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Adverse possession law abused, man lives in $2.5M mansion for free

Using an antiquated legal loophole, a multi-million dollar Boca Raton mansion has an odd man on his way out, pointing out a rash of copycat cases in the area and other states with similar laws.

adverse possession

adverse possession

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.

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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is continuing to work with state legislators in an effort to eliminate the adverse possession law that is not only outdated, but a growing problem, as the number of adverse possession applications are rising dramatically in recent months, particularly on mansions.

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Related reading:

  1. Texas squatter claims $330,000 house, police can’t remove him
  2. Florida man goes on a squatting spree, is charged with grand theft
  3. Squatter lives in luxury home for 8 months, no evicted
  4. Floridian attempts adverse possession, ends up in jail
  5. Weird: former mayoral candidate squatting in various houses

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Tara Steele is the News Director at The American Genius, covering entrepreneur, real estate, technology news and everything in between. If you'd like to reach Tara with a question, comment, press release or hot news tip, simply click the link below.

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. John CleanupCowboy McCormick

    February 4, 2013 at 2:35 am

    Antiquated? That’s press speak for a law that you don’t agree with. Adverse possession has been part and parcel of our legal system since before the founding! Now that a two million dollar house is involved you want to denigrate the law? How pitiful!

  2. VickiLloyd

    February 4, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    I don’t see a problem with the current law. According to the article, and everything I’ve always heard, the person must “live in it for seven years, paying all taxes, utilities, and liens on the property.”

    He obviously hasn’t lived in it for seven years, and probably hasn’t paid any liens or taxes. So why can’t they simply evict him?

  3. Pingback: Florida one of many states Changing Adverse Possession Laws - South Florida Survival

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