yes, evictions in court take up to 12 months, or littleless with luck, or little more with bad luck....I advise to "pay" the squatter to leave the premises. If the tenant didnt sign the lease with a "garantía" (collateral who owns a property) then you will hardly ever collect a penny in court. This is the reason why its hard to get an apartment without garantía and if you do you pay an overprice of 30%...since the risk is too high.
"citygirl" said:kre8ivelyXposed - you asked: "The bigger question for me is whether a tenant would ever have socalled "squatter's rights" whereby the tenant had legal right to the apartment by virtue of just living there for a long period of time without a lease or comodato and only a utility or phone line in his or her name. "
YES. A friend of mine (Argentine) was in a similar situation. She allowed a "friend" to move on to her farm. This "friend" was also working at the farm. After 3 months, it became apparent it wasn't a good situaiton & she attempted to evict the person.
It took over THREE YEARS, multiple court dates & judgements, etc to get the person out. In the meantime, the "friend" had destroyed her property and there was nothing she could do about it. She sued for damages & the friend still owes her some 60K pesos but given the friend has nothing legally in her name, she'll never collect a penny. Seriously, it is very, very difficult to evict, especially if your friend is paying bills, etc & basically establishing herself as the resident.
For your own protection ALWAYS get a lease in place. If something happens, it will be very difficult for you to handle.