You can learn a lot by reading the open forum that is DetroitYES! Mostly about how crazy some of you locals are. (God bless you, whack jobs). This morning we turn our attention to this question:
How to squat a house in Detroit: This is not a serious question. I do not plan to squat a house in Detroit. However, I know people who have, and it would be interesting to know how to do it. So how would you go about finding a house, taking it over, and holding it as a squat house? What skills do you need to survive?
As this question has been hanging out in the open since 2009, it has had plenty of time to garner responses. 52 of them, at the time of this post. Before we dive in, lets take a moment to acknowledge that Curbed Detroit does not advise you to do anything illegal. Here were the most useful posts we found digging through:
1. If you are going to steal electricity, be careful about pissing off the neighbors:
There are plenty of homes in Detroit perfect for [squatting], I actually had one behind my office....The problem is that these people can't legally get Water, Gas, or Electric service and will many times steal it. The guy who was squatting in the house behind my office had Illegal Electricity, Illegal Gas, probably had Illegal Water along with Illegal Comcast. I really didn't mind the Electricity, Gas and Water but the Comcast pissed me off since this guy broke the tap on the pole hooking up his illegal connection and my internet went down or got super slow everytime it rained.
I called Comcast and the Edison and reported the illegal hookup. Figuring if he had no power, he would quit screwing with the cable Tv. The next day and for the next few months before he moved out, he used a generator
2. If you are willing to stick it out, you might just win!
It is not illegal to enter and stay in an empty building that is "open and notorious" meaning not locked up. After 15 successful years you can apply for the title free and clear and it does not need to cost a ton, just filing fees. You can also have all the utilities turned on in your name if you are a bit creative. 3. Don't half-ass it. And don't get caught.
If you are going to be a house squatter, go for the gusto! House squat in an upscale home in a nice neighborhood. Consider this...the penalty is still the same. · How to Squat a House in Detroit [DetroitYES!]