Rise Of Squatting And Efforts To Counter Hostile Trend

PHOENIX, ARIZONA - SEPTEMBER 30: A squatter removes belongings from an apartment as Maricopa County constables serve an eviction order on September 30, 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona. Squatters had occupied the apartment after non-paying tenants had moved out. Thousands of court-ordered evictions continue nationwide despite a Centers for Disease Control (CDC) moratorium for renters impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Although state and county officials say they have tried to educate the public on the protections, many renters remain unaware and fail to complete the necessary forms to remain in their homes. In many cases landlords have worked out more flexible payment plans with vulnerable tenants, although these temporary solutions have become fraught as the pandemic drags on. With millions of Americans still unemployed due to the pandemic, federal rental assistance proposals remain gridlocked in Congress. The expiry of the CDC moratorium at year's end looms large, as renters and landlord face a potential tsunami of evictions and foreclosures nationwide. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
A squatter removes belongings from an apartment as Maricopa County constables serve an eviction order on September 30, 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

OAN’s Taylor Tinsley
12:25 PM – Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Americans around the country are calling on local governments to eliminate squatters rights.


Thousands of homeowners who go on vacation or anywhere else forcing them to leave their homes vacant are returning to find that their property has been taken over by people invoking so-called squatters rights.

This has left property owners wondering how and why the law is stacked against them.

In New York, Adele Andaloro said squatters moved into her home in February.

She was in the process of selling her family’s million dollar home in Queens, when one day she came back to an entirely new front door and lock.

In the Big Apple people are able to claim squatters rights after staying on a property for just 30-days.

“By the time that someone does their investigation and they do their work and their job, we’ll be well over the 30 days and this man will have stolen my home,” Andaloro told WABC.

Andaloro had the locks changed again, which police warned could land her in handcuffs for unlawful eviction.

The man squatting at the home claimed to be leasing the property. Under state law it’s illegal to change the locks, turn off power, or remove the belongings of someone claiming to be a tenant.

Andaloro was arrested shortly after.

Two squatters were also arrested in New York City last week, in connection with a woman whose body was found beaten to death and stuffed inside a duffel bag in her mothers apartment.

Meanwhile in Georgia on Tuesday, the state Senate unanimously passed a bill to fight against squatters in an effort to make sure they can be charged with trespassing.

Squatters have reportedly occupied over 1,000 homes in Atlanta. Some have been offering properties for rent on social media and another pair of squatters were arrested in October for turning a home into an illegal strip club.

A Venezuelan national called the “Migrant Influencer” with more than half a million followers went viral last week, after offering tips for how to “invade” people’s homes.

On Wednesday, Governor Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) announced that the Sunshine State is putting an end to squatters rights.

“I’ll be signing HB621, which will give the homeowner the ability to quickly and legally remove a squatter from a property and which will increase criminal penalties for squatting,” DeSantis said.

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