Squatter living in multi-million dollar mansion
After falling into foreclosure last summer, a mansion in Broward County, Florida worth roughly $2.5 million has been occupied by a 23-year old Brazilian man claiming ownership. Technically considered a squatter under Florida law, the man filed a claim with the county of adverse possession.
Adverse possession allows the applicant to get the title to an abandoned home if they live in it for seven years, paying all taxes, utilities, and liens on the property. That said, it is instead being abused in many states, particularly in Florida and Texas, and because it is a civil matter rather than criminal, police often have no recourse, leaving neighbors angry and frustrated. It is currently a loophole being taken advantage of by people getting a few free months in a home before getting kicked out.
In this case, the Sun-Sentinel reports that the Broward County Sheriff has finally served an eviction notice to the squatter after a judge ruled the Bank of America owned home was not abandoned, but was simply vacant, as is the case with many foreclosures owned by banks.
A struggle between neighbors, a bank, and a squatter
The bizarre tale has had neighbors up in arms, particularly after adding a large sign to the home last week that reads “Peace within is peace without,” telling people the name of the property is the “Templo de Kamisamar,” claiming it as holy ground, clearly copycatting various Florida cases without knowing they too were ultimately evicted.
One neighbor claims that Bank of America did not care about the odd squatter, and even offered to buy the property, but claims she never heard back from any bank representatives.
The Broward County Property Appraiser is continuing to work with state legislators in an effort to eliminate the adverse possession law that is not only outdated, but a growing problem, as the number of adverse possession applications are rising dramatically in recent months, particularly on mansions.