CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — The Nevada Senate has passed a measure that would make it easier for homeowners to take their houses back from squatters.
Democratic Assemblyman Edgar Flores and others are sponsoring AB386, which passed the Senate unanimously on Thursday. It already passed the Assembly.
Proponents say the real estate crash led to a high number of vacant homes, and Las Vegas police say the number of reported squatting incidents climbed nearly 150 percent between 2012 and 2014.
They say squatters who create phony lease documents often get the benefit of the doubt in court, and are allowed to stay in the homes as the lengthy civil eviction process plays out.
The bill creates the new criminal offense of housebreaking, which aims to get squatters out of homes more quickly.