Petition To Protect Homeowners From Illegal Squatters

We just submitted this petition to NYC Mayor Eric Adams.  Please Sign by Scanning the QR code  or by going to our campaign at and Share in your Social Media.  Here is our letter in full:

Queens, NY 4/2/24

Dear Mr. Mayor:

Considering the current Squatter Epidemic plaguing many American neighborhoods and New York City in particular, I would like to propose a simple and inexpensive way to mitigate the damage to homeowners and neighborhoods. It involves the creation of a “Vacant Property Registry”. In its simplest form it would work as follows:


  1. The property owner of a vacant property will have the option to register the property as vacant with the Local Police Precinct. This would involve appearing in person at the precinct with proof of ownership, paying a nominal fee and requesting a Police Verification Inspection. This would all be registered in a Precinct Vacant Property Logbook and digitally in the Precinct internal computers. The owner will provide basic emergency contact


  1. The Precinct will schedule the inspection at which the owner will show the vacant property to the attending officers. Upon verifying vacancy, they will issue a numbered Letter of Vacancy to the owner and put non conspicuous vacancy stickers (say 2″x1″) with the reference number or barcode which will be set next to the main doors locks. The officers will include the property in their neighborhood periodic routes and note any unusual If a squatter breaks in, the burden of proof of lawful occupancy would now shift to the squatter and in the absence of such they could be arrested on the spot.



  1. Upon the owner renting, selling, or getting the property otherwise occupied, He or She will need to come down to the Precinct to lift the vacancy registration upon showing the proof of ownership and vacancy letter previously issued and giving basic contact information of the new This is a minor inconvenience compared to a costly and lengthy landlord-tenant eviction proceeding. Once again, this program would be totally voluntary.

At the very least this will simplify how vacant property owners can protect themselves against squatters, unclog the landlord-tenant court system and implement a preventive measure against all the crimes usually associated with Illegal Squatting. Many other measures could be implemented, such as requiring utility companies to verify new accounts with the property owner and heavily penalizing the fraud and forgery usually associated with Illegal Squatting. These measures may require legal changes, as opposed to the Vacant Property Registry mentioned above, which is a purely administrative option akin to the Vin Etching and Bicycle Registration programs currently in place.


Manuel Vargas

Licensed Real Estate Broker Associate