Homeowner Arrested After Changing Locks On Squatters

The unauthorized setting up of a residence in a home, known as squatting, is a growing problem in the United States.

The Daily Mail recently reported that three squatters who commandeered a home in Queens, New York, left in shame on Tuesday after being confronted by the media.

An unnamed man and woman wearing hoodies that covered their faces “fled in disgrace,” according to the outlet.

The $1 million Flushing, Queens home is owned by Adele Andaloro, a single parent who inherited the property from her parents.

One day before the squatters left, two men visited the squatters and told them to leave. The men told the Daily Mail: “We are looking to get this guy out.”

Distress to learn that people were living in her home, Andalaro discussed the problem some are having with squatters during an on-site interview with ABC 7. During the interview, one of the squatters exited her house and left the front door open.

Followed by cameras, Andalaro entered the home and encountered a man sleeping in a bedroom with her personal items strewn about the residence.

One of the squatters called 911 when the homeowner threatened to call a locksmith to come to the residence and rekey the locks.

When police arrived, the squatters argued that under New York City law, people can claim “squatter’s rights” on a property if they have lived there at least 30 days.

Because the squatters claimed they were tenants, officers warned Andaloro she could not legally change the locks or bar them from home, according to Fox News.

Officers encouraged the squatters to leave, at which point Andalaro ordered a locksmith to change the locks.

A short time later, one of the male squatters returned and forced his way back into the home.

Police returned to the residence and told Andalaro, “He can’t be kicked out” because he claimed to be a tenant. Officers also informed the homeowner that they planned to arrest her for unlawful eviction.

Neighbors reported that area residents are “up in arms” over the controversy.” We all kind of pissed about it,” one neighbor named Kosta told the outlet.

Andaloro declined an interview but stated she was “shaken from her arrest” and planned to leave town temporarily with her son.

Calling the ordeal “crazy,” Andalaro said, “We are leaving. We are getting out-of-town.”

Neighbors told the Daily Mail they witnessed the squatters engaged in several construction projects at the home.

Witnesses reported the squatters moved furniture and brought in new furniture.

One of the people Andalaro encountered in her home was Kevin Balletsy. The man asserts that he lives in the house “legally.” Balletsy told the Daily Mail he would consider leaving only if Andalaro returned his deposit check.

In a confusing turn of events, Balletsy told the outlet: “I have no idea what is going on here with this nonsense. I’m trying to get my money back and just get out of here. I have nothing to do with this”

Balletsy said of the deposit check, “I have receipts saying I paid the landlord and the real estate; other than that, I am not part of it.”

‘I wash my hands of this and I’m gone,’ he added.

The Young Turks recently profiled the growing problem with squatters.

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