When you buy a new home, you’re generally filled with excitement about becoming a homeowner. Your mind is filled with home decorating ideas, and possibly a renovation here or there. One couple bought a house together, and they were looking forward to moving in. However, someone beat them to it. Upon signing the contract with the bank for the bond, they found the house had been taken over by squatters who claimed they had legal rights to stay.
Squatters taking over
A couple from Maryland had just bought themselves a new home. They had been looking forward to finalizing the documents to make their ownership official so they could move in. They were driving home from signing the last documents with the bank, officiating the contract for financing the house. Then, they decided to drive past their new abode, only to see a sight rather troubling. There was a truck in the driveway, and other people seemed to be moving into what they thought was their new home. The couple feared they were now having to deal with squatters taking over their home.
The house the couple had purchased had previously been foreclosed by the bank, and had been sitting empty until the couple purchased it for $379,600. When the couple saw the strangers moving into their home, they were confused and tried to ask the people what they were doing. They revealed a document that seemed to be a rental lease for the house.
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Naturally, the couple went into a panic, and they called their real estate agent, Melea King, to find out what was going on. To remain anonymous, King is speaking on behalf of the couple
“She panicked a little and called me and said, ‘What is happening here?'” said King. “It seems as if the people have tried to take possession of the home.”
As mentioned previously, the squatters showed the couple a lease that supposedly allowed them to be living on the property. It matched the previous owner’s name, but the couple called the police to be sure. “Once the police were on-site, they took a look at the lease and it was not accurate. It was not correct,” said King.
So far, the squatters have refused to answer any questions. Nor are they willing to participate in any interviews with the media. One thing is certain, one of the illegal residents has put up signs warning people to stay away.
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How do they get away with this?
WUSA9 covered the story, where they showed an attorney called Kamal Nawash, who specializes in tenant and landlord disputes. According to his profession, the squatters phenomenon is growing increasingly popular, thanks to a backlog of cases from COVID-19.
People, or con artists, sneakily move into houses that have been foreclosed by the bank. There are laws in place that prevent people from being evicted, which they take advantage of. They know that legally it will take months before the court forces them to move out. Not only does the process of kicking the squatters out take a few months, but the legal fees will be high as well.
The police say it is a civil matter that needs to be resolved in court. “Right now my clients are highly upset and we just don’t know what to do at this point,” said Malea. “It should not be taking this long for this to be addressed.” Although, the couple might have to find some patience, because the backlog of cases is still causing a long wait.