And, by the way, I'll never, ever, vote for Mike Bloomberg. He played a significant part in turning this city into what many called the "luxury city." I mean, that's just one reason I won't vote for him -- there are plenty of others -- but it's an important one.

Last edited by Saintly Loser; 02-18-2020 at 07:14 AM.
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