Sydney of Oysterville or Alice in Wonderland?

Jul 9, 2024 | 0 comments

If you’ve lived in the same house for twenty-five years and have known the house, the neighborhood, and most importantly, many of the neighbors and their families for forty or sixty or even seventy-plus years, you’d think you’d feel a modicum of security about your surroundings.  Especially when your neighborhood was right smack dab in the middle of the National Historic District of Oysterville — a serene little bayside village beloved by the greater community and a tourist destination of note.

Furthermore, words like “squatter’s rights” and “elder abuse.” though increasingly familiar when encountered in the media, would not seem to have any relevance to you or those who live in proximity to you.  However, suddenly our quiet little village finds itself in the headlines.  A soft-spoken, quiet neighbor has been arrested on two felony charges and a woman unknown to the neighbors seems to be in possession of his house.  All I could think was… there for the grace of god…

I looked up squatter’s rights in Washington State which sounds a bit like a joke, but believe me it isn’t.  Here is what I found:

Squatters have legal rights. The Washington law allows squatters to live in another person’s property if the actual property owner doesn’t take legal actions to force an eviction process. Additionally, squatters can claim full legal ownership of the real estate property through Adverse Possession.

I also looked up “adverse possession” — an even scarier proposition.  But I’ll leave that for you to find out about for yourselves. Meanwhile, think good thoughts for our neighbor and friend and have a care who you invite into your own place.  The world is a scary place these days… even in Oysterville!




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