You've probably heard possession is nine-tenths of the law. But what do you do if someone steals something you're very much in possession of? Like, say, your home?

If you think it sounds insane or just plain impossible for a stranger steal something as significant as your home, we found proof it can happen to you, even in Idaho.

Photo by Nandhu Kumar on Unsplash
Photo by Nandhu Kumar on Unsplash
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GOAT Scam

In 2023, a man lost $100,000 in property because of a bizarre squatter's rights claim. An Atlanta resident, the man rarely visited the Delaware property he inherited from his late father. 

Because of this, it was reported the unlucky fella had no clue a crazy neighbor kept and maintained a goat pen on the property for over 20 years, ultimately entitling them to the land.    

Thank goodness we live in Idaho, right? Well...

 

Photo by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash
Photo by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash
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Idaho has squatters' rights? That's insane.

According to 5-210 of the Idaho State Legislature, yup. 

It's called adverse possession, a bizarre, and honestly, a really eerie legal concept, that protects an Idahoans' legal right to claim ownership of a property they've squatted on without the owner's permission. 

Thanks, Idaho lawmakers. 

The good news is it takes about 20 years and a few other important factors to pull off a scam of this magnitude. The burden of proof, for example, falls squarely on the squatter's shoulders. Not only do they have to prove their 20-year occupancy, they also have to have payed the property's taxes. 

 

The idea that someone could be hiding and sneaking around our property for years on end makes us want to crawl out of our skin. Just when we thought we were finally over the Video Voyeurism, one of Lifetime's creepiest made-for-TV movies ever, here comes Idaho's degenerate squatters.

 

Photo by Pawel Janiak on Unsplash
Photo by Pawel Janiak on Unsplash
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How can you shut down a squatter's claim on your Idaho property?

As we learned from Unlucky-in-Atlanta, protecting your Idaho property can be as simple as inspecting it on a regular basis.

Keep your eyes open for anything that seem remotely out of the ordinary and ask local law enforcement to do a courtesy check whenever possible. And whenever you're away, make sure all the doors and windows are locked.

You can also post "No Trespassing" signs around your land. It'll make trespassers and squatters think twice from setting foot on your land, and it also gives you more leverage in court. While you're at it, you may want to think about investing in a surveillance system. 

Photo by Tonik on Unsplash
Photo by Tonik on Unsplash
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What do you do if a squatter targets your property?

Off the bat, stay calm. Remember that while there's a chance a squatter could win in court, Idaho law typically favors the rightful owner.

Next, the moment you know someone's squatting on your property, contact an attorney. The first thing they'll do is issue an eviction notice. You could get lucky. Sometimes just the threat of legal action is all that's needed to scare a scammer away, but prepare yourself for a legal battle. 

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Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash
Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash
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One more super important thing...

Be careful! If someone's brazen enough to squat on your land, they've probably got a screw or two loose upstairs. Instead of putting yourself in a dangerous situation, we highly suggest calling your local law enforcement to address the squatter with you. 

No matter how long it takes to rid a squatter from your land and your life, avoid engaging with them by yourself at all costs. You don't want to give them any ammunition in court.  

If the concept of adverse possession wigs you out, keep scrolling for more strange laws in Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Utah, Montana, and California. 

Washington's Weird Laws: 11 Regulations We Can't Believe Exist

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🤳🏽 Scroll through the gallery below for a look at Washington's most bizarre-o legislation.

Gallery Credit: Ryan Antoinette Valenzuela

16 of Montana's Wild & Crazy Laws

✔️ FYI: 'Big Sky Country' is big on crazy!
Surprised? So were we. After all, who expects a state with famously conservative politics and traditional values to have such colorful, crazy-@$$ laws?

PS, it bears repeating that Idaho loves Montana! The Gem State's neighbors to the southwest mirror our own penchant for bizarre laws and quirky customs!

Gallery Credit: Ryan Valenzuela

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Scroll on for a gallery of laws in California & Utah that range from the entertaining to the ERMERGERD.

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Horses Need Turn Signals: 7 of Idaho's Strangest Traffic Laws

If you're new to Idaho, welcome!

Before you buckle up and hit the road, make sure you're aware of the Gem State's strangest road rules! From school bus concerns to how to handle horses in traffic, scroll for a list of helpful things to know behind the wheel in Idaho.

Gallery Credit: Ryan Valenzuela

The Speeding Loophole All Idaho Drivers Should Know & Use

Did you know that according to Idaho speed limit laws, locals can only go up to 15 miles per hour above the speed limit to pass a slow vehicle on a highway? Handy right? But, this doesn't give Idahoans a free pass to speed whenever they want.

⬇️Scroll for a quick recap on Idaho's unique speeding loophole...

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How to Legally (& Safely) Pass on the Right in Idaho

Read on for a clear understanding of when it's legal to pass on the right in Idaho.

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