Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Squatters Increasingly Taking Over Homes Across US With No End in Sight, Experts Warn; Squatters Torment Homeowners Across US with No Resolution in Sight: 'It's a problem'. What are Squatters’ Rights?

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Squatters Increasingly Taking Over Homes Across US With No End in Sight, Experts Warn:
Amid an increase in reports of squatters taking over people’s homes across the country, one expert warned that the phenomenon is on the rise and noted that removing a squatter could take months.
Real estate lawyer Jim Burling told Fox News on Tuesday that any home that is not occupied for a period of time could be targeted by squatters. If the owner tries to call the police, officers may not be able to do much, and at the same time, using the courts could turn into a lengthy and expensive process, he warned.
“I think it’s a fairly big problem and I think it’s pretty hard to avoid,” Burling, who is vice president of litigation for Pacific Legal Foundation, said. In cases where a property owner is attempting to evict a squatter, generally the court system has to get involved to determine whose paperwork is legitimate, he noted.
“If somebody is living in a home and saying ‘hey, I signed a lease, I’m paying rent, I have a right to be here,’ whether or not that’s true, the police hear that story then they hear a story of somebody who’s not living there and saying ‘this is my place these people don’t belong here,’ the police officer can’t make that legal determination,” Burling said.
He added that it’s not the “job” of the police to do that. “That’s not their bailiwick. If you have that kind of dispute it has to go to court,” he said.
Properties that are most susceptible to attracting squatters are people who have left them vacant due to a family death or foreclosure. Owners have to remain vigilant and keep their properties locked up and secured, Burling remarked.
“If I were a homeowner, I would be really careful about letting my property be vacant for any period of time,” Burling remarked. “I would be very careful about renting it out.” --->READ MORE HERE
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Squatters torment homeowners across US with no resolution in sight: 'It's a problem':
Homeowners across the country tormented by squatters find themselves tied up in lengthy and expensive legal battles to get control of their properties back – and one expert warns many others can find themselves victims.
Attorney Jim Burling told Fox News Digital that any home unoccupied for a stretch can be a target of squatters.
"I think it's a fairly big problem and I think it's pretty hard to avoid," said Burling, who is vice president of legal affairs for Pacific Legal Foundation. Burling said squatters took over a neighbor's home after the owner died and eventually had to be removed by police.
Cases like that are common. In the last few months, Chicago squatters have taken over the homes of two residents in the same neighborhood after the elderly homeowners died and left the homes to family members.
Darthula Young said this week that her deceased mother’s property in the Chatham neighborhood of Chicago was taken over by a man she described as a "professional squatter" with a long criminal record who changed the locks and has racked up a $1,300 water bill that she is on the hook for.
Karen Polk also lost her mother recently and realized while she was prepping the property to sell that a family had moved in, claiming that they had signed a lease and paid rent up front to another person that Polk did not know.
Both Young and Polk first discovered the squatters in September and both of them are still tied up in the court process, which can take six months or longer – and that’s only if the alleged squatters show up to court. --->READ MORE HERE
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+++++What are Squatters’ Rights?+++++

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