When you rent out your home, you are always ready for the worst and in most cases, you hope it will only be the inability to pay rent or something you can handle. Some renters, however, don’t just refuse to pay you, they also refuse to leave your home and you have to get the authorities involved at your own cost. It would be good enough for the squatters to leave your home intact when they finally leave, but whenever forced evictions are initiated, tenants who have nothing to lose tend to hurt the homeowner by causing as much malicious damage as they can. So, if you thought your hopes of having a side income from your property could not cause you to lose your home, look at these 10 shocking cases.
The squatter who tried to steal the property of a hospitalized homeowner
41-year-old Jeffrey Goddard was arrested in January 2022 after a group of neighbours in the Clairemont neighbourhood rallied together to save the home of an 84-year-old man that was hospitalized. The owner was on the news after he suffered carbon monoxide poisoning in an incident that killed his daughter. The 41 years old took advantage of the situation, moved in to the home and changed the door and the locks. He even attempted to possess the property for himself by changing the utility bills to his name and paying property taxes for the home after living in it for just one week. He claimed to have squatters’ rights when the police came but he was arrested because he hadn’t even legally rented the property.
The squatter who tried to steal a $500,000 home after the owner died
Professional squatters are a real nightmare and they know which homes they can successfully target without getting caught. Some may rent a property for some time before showing their true colours but in this case, convicted felon Lucia Ruiz just took over the expensive home after the owner died. The home which is located in the expensive Four Hills neighbourhood of Albuquerque turned into a crime house after the squatter moved in as a homicide happened there a few months later and the police became constant visitors in the area as the felon kept violating her probation. She even provided a fake lease agreement and a deed showing that the daughter of the deceased owner had sold the house to her for just $1. She was arrested for forgery among other crimes but not before causing terror in the entire neighbourhood.
The Squatters that cleaned out a house in Maryland
This happened in April 2022 when the woman returned to her apartment in Greenbelt and found strangers lying on her bed. The bed was the only piece of furniture left in the house as everything else worth over $49,000 had been cleaned out of the apartment. Before she could identify them, the squatters took off leaving her with an empty house and nothing but CCTV images of her property being shipped out.
Rogers the stripper squatter
A woman and her five-year daughter living in California took in the stripper as a tenant back in 2012 and everything was alright until she turned her section of the home into her stage. She bought a handgun which she used to intimidate the homeowners. The owner described the screaming and moaning noises from her room as loud enough to wake the dead. She caused the home bills to shoot up to over $40,000 while she stopped paying rent. California law actually protects squatters and the homeowner was advised by her lawyer to pay the squatter $4,000 and settle out of court as the situation had put the family in danger.
Squatters force a US veteran and his family to live in a hotel for 5 months
Peter Dover, a veteran from Colorado Springs caught the eye of all Americans when KOAA news channel broadcasted the story of his plight with squatters. The veteran’s supposed packer and mover that was hired to help move stuff out of his home in preparation for repair turned around and changed the locks on his condor before moving in. The family had to stay at a hotel for five months until the news network came to their aid but even after evicting the squatters, they realized that the house was cleaned out and extremely damaged.
The property seller turns into a squatter
Escrow is an easier way to buy your dream home over time because you may never have all the cash needed to buy the home on hand. Escrow payments also mean that the owner of the property may continue living in the home while you are paying for it. That is what Tracie and Myles Albert of Riverside, California did and when they finished payments in January 2020, the seller refused to leave the home. The seller actually called the police on the new owners when they tried to change locks and enter their new home. The family lost lots of money on an eviction process only to be shut down when the covid pandemic hit as the state stopped all evictions. The owners were on the verge of homelessness 15 months later when FOX11 news came to their aid shaming the squatters to vacate.
The nightmare nanny turned squatter
It is important to do a background check on someone before you hire them as a nanny. If Marcella Bracamonte of Upland, LA had done that, she would have realized that her soon-to-be nanny had been homeless for over nine years and was listed by the state as a vexatious litigant meaning the type of people that can sue you for no reason at all. When the family fired the nanny, she refused to leave their home and instead sued them for unfair termination which she won. She also refused to leave their home forcing the family to start a legal process of eviction which could go on for years. The case soon became national news as people expressed their sympathy for the poor family.
Airbnb guest turned squatter
An Airbnb guest is supposed to be just that, a guest but some bookings get out of hand. In most states, after someone establishes residency in your home for more than 30 days, they are considered tenants so, if they refuse to pay, you have to go to court to evict them. One woman learned that the hard way back in 2014 when the company was just gaining prominence after two brothers who rented her condo refused to leave. She couldn’t get them to leave, nor could the home-sharing platform.
Caregiver turned hoarding squatter
Hoarders are a homeowner’s worst nightmare if you live next to one or happen to rent out to one. It is even worse when a caregiver you found on craigslist to help your ailing husband becomes a squatter and turns your home into a junkyard. That is what happed to Fran Breslauer, a 90 years old woman from San Diego and her husband. The woman actually managed to get a restraining order against the 90-year-old granny, forced her out of her home and started renting out the rooms while the homeowner was forced to move in with her daughter in Oregon. The evil squatter was later arrested for elderly harassment, destruction of property and fraud.
Airbnb guest turns scammer and squatter
Airbnb has a policy against taking things off the platform because they can’t protect you if the tenant turns on you. A woman from Watsonville, California learned that the hard way in 2015 after she agreed to receive cash from the guest after extending their stay. The tenant soon refused to pay and also refused to leave. The guest allegedly paid for the first few months before turning into a nightmare that locked the woman out of her own home. The home was destroyed in many places including a busted sewage system which cost thousands to repair.
Have you heard of any other squatters from hell stories? If you have why not tell us about them in the comments below.