Friday, April 19, 2024

Squatters Seizing Houses Causing Nationwide Homeowner Nightmare; Squatting Map Shows Cities With Highest Number of Homes Taken Over

Squatters seizing houses causing nationwide homeowner nightmare:
Homeowners are facing off with thousands of squatters invading their houses across the nation, leading to a rise in standoffs between property owners and criminals.
When a viral video of Venezuelan migrant and TikTok influencer Leonel Moreno encouraging others to takeover empty American homes circulated recently, the plight of the homeowner’s rights reached a fever pitch.
In New York, homeowner Adele Andaloro inherited the home of her parents when they died, and as she was in the process of preparing the home to sell it, the locks for her home suddenly changed. She discovered that squatters had moved into her house in February. In the state of New York, squatters have rights after 30 days.
When she called the police and arrived with a local television news crew, the squatters refused to leave. She brought a locksmith to change the doors’ locks, but police warned her that she could be arrested for changing locks due to the state law that does not allow the turning off of utilities, changing of locks, or removing the property of a person who claims to be a tenant.
“I may end up in handcuffs today if a man shows up here and says I have illegally evicted him,” Andaloro said to the news crew.
She was arrested on charges of locking out squatters from her $1 million home in Queens.
In another New York situation, 52-year-old Nadia Vitel was brutally murdered after two teenage squatters, Halley Tejada and Kensly Alston, allegedly beat her to death when she discovered them in her late mother’s New York City apartment. When Vitel’s family did not hear from her for several days, her son found her body in a duffel bag in the front closet. The suspects were later arrested in Pennsylvania when they were involved in a car crash while driving the victim’s car. --->READ MORE HERE
Squatting Map Shows Cities With Highest Number of Homes Taken Over
As the issue of squatting comes under scrutiny following recent reports of clashes between homeowners and people unlawfully occupying their property, a map shows where the most squatting incidents have been documented in the U.S.
Squatters are people who inhabit a piece of land or a building that they do not have a legal right to occupy, according to the American Apartment Owners Association. They live in the building or on the property without paying rent and without lawful documentation stating they own the property, are a law-abiding tenant or that they have permission to use or access the area.
There is little research about the scale of the issue in the U.S. But areas in Georgia, Florida and Texas had more squatters than other U.S. metropolitan areas, according to a survey by the National Rental Home Council (NRHC).
The council surveyed its members who own single-family rental homes and found that about 1,200 homes in the Atlanta area have had squatters.
The survey found there were an estimated 475 homes that had been occupied by squatters in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, area, and about 125 in Orange County, Florida, which includes Orlando.
According to MarketWatch, the council has never conducted the survey about squatting incidents before, so it's not clear if the number represents an increase or not.
Some states are taking action to help homeowners boot squatters off their properties.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed new legislation last week that allows homeowners to ask police to immediately remove squatters from their property. The legislation also creates criminal penalties for anyone presenting a falsified lease or doing more than $1,000 in damage. Also last week, the Georgia Legislature passed a bill that criminalizes squatting. --->READ MORE HERE
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