1,200 Illegal House Squatters Take Over Atlanta Neighborhoods

2 mins read
House squatters Atlanta neighborhood
Photo Credit: "Ansley Park Neighborhood, Atlanta" by danxoneil is licensed under CC BY 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/?ref=openverse.

Nearly 1,200 vacant rental homes in Atlanta neighborhoods have been reportedly occupied by house squatters.

According to the National Rental Home Council, Atlanta is the current squatting capitol of the United States.

House squatters squeeze landlords in Atlanta neighborhoods

The escalation of this crisis caused widespread concern, with  some property owners resorting to pay individuals illegally inhabiting their rentals to leave.

Landlords have faced extensive delays, often exceeding six months, to legally evict these unauthorized occupants due to due to law enforcement agencies and the courts being overwhelmed by the sheer amount of cases.

To make matters even more difficult for the homeowners, local law enforcement officers have found themselves unable to intervene directly to assist them, as such matters are classified as civil issues.

According to WSB-TV, squatters have exploited online rental listings to identify empty residences.

Even worse for landlords, some criminals have figured out how to capitalize on the dilemma by helping squatters locate and illegally occupy properties on social media.

An Instagram account, which was subsequently removed by parent company Meta, went so far as to post a story detailing the steps to illegally settle in someone’s home.

The post allegedly stated that law enforcement would not be able to remove freeloaders due to squatters’ rights.

This account advertised services, including a New Year’s offer, which entailed a payment for keys and providing a fraudulent lease agreement, promising occupants the opportunity to “stack money and turn ya life around.”

House squatters forcing property owners in Atlanta neighborhoods into bankruptcy

Michael Holmes, a homeowner afflicted by house squatting, described his experience as “a nightmare,” feeling as though he had effectively lost a $200,000 investment.

The ordeal left him contemplating filing for bankruptcy and questioning the practicality of adhering to the rules when others blatantly disregarded them.

Legislative efforts were initiated to address the burgeoning problem, according to the outlet.

House Bill 1017, introduced by state lawmakers, aimed to grant local police the authority to remove trespassers.

The so-called Georgia Squatter Reform Act intended to classify such actions as criminal trespassing which would permit police to act accordingly.

The bill delivered a strong message to house squatters, with state Republican Representatives Devan Seabaugh and Matt Reeves echoing sentiments that the free rides and fraudulent documentations would lead to jail time, casting such acts as a theft of the “American dream.”

House squatters terrorize Beverly Hills homeowners

Atlanta’s not the only area in the country experiencing a epidemic of malicious squatters.

A high-end mansion near Beverly Hills, valued at close to $4.6 million, was overtaken by house squatters.

The occupiers have reportedly thrown raucous ragers that have disturbed the neighborhood at all hours of the night.

Neighbors expressed their annoyance, claiming that the four-bedroom Beverly Crest mansion has become home to these unwanted occupants for months.

To make matters more insane, the property has turned into a money making endeavor for the house squatters, who advertise the events online and charge a fee to attend.

The premises have been found to contain drug paraphernalia and condoms, with further disturbances being caused by attendees lingering in the expensive neighborhood well into the early morning.

The mansion had previously been an asset of a company that went bankrupt last year, which made the property vulnerable to the house squatters.

Investigators hit hurdles trying to evict house squatters

Senior Lead Officer James Allen from the Los Angeles Police Department, told the Daily Mail that the property’s ownership is unclear as it faces foreclosure.

Those occupying the mansion claim they were invited by a previous owner, creating complications in defining the legality of their residence.

Allen commented to the Daily Mail, stating, “I guess we can say they’re squatters.”

However, he noted that they claim occupancy rights against an owner who is currently in foreclosure with the bank.

Efforts are being undertaken in collaboration with the bank to initiate eviction proceedings, but current circumstances make it challenging to affirm their presence as illegal.

The house squatters have made evicting them more difficult by having their drivers licenses registered to the address in question.

Allen has since reached out to the Los Angeles City Attorney’s office, requesting assistance in expelling the squatters from the property.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Latest from Blog