Urban Exploration: Is It Legal To Enter Abandoned Sites?

We are facing a delicate issue, to say the least, and not without controversy, since not only legal causes are an important factor in urban explorations, but there is a somewhat general public view that explorers are vandals or thieves.

It cannot be generalized, there are all kinds of people, however, those who destroy, steal anything from a property, or even devastate everything in their path, are not urban explorers.

Relationship Between Crime And Urban Exploration

Free Man in Brown Jacket Standing on Stairs Stock PhotoThe “authentic” urban explorers, with few exceptions, are very clear that they do an activity that requires a lot of respect and has nothing to do with crime.

It is nothing new that sites that remain empty, even for short periods, such as vacations, are susceptible to being occupied, stolen, looted, etc.

If, in addition, the place has ceased to provide a known business activity and is not in the hands of an intermediary or final entity that takes the reins, or in a house the owners have gone to live in another place, or worse, have died, that place becomes a perfect target.

Theft of objects, pipes, appliances, toilets, electrical cables, and everything! But beware, these are legally punishable acts of vandalism, so under no circumstances should they be carried out.

Personal Property And Access To Abandoned Houses

Regarding the form of access to abandoned houses, we must also pay attention to some relevant aspects.

Doors and windows are dissuasive elements, that is, the fact that a door is open or closed does not change the legal responsibility that can derive from an exploration.

Yes, the fact of breaking some element of the home to access, or even being inside, is relevant, since movable property and its theft/destruction can constitute civil crimes.

Responsible Urban Exploration

Free Man in Brown Jacket Walking on Gray Concrete Building Stock PhotoAs long as we do not incur a clear crime of trespassing for accessing a home with an owner who makes use of the property with some regularity, we are facing a scenario of what we could call allegations.

This legality is maintained as long as the house has lost the usucapi├│n and no damage is done to the property, neither to access its interior nor to the movable property that is inside the abandoned house.

And please, remember that the ambition of this post is merely informative, under no circumstances legal advice or incitement to commit any act that may be criminal. Be responsible, ignorance of the law does not exempt us from complying with it.

When an explorer sees a construction (house, farmhouse, etc.) in a state that indicates that it is “abandoned” (dirty, broken windows, nature growing around it, etc.) it does not mean that it has no owner, nor that this wants to get rid of the real estate.