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Nationwide squatter epidemic turns homes into havens of illegality
By News Editors // Feb 28, 2024

The ease of finding vacant properties online, combined with state laws that favor squatters, is leading to a dramatic rise in squatter-occupied homes across the United States, turning them into centers of criminal activity.

(Article republished from YourNews.com)

The issue of squatting, where unauthorized individuals take over vacant homes, is intensifying across the United States, driven by the ease of identifying such properties online and further compounded by state statutes that complicate eviction efforts. This problem is pronounced in several areas, with the Atlanta region experiencing squatters overtaking an estimated 1,200 homes, as reported by the National Rental Home Council (NRHC). In extreme cases, homeowners have resorted to financially incentivizing squatters to leave their properties, and incidents have emerged of squatters running an illicit strip club from a commandeered home. Matt Urbanski, who manages a local home-cleaning company, voiced his apprehension to Bloomberg, “I’d be terrified in Atlanta to lease out one of my properties.”

Further complicating the matter, 1 Time Payment Homes, a company, has been promoting its services on social media, claiming to assist individuals in finding squatter homes in Atlanta for a fee. They offer keys to a squatter home for $1,400, advertising it as an opportunity to “stack money and turn ya life around.”

This trend extends beyond Atlanta. In Washington, squatters have seized an entire apartment complex, transforming it into a nexus of criminal activities, affecting local families and property administrators. Similarly, in California, a Beverly Hills mansion has been occupied by what is described as a sophisticated criminal ring of squatters, who have been profiting by throwing large parties and renting out rooms, much to the dismay of the surrounding community.

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The facilitation of squatting by state laws that heavily favor the rights of squatters makes eviction a protracted and challenging process. The advent of online listings and virtual real estate platforms has simplified the process for squatters to locate and inhabit vacant properties, sometimes without the squatters’ knowledge that they are engaging in illegal activity, due to deceptive listings and sham lease agreements.

As the crisis of housing affordability worsens, with rental prices soaring to record highs, the allure of squatting grows stronger. This squatting epidemic reflects a deeper issue of societal breakdown towards lawlessness, highlighting a critical area of concern for communities and lawmakers alike.

Expert Raises Alarm on Potential Squatting Crisis Due to Immigration and Housing Law Gaps

Flash Shelton, a squatter eviction specialist, warns of an impending crisis as illegal immigrants might exploit loopholes in housing laws, exacerbating the squatter situation in the U.S.

Flash Shelton, the founder of the United Handyman Association and SquatterHunters.com, has issued a warning about a potential surge in squatting incidents across the United States, driven by illegal immigrants taking advantage of loopholes in housing laws. In an interview with Fox News, Shelton, who has gained recognition for his methods in removing squatters, pointed out the difficulties homeowners face due to tenant protection laws that vary significantly across states.

Shelton’s experience in evicting squatters from his mother’s property in 2019 has led him to become a vocal advocate for those struggling to remove unauthorized occupants. He highlighted the cumbersome and lengthy civil suit process required for eviction in many jurisdictions, which he believes could be exploited by illegal immigrants once they become aware of the protections they can claim under local laws. “Our squatter situation is going to go beyond control,” Shelton predicted, noting the existing boldness among squatters fortified by these laws.

The warning comes in the context of nearly 7.3 million illegal immigrants entering the U.S. since 2021, according to Fox News. Shelton criticized the lack of preparation for accommodating such a large influx of people, questioning the implications for housing as these individuals seek accommodations. He foresees a “nightmare scenario” if legislative measures are not taken to address the issue of squatting more aggressively.

Shelton specifically mentioned Atlanta, where approximately 1,200 homes are reportedly occupied by squatters. He suggested that making squatting a criminal offense could enable more drastic measures, such as deploying the National Guard to clear out squatted properties.

In an effort to combat squatting, Shelton has launched a petition on Change.org to advocate for making squatting illegal and has also set up a GoFundMe campaign, which has raised over $8,000 towards this cause. Through these initiatives, Shelton aims to raise awareness about squatting issues and push for legal changes to protect property owners from unauthorized use of their properties.

Read more at: YourNews.com

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