Is your property vacant? Beware of squatter rights in your area

Investor buys an old auto magnate mansion in the Boston-Edison district of Detroit in May 2010 for $23,000. Owner leaves the city for a year and comes back to find an intruder inside the building. The intruder claims squatter rights and owner has to share the house with a squatter. The squatter even had construction liens put on the building to carry out repairs while the owner was gone. The police won’t get involved. If you have rental properties that have been vacant for a while and you haven’t been checking up on them lately, beware. The reporter’s interview with a delusional squatter is just surreal.

Forced to live alongside squatter in my Detroit house, woman says
Posted: Tuesday, October 9, 2012 10:51 PM EST Updated: Thursday, October 11, 2012 11:38 AM EST

By Taryn Asher
FOX 2 News Reporter

DETROIT – [Copyright 2012 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved text removed- Moderator]

Unbelievable stuff.The parties involved would just have to go to court to settle the matter.There seems to be some unclear facts about the case.

We had a problem in Texas with a slew of adverse possession cases a few months back. There was some guy that wrote a book and several people were moving into houses without proper title to take advantage of the law. You have to stay there unmolested for 10 years (which is unlikely) but then it becomes a civil matter and the police won’t interfere.

There really isn’t. The squatter is just delusional. The squatter even claims that she was listed as a US Presidential candidate for 2012. Nuts.

In the video, the newsreporter questioned the squatter who claimed she was a tenant to produce a lease. The squatter refused. No lease. No rental receipts. Nothing, except a lien document she registered against the property for improvements against the property.

Similair situation here in Bend Oregon, cops not wanting to be involved ,because there were not any "No trespassing " signs posted. So I waited till the the looser left for groceries or some other reason, really just about an hour then removed everything of the trspasser to the street and posted “no Trespassing” signs. Problem solved no court case needed.

Also liens filed can easily be removed as they can only be placed if the real owner of the property contracted for work to be done, then did not pay for the repairs to the person who was contracted to do the work. Sooo squatter filed false lien in hopes they could foreclose should real owner never show up.
Good luck

This situation is a lot more complicated. It appears that the tenant was a former legal tenant.

The tenant claiming squatter rights never moved out and has fixed the broken boiler since. The whole thing reeks, but the owner was at best neglectful/.

It’s not complicated at all. It’s quite simple that this is a squatter. I don’t know how anybody can draw the conclusion that this person was a legal tenant and not a squatter after watching the Fox video interviewing the squatter.

If a squatter wants to stay out of jail, she’s going to make stuff up to stay out of jail like her statement that she’s a former tenant, but can’t back up. Do you really expect a squatter to outright confess that they broke into a house and moved in?

From the video, [Fact #1] the reporters asked for written proof from the delusional squatter that she was a tenant. A lease, rental receipts, anything. The squatter refused to provide it. If you were a tenant and a reporter came up to you and accused you of something illegal, wouldn’t you want to provide very simple proof like a rental receipt to clear your name so it isn’t defamed on TV? Does that sound like a “legal tenant” to you to refuse to do so? If it does, then what happens if a car thief breaks into your house, finds your car keys and steals your car from your garage while you’re on vacation in Europe and the police catch him and the car thief says hey, I paid the owner to rent it to me. The thief has a receipt that he changed the brake pads on account a few days ago so the car must belong to the car thief right? The vacationer must have abandoned their car. I guess by your reasoning, the car thief should be allowed to keep the stolen car until you hire a lawyer to get a court order even though the thief could not present any documents or rental receipts proving he rented the car from you. Where’s your rights as an owner? Car thieves are really just “complicated” renters of cars who can take your car with impunity by your reasoning.

[Fact #2] the reporters in the video interviewed the neighbours and the neighbours verified that they saw the squatter who they never saw there before move in a couple months ago and did not live there prior and it appeared to be a vacant house. Wouldn’t there be a neighbour to verify the squatter’s story that that she’s lived there a year ago? Yet, there isn’t. But, you discount that also.

[Fact #3] let’s also not take into account that the delusional squatter claims she’s currently running as a write in candidate for President of the United States to collaborate her mental illness.

[Fact #4] in the last sentence of the article, the squatter filed a claim with the city that this was an abandoned house. Is this an abandoned house or is she a tenant? You can’t have it both ways. What you said makes no sense.

There’s a law in Detroit that says you can’t forcibly remove a squatter. You have to get a court order to evict them. So, you’re f’d once an illegal trespasser makes up a bs story that they can’t back up.

I hope you don’t run into people with mental illness like this who ruin your life with delusions of entitlement. Let’s just say it’s ok for the police to write it off as a complicated civil matter and have the owner hire a lawyer for $300 an hour to get a court order to get it back. Sounds fair to you?

Nobody said this was OK.

From your link:

“We’re told Peterson leased the house to tenants in 2010, including this alleged squatter, but had to evict everyone when it was found not fit to live in.”

My conclusion is that the owner sent eviction letters to everyone there and either didn’t follow up or the person moved back in. She abandoned the house for a year and a half without checking on it and this person is either moved back in or still living there. There should be a lease and it should be a relatively simple eviction matter. I don’t understand how a person abandons a house for a year and a half like this. That’s why I think there is more to this story. Where was she living? Was she working in the area? Why didn’t she have any neighbors check on the place for her?

She probably did not evict just did not renew the lease and ask the person to move out because every time I have evicted a person the constable that performed the eviction called me and said (and it is almost word for word no matter which officer) “You are now in possession of the house. If they come back they are trespassing and you can call the police.”

Your conclusion is weak. Why don’t you watch the video that’s attached to the article before drawing one. The only one who said Peterson leased the house in 2010 was the squatter. The statement cannot be collaborated. The article doesn’t say Peterson confirms it. There’s no written proof. In fact, the squatter refuses to provide a copy in the video. There’s no neighbour that will verify it. Therefore, there’s no lease. The claim is completely made up by a delusional person.

Why was the owner away for a year, you ask? Probably because it was not her main residence. Have you never had or known someone who had a cottage that visited it only a couple times a year, a week at a time? What about a snowbird that owns a cheap house in the northern part of the country and lives in it during the warm months and flies down to Florida during the cold months? I know tonnes of retirees like that. The fact is that the squatter only lived there a few months according to the neighbours, not a year (second paragraph second sentence)

It doesn’t sound out of place to me for someone out of state to not inspect the property on a regular basis if they’re working halfway across the country to raise the money to fix it when they bought a mansion for $23,000. Detroit has absentee speculators in the six digits.

Where’s the proof of that she was a tenant to begin with? All you have is the squatter’s verbal statement. Nothing else.

I am confused. I am wondering why this has to be settled in court? Why isn’t this considered trespassing?

I’m guessing it has something to do with the Tasha Flowers squatter lawsuit a few years ago. Tasha Flowers was a single mother and a squatter who moved into a vacant foreclosed home with her children. When the bank found out, they called Detroit police to throw her out. Detroit police showed up and escorted her and her children out of the building and then she turned around and sued Detroit police for $15 MILLION because she claimed the police forcibly removed her without a court order. Since the lawsuit, it appears that the police won’t do anything about squatters without a court order.

Are there states with more lenient laws than others on this issues? This is an interesting topic that I have learned a lot about while reading this thread. Thanks for the insight.