Abolishing Squatter’s Rights

S.930 would eliminate adverse possession in South Carolina colloquially known as squatter’s rights. Under current law if an individual, other than the legal owner, holds or possesses a piece of real property for ten years without having action taken against them by the legal property hold, and the individual further protects said property by a substantial enclosure, and cultivates or improves said property, they may legally take possession of that property.

Property rights do not simply cease because the owner of a piece of property is temporarily absent. To be more specific property rights to land do not cease simply because the owner isn’t currently residing on the land. Illegally occupying and then claiming a piece of property as one’s own without compensating the actual owner is an unjust taking, and sanction by the government doesn’t make this taking any more just. Security in person and property is vital to both individual and broader economic well-being. Without secure property rights our entire economic system would be unable to function. Protection of person and property rights is the alleged purposes for which government is instituted; government then violates its fundamental purpose when it deprives legal owners of their property or otherwise fails to property property rights.

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