There were squatters on a property close to me for years. The owner knew they were there but let them stay while they raised their 5 kids. When the kids were grown, she asked them to leave.
Recently we put the property on the market. Guess what...it cost my client $10,000. to clean up the mess they left.
Shelly despite what these landlord loving people are saying you can actually move into an abandoned house and live in it. Guess what? It's legal depending on certain factors. Check the property records for the house. Taxes up to date? If they are don't move in. If the house is truly abandoned you are actually doing the community a favor. Abandoned homes are an invitation to trouble. Detroit is actually giving away abandoned homes.
Do a google search for adverse possession. This has been in English common law since the renaissance and was carried over into our civil codes. If you live in California like I do there is a way after five years for you to obtain title to the property.
Follow the law it really is your friend.
To reiterate previous postings:
1) how do you know it abandoned? Just because it is vacant or boarded up-this does not mean it is your property. If you really want this property legitamately--go down to public records and search out the owner--it may be a person, a trust , a bank or even the city.
2) Ok...where is the moral compass....if something is not yours, it;s not yours.