When squatters attack! Once they occupy your house you have to evict them (but you pay for them in the mean time).
November 9, 2010 1 Comment
(Check out my update on squatters here- http://bit.ly/Iyo3g4 ).
(For how to get squatters out of your property see here: http://bit.ly/JMX8kG ).
I am fascinated, perplexed and appalled by this ongoing problem of squatters. It seems to point to bad things coming to this country (like a depression).
I thought I would blog about a squatters report that I saw on the news. I wrote about this topic previously and the problem of squatters occupying foreclosed homes is certainly not going away. In fact in some ways things may be getting worse out there with squatters.
Buyers of foreclosed homes are finding themselves paying insurance, taxes, and payments while the squatters occupy their house. As I previously reported the squatters are probably not the previous owners of the home. Those people have probably already gone. The squatters are often people who move in after the foreclosure. They find the vacant house, move in, occupy, and dare you to kick them out.
According to Fox News a family in Connecticut had squatters in their home after the family purchased the home in a foreclosure sale. They went to move in and they found the squatters on the premises. At that point they realized that they had become landlords and the squatters were their tenants except that these tenants paid no rent. All they did was occupy and refuse to get out.
Before I did bankruptcy law I was doing landlord/tenant cases. In California self-help is not allowed. You cannot kick squatters out without a court order and they become your tenants once they occupy the house. They may even produce a phony rental agreement or they may say they had a verbal agreement with the previous owner. Either way they stay until you evict them legally.
The police don’t want to get in the middle of what they consider to be a dispute between you and them. If your lucky the squatters will take cash to leave and if you are not then you must got through the eviction system. To evict them legally you need to serve a 3 day notice on them and then file an unlawful detainer action and then wait for a court date. You need to win in court and then file a writ of possession and get a sheriff to kick them out. All of this takes time.
In the Fox story the buyers could not move into their house after they bought it. The bank had promised that they would evict these squatters yet they had not. The family who bought the home had to wait for the sheriff to remove them. When they interviewed the sheriff he told of how in the early morning the squatter was drunk, had a vicious dog that had to corralled, and he had a gun.
The sheriff did get them out but the evicted squatters left a horrible mess in the house. The mom who bought the house said that she did not even want to move in at that point.
Be careful if you buy a foreclosed home. Go to the home regularly before you close the deal to see who is occupying the house. If you see signs of squatters make sure they are moved out before you close on the home and you become the owner. If you do not then you could become a landlord to some squatter who you would have to evict yourself. This could take months and in the mean time you could be stuck paying taxes, insurance, and the house payment while the squatters live for free in your house.
These people know how to manipulate the system so don’t become the victim of this latest scam.
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