Corruption

California Handyman Uses Loophole To Get Even With Squatters Who Took Over His Mom’s House


A California handyman who got revenge on squatters who took over his mom’s home has revealed how he kicked them out by squatting there himself.

Flash Shelton, from Simi Valley, claims he’s hacked the system to get unwanted guests to vacate if the authorities refuse to help.

He told how he found a legal loophole that meant he could basically squat in the property himself and gain the same rights they had to stay there.

His comments come five months after he saw off two women who had taken over his mom’s home when they attempted to sell it following the death of his dad.

Shelton, the founder of the United Handyman Association, this week told how he spent a weekend dissecting the laws and discovering what his rights were.

‘I basically figured out that until there’s civil action, the squatters didn’t have any rights.

‘So if I could switch places with them, become the squatter myself, I would assume those squatter rights,’ Shelton said.

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He had already exhausted the use of local law enforcement, who were of no avail, he claimed.

‘I called local law enforcement, and as soon as they saw that there was furniture in the house, they said that I had a squatter situation and they had basically no jurisdiction and they couldn’t do anything,’ he told Fox News Thursday.

That’s when he decided to take the concept of ‘squatter’s rights’ into his own hands, almost like something out of a classic sitcom.

Shelton expressed frustration with laws in progressive-run cities like New York, Philadelphia and Los Angeles that often favor squatters, saying similar legalese was at play

‘I packed up my jeep, drove up there and paced out the joint around 4 a.m. I waited. About 8:00, 8:30 in the morning, three cars pulled out of the driveway and I made entrance to the house. I put up cameras, waited for them to come back,’ he said.

‘She said that it was delivered by accident and she was getting rid of it,’ Shelton said of the squatters who had taken up residence in his mother’s home

When they finally arrived, he put his plan into motion. ‘They didn’t have a lease, so that never came into play.

‘But when they came back, I just laid it out for them, told them that it was all locked up, cameras, and the only way they would get back in the house is if they broke in on camera, and I would prosecute.’

‘I had heard horror stories about how the legal system gives the squatter more rights than the homeowner, so I decided to come up with a way on my own to get them out in less than a day,’ Shelton said

‘I told them they had a day to get their stuff out or the furniture was not theirs anymore.’

Shelton expressed frustration with laws in progressive-run cities such as New York, Philadelphia and LA that often favor squatters, saying similar legalese was at play.

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‘The law would prevent me from physically removing them,’ he said. ‘However, being that I wasn’t the homeowner, I had more rights. As a tenant, I would actually have more rights than them.’

Shelton calmly and coolly told the woman they had mere hours to get everything out

He says he’s trying to change these laws but is mainly working on helping those who deal with the same problems.

‘I do Zoom consultations. I ask people to make a donation to the cause. And when I can physically go out and help them, then yes, it is. It is something I am doing to help people now, as many as I personally possibly can,’ Shelton said.

He launched a Change.org petition in an attempt to make squatting illegal that has already gotten 7,500 signatures.

‘This will shift the burden of proof onto the squatter and make the crime punishable with restitution an option for damages,’ he writes in the petition.

According to Shelton, several months ago a family of squatters broke into his mother’s vacant home and began living there.

Shelton said his dad had recently passed away and they put the home up for rent since his mother could not live there alone.

A woman who told Shelton she was a prison guard asked to rent the home, but he refused as she said she had no money or credit.

That did not appear to stop her, however, as he later learned a truckload of belongings had been brought to the home.

‘She said that it was delivered by accident and she was getting rid of it,’ Shelton said.

That was a lie, however, as Shelton later found out from friends and realtors that the house was full of people and furniture.

Shelton called the police and received an unhelpful answer.

‘They basically said, ‘You know, I’m sorry, but we can’t enter the house, and it looks like they’re living there. So you need to go through the courts,” Shelton said.

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In his caption, the handyman said he was familiar with ‘squatters rights’ stories but he didn’t know he would have to deal with a situation personally.

‘I had heard horror stories about how the legal system gives the squatter more rights than the homeowner, so I decided to come up with a way on my own to get them out in less than a day,’ Shelton wrote.

Upon doing more research, the man said he learned just how long it could take to go through the courts and evict the squatters.

Fed up with the situation, Shelton – who does not live in Northern California where the home is located – packed up his car and drove to the property.

‘Even though you’re at your house, and you’re paying the mortgage … at some point, squatters feel like they have more rights than you, so they don’t have incentive to leave until a judge tells them to,’ he said.

‘And that could take months, six months, it could take years. I don’t know. I didn’t want to take that chance,’ Shelton said in the 20 minute video.

Shelton decided he would write up a lease and credit himself as the resident of the home.

He then parked his Jeep on the street where the home is at with guns and his dog and waited for hours until everyone left.

After witnessing all members of the family leave, he let himself in using his keys and then walked around the home and began installing security cameras.

As he was working outside, two women walked up and approached him. ‘I’m really sorry about all this,’ one of the women said. ‘It’s a nightmare and beyond.’

Shelton calmly and coolly told the woman they had mere hours to get everything out. He disguised their faces with a black and white filter in the clip he posted.

Shelton told the woman that if she didn’t have everything out by midnight, he would have it hauled out himself.

The threat appeared to work as the family was moved out hours later.

‘I think just the fact that I was there was enough,’ he said. ‘It was actually fun to do it. I won’t lie about that. I’m glad it was successful.’ 

His video has now inspired others across the country who are dealing with their own squatter situations to attempt to take things into their own hands.

Despite becoming an inspiration, Shelton said he advises extreme caution.

‘I don’t suggest that everyone take a chance like I did on their own. It’s worth noting that I have had special training, a license to carry and was prepared for whatever situation was to arise,’ the handyman said.

‘The men and women I had to deal with remained peaceful and that may not always be the case. If you ever have a situation like this, it is best to expect the worst and you will be prepared.’

 

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Ella Ford is a mother of two, a Christian conservative writer with degrees in American History, Social and Behavioral Science and Liberal Studies, based in the Tulsa, Oklahoma area.

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