Thursday, August 6, 2020

The Private Property Society and, Well, Private Property

At the post, Squatting on the Squatter, Mark A. in the comments raises some interesting questions:
This brings to mind some interesting questions about a PPS legal system. Did the original owner abandon the property? If not, what if the squatter legitimately thought the property was abandoned? Further suppose the squatter had been living in the house for some time before the original owner realized it?

I don't think it takes much fact changing before PPS law would side with the squatter as legitimate owner.
A few thoughts here.

First, the Private Property Society, has no legal system.

It is the recognition of private property and the respect for others to do what they want on their own property. That is all.

This would have nothing to do with a squatter who "legitimately thought the property was abandoned."

The original owner of the property sets the rules on his property and the owner could say, "I will not actively use the property for some time but will return to it." It would remain, under respect for private property ruled by owners, the property of the original owner.

Further, just because the squatter had been living in the house for some time before the original owner realized it does not transfer the property to the squatter. The rules of the original owner hold.

Indeed, even if the original property owner was aware of the squatter but did not relinquish ownership of the property, the owner could remove the squatter at any point in time the owner chooses.



  1. The Common Law does deal with such instances of "de facto ownership" via the doctrine of Adverse Possession. It's been a long time since I studied this in law school, and in the interim I focused on other areas than Property Law. But, basically, a "squatter" had a few hoops to jump through in order to be exempted from trespass and become de facto owner over many years. This applies also to less egregious "squatting," such as a neighbor who encroaches on your property by putting up a fence beyond his property line, or moving the boundary line over by 5 or so feet, building his deck too far onto the adjacent property, etc. But it applies also to a person living on vacant property in the forest for many years, and if unchallenged for a long enough time, the property eventually becomes his.
    From here:,statutory%20period%20of%2015%20years.
    "In Michigan, possession must be actual, visible, open, notorious, exclusive, hostile, continuous, and uninterrupted for the statutory period of 15 years."

  2. What would happen if the owner said he's coming back, but never actually does?

    Prescribing that a piece of land remain idle for the remainder of human history is not a great outcome.