HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) - Pennsylvania House representatives have passed a bill to help police remove illegal trespassers from residential properties.
Rep. John Taylor (R-Philadelphia) said his proposal is meant to address situations where people illegally move into a home or apartment but claim to live there legally when police arrive.
"When it is essentially one person’s word against another’s, the police often hesitate to remove the trespasser because the property owner could be trying to illegally evict rightful tenants," Taylor said. "Typically, in these situations, they advise the owner to pursue legal eviction action, which can be time-consuming and very expensive.”
Taylor's House Bill 1931 states that police officers have the authority to remove a person from a home if they have probable cause to believe the person is trespassing.
The suspected squatter must be given the chance to present proof they are on the property legally.
Probable cause may be a signed affidavit from the property owner stating that the person was told to leave, and is not and was not a tenant.
Police can charge property owners who make false statements.
The bill moves to the Senate.
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