California man shares how he removed squatters from home
A hero handyman from California has described the legal loophole that helped him get revenge on squatters who had taken over his mom’s house.
Flash Shelton, from Simi Valley, found a legal loophole meaning he could legally squat in his mom’s house and take it back from the family that had been living there for several months.
The opportunistic squatters took over the North Carolina property when Shelton and his mom tried to sell it following his father’s death, he said.
Shelton, the founder of the United Handyman Association, said he spent days dissecting the laws around squatting and learning what his rights were.
He said he realized that squatters essentially have no rights until there’s civil action so he planned to swap places with the unwelcomed occupants and resume their rights.
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Before taking matters into his own hands, Shelton said he approached local law enforcement but was told that they had no jurisdiction and there was nothing that they could do.
Describing his plan, he told Fox News: “I packed up my jeep, drove up there and paced out the joint around 4am I waited. About 8:00, 8:30 in the morning, three cars pulled out of the driveway and I made entrance to the house. I put up cameras, waited for them to come back.”
Shelton added: “When they came back, I just laid it out for them, told them that it was all locked up, cameras, and the only way they would get back in the house is if they broke in on camera, and I would prosecute.
“I told them they had a day to get their stuff out or the furniture was not theirs anymore.”
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Several months ago a family of squatters broke into and took over his mom’s vacant home, according to Shelton, who said his dad had recently passed away and they put the home up for rent since his mother could not live there alone.
A woman who told Shelton she was a prison guard asked to rent the home, but he refused as she said she had no money or credit.
But he later learned that a truckload of her belongings had been brought to the home and the house was full of people and furniture.
After contacting the police to no avail, he considered going through the courts but realized how long it would likely take to evict the squatters and get the property back.
The California handyman has expressed his frustration with the laws surrounding squatting in some US states.
Shelton launched a Change.org petition in May to “help make squatting illegal”, which has already gained almost 8,000 signatures.
He wrote: “Currently when a person sets up residence in a home or structure that doesn’t belong to them, they are considered squatters and have rights that protect them. This prevents law enforcement from taking action, and owners are referred to a long civil process.
“The burden of proof is wrongly placed on the property owner, which turns out to be costly.”
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