Squatters break down back door, live in home for sale...

By
Real Estate Agent with Alain Pinel BRE 01367196
http://activerain.com/droplet/4FMF

Squatters are a problem.

One of my friends is the buyer's agent for a beautiful home in  Bayport community in  Alameda CA. The home was vacant and beautifully staged. Because the buyer is about to close escrow on the property, the stager went back to the house and encountered people living in it. Squatters!

One of the squatters  was playing games on his phone, had his feet propped up on the dining room table. He was startled when the stager came in, and he ran out the door, followed by other squatters who were at the house with him. One of the squatters was even grilling outdoors when they were discovered.

The police were summoned, and they caught one of the squatters. 

 

Squatters break in, steal, and move in

Turned out that to get in, the squatters smashed the back door. And they then went to another property for sale in the neighborhood, removed a back door to replace the one they broke. Then they moved in. When the neighbors were asked why they didn't report the squatters, they said they thought the squatters were the new owners.

As for the grill....it was determined that it was one that was reported missing from another staged home at a neighboring new development Cadence at Alameda Landing.

 

What can we do?

This underlines the importance of the following:

  • The listing agent and/or seller (if seller is still in town) should periodically check on the property
  • Neighbors should be alerted if the house is vacant and staged. If possible, request next door neighbors to report suspicious activity
  • Neighborhood Watch --- if there isn't one, perhaps one should be created?

 

It's a huge problem in other cities, too.

Finding squatters is one thing. Evicting them is another. How many stories have we read where squatters claim to have leases to rent their place, and the police cannot evict them until the dispute is handled through a civil process?

Here are just a few.....

Better brush up on Adverse Possession

 

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Rainmaker
450,131
Pat Starnes, Brandon, MS
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
Broker Associate, ABR, 601-278-4513

Wow! I believe I watched this on a Lifetime movie, but never considered the possibility of squatters in real life. The fact that squatters have rights? Speechless and shaking my head. 

Jul 03, 2015 07:11 AM #1
Rainmaker
708,151
Pacita Dimacali
Alain Pinel - Oakland, CA
Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA

Pat Starnes, I just watched a video of a squatter who lived for 51 days in a waterfront $2.3M Florida mansion. He used "adverse possession" to prevent people from kicking him out. See:  http://abcnews.go.com/2020/video/squatter-takes-27m-florida-mansion-25047008

Jul 03, 2015 07:14 AM #2
Rainmaker
450,131
Pat Starnes, Brandon, MS
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
Broker Associate, ABR, 601-278-4513

Pacita, that's crazy, but an eye-opener. Great content for Realtors to be aware of.

Jul 03, 2015 09:32 AM #3
Rainmaker
2,972,289
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Pacita. How very scary. Sorry to learn this lesson. I hope more take heed.

Jul 03, 2015 09:48 PM #4
Rainmaker
708,151
Pacita Dimacali
Alain Pinel - Oakland, CA
Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA

Hello, Sheila ----  in my case, it bothered me to know it happened in my city!

Jul 04, 2015 10:35 AM #5
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Rainmaker
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Pacita Dimacali

Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA
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