For the purposes of this category, a lair is an unconventional home that fits one of two criteria:
- It is a home made secretly or discreetly in an abandoned or out-of-the-way location that is neither originally intended nor officially repurposed for people to live in. This can include barns, caves, derelict buildings, evacuated buildings, sewers, subway stations, warehouses, water towers, and so forth.
- Or, it is a home which is an purpose-built dwelling for people, but its current inhabitants have not technically been given permission to live there.
In the real world, the act of living permanently in such places is sometimes called squatting, and can be considered an less-than-ideal living condition associated with poverty, persecution or homelessness. But in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise, lairs can provide a necessary home for mutants who do not have many options, as well as those trying to keep a low profile in general, and for this reason the story often takes a positive and sympathetic view of lair life.
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