- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 7, 2015

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) - Lawmakers are considering a measure that would make it easier for homeowners to kick squatters off their property.

Democratic Assemblyman Edgar Flores and others are sponsoring AB386, which was discussed Tuesday in the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

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 offenses of housebreaking and unlawful occupancy, which are aimed at getting squatters out of homes more quickly.

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