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“This is crazy!”: As Americans lose their homes, Democratic Pennsylvania Senator John Fetterman goes hard on squatters

Pennsylvania – According to the American Apartment Owners Association, squatters are individuals who occupy land or buildings without legal authorization. A squatter lives on a property to which they have no title, right, or lease. These individuals reside on properties or within buildings without paying rent and without any legal documents that establish their ownership or rightful occupancy. The problem of squatting in the United States is worsening, partly due to an increase in illegal immigration from Mexico in recent years.

“If a house is not inhabited, we can seize it”

Last month, a TikTok influencer posted a video guiding his followers on how to “invade” unoccupied American homes and claim squatter’s rights, complicating efforts to evict them. The influencer later identified as Leonel Moreno, a Venezuelan migrant, goes by the username @leitooficial_25 on the popular social media platform. Moreno informed his followers that U.S. laws allow the occupation of uninhabited houses, citing squatter’s rights or adverse possession. He further explained to his followers that it’s under the law that can enable an unlawful occupant to become the owner of a property if they continuously occupy it without the owner’s permission.

The squatting problem

In recent years, growing number of homeowners across the nation have found themselves in legal disputes over individuals residing in their properties without their permission. There is now ongoing debate on how states should handle the squatting issue, with some states taking proactive measures to address squatting. A survey by the National Rental Home Council (NRHC) found that squatters are more prevalent in certain areas, including parts of Georgia, Florida, and Texas, with New York also recently becoming a hotspot. In a notable case in New York City, six migrant squatters, who were arrested on drug and gun charges, were released by two judges without bail, despite objections from local district attorneys.

Democratic Pennsylvania Senator John Fetterman goes hard on squatters

In a recent interview with the New York Post, Democratic Pennsylvania Senator John Fetterman expressed his growing concern about squatting and provided some ideas on how authorities should address the issue. He mentioned that he is well aware of the problem since he was mayor of working-class Braddock, Pennsylvania.

“Squatters have no rights,” Fetterman said. “How can you even pretend that this is anything other than you’re just breaking the law?” “I am not woke,” he warned.

Read also: It will take six decades for California to fix the housing crisis and ultimately see lower house prices

The fight against squatting

“We always tried to push back against that. “It’s wild, that if you go away on a long trip, for 30 days, and someone breaks into your home and suddenly they have rights,” he said. “This is crazy. Like if somebody stole your car, and then they held it for 30 days, then somehow you now have some rights?”

Fetterman expressed his growing concern about squatting and provided some ideas on how authorities should address the issue.
NO TRESPASSING sign, credit: Unsplash

New York in the spotlight

In New York State, if a squatter continuously occupies a property for 30 days, they gain the legal right to remain on the property as a tenant of the owner, even though they never signed a lease agreement. This law makes things pretty complicated for New York residents, as they could easily find themselves in trouble. A couple from New York City feels the issue on their own skin after a pair of alleged squatters accused of unlawfully moving into a Queens duplex are suing its rightful owners after refusing to vacate the $930,000 home.

“It’s absolutely absurd,” said the owner of the latest targeted home, Juliya Fulman — who so far has racked up more than $4,000 in legal bills fighting the suit — to The Post last month. “These people literally broke into my house. It’s not fair to us as homeowners that we are not protected by the city,” said the Jamaica property owner.

Read also: “Deport them or shut up!”: Texas Gov. Abbott post about busing migrants to sanctuary cities backfires

Fetterman remains a loyal Democrat

Despite raising his voice against a law that favors migrants who unlawfully occupy homes, Fetterman remains a loyal Democrat and said he was committed to securing a second term for President Biden. In Pennsylvania, a key battleground state, Trump has a slight lead over Biden, according to a recent poll by the Wall Street Journal. Trump also leads Biden in other swing states, per the survey.

“It’s going to be very close. Trump is going to be incredibly strong in Pennsylvania,” Fetterman said, adding that he believed Biden would ultimately be triumphant and that he planned to be a surrogate for him in the state.

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