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  • Writer's pictureArizona Senate Republicans

Katie Hobbs Irresponsibly Vetoes Bipartisan Bill to Strengthen Homeowner Property Rights and Combat Squatting

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE    

Tuesday, April 23, 2024                                           



Katie Hobbs Irresponsibly Vetoes Bipartisan Bill to

Strengthen Homeowner Property Rights and Combat Squatting



PHOENIX, ARIZONA— The issue of squatters taking over people's homes is growing exponentially across the nation, including here in Arizona, yet Governor Katie Hobbs is refusing to address the problem. Senator Wendy Rogers worked to combat these crimes with a bipartisan measure Hobbs vetoed today that would have expedited the removal of these criminals and strengthened homeowner property rights.

 

If a stranger invades a home and unlawfully claims a right to live there, SB 1129 would have allowed the homeowner to request law enforcement immediately remove that person from the property. Refusal to leave would have been treated as trespassing, under Arizona laws.

 

"Criminals are scheming to take over homes that aren't theirs, posing a threat to the safety of homeowners and infringing on their private property rights," said Senator Rogers. "Although we have trespassing laws, it's often difficult to prove a person is unlawfully occupying a home and can result in a lengthy legal battle. Homeowners testified in committee hearings about their property being severely damaged, the subsequent astronomical costs from these criminals, and consequently, they felt incredibly violated. We should not further victimize homeowners with a time-consuming, cumbersome, and costly removal process. In her veto letter, Katie Hobbs claims this bill fails to protect the rights of lawful tenants and minimize unintended consequences for victims of domestic violence. Did she read the bill? It addresses illegal occupants, not lawful tenants. That's precisely the point. This bill has absolutely NOTHING to do with landlord-tenant law and has exemptions for family members and anyone with an agreement to cohabitate."

 

"As a Realtor, I've personally encountered a squatter occupying a home I was showing to a client," said Senator Justine Wadsack. "It was a terrifying threat to my safety, the safety of my clients, as well as to the homeowners. When I called the police, I was told there's not much they could do. Nobody should ever be allowed to live in and occupy another person's home without their permission, yet I continue to have constituents reach out to me with these types of stories. I'm proud of the swift and unified response Republican lawmakers made to fight this issue, it's a shame Governor Katie Hobbs has vetoed yet another piece of commonsense bipartisan legislation."

 

 

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For more information, contact:

Kim Quintero

Director of Communications | Arizona State Senate Republican Caucus

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