HARRISBURG – The PA Senate Judiciary Committee advanced Senate Bill 1236 which codifies PA case law to establish more certainty for landlords, law enforcement, and homeowners who encounter squatters. The growing issue of squatters unlawfully taking over residential homes is a problem that is becoming increasingly prevalent. In New York, any occupant who has been in possession of a premises for thirty consecutive days or longer is granted tenancy rights meaning even if someone did not obtain possession legally from the owner, they would be considered tenants. Pursuing formal eviction would be necessary to remove squatters from the premises. Under PA law, such squatters would be considered trespassers once the landowner warns them they are not welcome and instructs them to vacate the property. Should the squatters remain in any place where they are not privileged to be, they commit the offense of defiant trespass. The bill clarifies the legal status of squatters in PA and streamlines the process of removing them. The bill is now before the full Senate.