Arizona Vacation Home Rentals (AVHR) is aware of owner’s concerns about squatters occupying their short term rental properties. Vigilance and prevention are key and AVHR actively works to avoid squatter problems at all of the properties we manage.
A squatter, by definition in Arizona, is someone who occupies a property without permission. Squatting is a form of trespassing. Squatters are not the same as “holdover tenants” who are living illegally in a property because their lease has expired.
Adverse or hostile possession by squatters is recognized in Arizona but it is a more complex process than in many states. For starters, unless there are no existing structures, squatters must continuously and openly occupy the property for 10 years or longer. Also, the burden of proof of property ownership falls upon the squatter: they must show documentation of paying taxes and maintaining or making improvements. In most cases they must hire an attorney to assume adverse possession.



 AVHR takes numerous measures to prevent squatter problems:


  • A background check may be done by us or other OTAs before reservations are confirmed.
    • Guest must have a government issued ID and complete profile
    • Guest must have satisfactory credit scores and pass online criminal background checks
    • Guest must have satisfactory reviews from prior hosts


  • In addition to online vetting, we personally talk to each guest explaining our expectations and the details in the rental agreement.
    • Guest who appears to withhold information or communicates poorly is refused
    • Guest who raises red flags because of comments, questions or attitude is denied
    • Guest requesting rentals for 30+ days are assessed in even more detail before renting is permitted


  • Our in depth rental agreement is detailed, legally binding and must be signed before information regarding access to a property is shared with guest.


  • We often require a security deposit in advance of occupancy.


  • We do in-person checks on all of our homes, occupied or vacant, on a regular basis.


  • We ensure properties are well maintained and appear occupied, even when vacant.


  • Between guests, we check doors and windows to make sure they are secure and locks and bolts work.


  • The outside property is evaluated to ensure gates, fences and walls are secure and discourage trespassers.


  • Our outdoor security cameras and NoiseAware alert us to potential problems.


  • When guests are occupying a home, suspicious and unacceptable behavior is addressed immediately with a home visit.


  • Guests who are committing rental violations such as smoking, illegal drugs or exceeding total number of allowed guests (parties) are usually told to leave immediately.


  • If necessary, local law enforcement is involved to ensure a quiet exit when guests are told to vacate the premise for rental agreement violations (this is rare).



Notes of Interest

  • Although Airbnb posts on their official site that they help owners who have squatter problems, recent news articles report otherwise. Owners with squatter problems have contacted Airbnb for assistance and been denied any support.


  • In Arizona, if someone occupies your house without being on the lease and refuses to leave or the lease is expired, you may need to treat them as a tenant and follow the states judicial eviction laws. Unfortunately, this can be time consuming and expensive as this typically involves submitting a formal eviction notice for non-payment of rent or a lease violation followed by engaging in court proceedings.


Save money and support local business by booking directly through

Arizona Vacation Home Rentals

Phone/Text: 480.626.4072



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