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Squatters

chocolatecoffee
June 23rd, 2006, 03:07 PM
Nope, this isn't a thread about whether or not your dog squats to pee. Although Panna does tend to pee with one leg slightly off the ground.

Anyways, has anybody ever had a problem with squatters and what did you do about it? We bought a house back in late March and we're just waiting for the building permit before we demolish it. In the meantime, we've donated everything inside of the house (hardwood, lights, they're even taking the baseboards!) to a rescue so they've been coming to haul the stuff away. However, we've noticed a few odd things.

About a month and a half ago, we went to the house (we try to check up on it every couple of days) and noticed that the door was unlocked. We attributed it to us being forgetful, and went on our merry way. A little later, one of our neighbours called us to tell us that one of the doors was open. The rescue said that they had locked the house up, so we didn't know what to think and checked the house out...it looked fine. People had said they saw lights on and the security system was funny (the electricity is turned off now so it doesn't work), but we really didn't think too much. However, earlier this week, we noticed that the front door was wide open and a number of locks had been taken off of entrances (windows, doors, etc.). Also, envelopes that looked like cheques (although they weren't) had been open and their contents were lying about. We were convinced that we had squatters, so our vet (who's associated with the rescue) went and secured every entrance in the house with two by fours. Well I guess he did a good job because when he went to check on it last night at about 10:00 pm, the back window had been broken and a number of the screens had been ripped out. He quickly walked through the main floor and the upstairs of the house and didn't see anything, but we told him to leave and we'd call the cops.

So we called the police and asked them to go last night (we're convinced the squatters are coming late at night and leaving early in the morning as none of the neighbours have seen anybody), but we haven't heard back yet. Initially they were just going to drive by, then kick them out, but we wanted them charged or else what's going to stop them from coming back? However, we think that the police probably just drove by and didn't notice anything unusual so they didn't go in. We're scared to go in the house now and we're not sure what we should do. The vet has offered to go with his dog and try to find anybody, but we definitely don't want to put him in any danger. We really want the squatters gone and we're worried that they won't leave, even once we start building. We're even more concerned since they obviously really want in, considering they broke a window, and we don't know what extent they'll go to.

Any ideas? Thanks!

Shamrock
June 23rd, 2006, 04:05 PM
Hmm.. a troublesome situation.

Squatters are hard to relocate sometimes once they settle in to a place..
Ii'd say once the house is demolished they will move on..but you naturally want them out now.

The police often just try to move squatters along.,and as you say, they come right back.

If the windows and doors are securely boarded up.. this helps make it hard to get in.

You could hire a private security company to do drive-bys.. inspect the place.. but that would be expensive..

Maybe you could try threatening them ? Leave a "to whom it may concern' letter on the door and inside saying the police are patrolling,the neighbours have it under surveillance, etc. and they will be arrested and charged. Out now, and dont come back.

At least that way they know you are "on" to them.

That is all I can think of myself.. hope a solution can be found I'd be nervous going in too..

Writing4Fun
June 23rd, 2006, 06:00 PM
Maybe include in your note that the house is scheduled for demolition. That way, if they are squatters in the true sense of the term, it will be in their best interest to find a new place to live soon.

So sad that there are people still living this way in this day and age. :(

badger
June 23rd, 2006, 07:36 PM
I'd get up a gang of people and go down after midnight, give them a good scare.
Umm - are the toilets still functioning?

OntarioGreys
June 24th, 2006, 01:21 AM
Once the house gets torn down they will move on, right now since it is vacant they are calling it home, sadly not everyone can afford to rent a place, welfare checks for a single person is approx $500, they have to buy clothing and food out of that, without a stove and eating and cooking utensils they become dependant on fast foods so food costs are higher than if one could prepare their own meals , it does not leave enough left over for shelter, homeless shelters are crowded with no privacy and fill with drunks and drug addicts and many do not feel safe going to stay ar them, so some people feel they have no choice but to find abandoned homes as living accomodations, with out proper living conditions and a permanent home and a phone where they can be reached most of these people will have troubles landing a job inorder to support themselves, sadly you will have a hard time keeping them out they are desperate for a safe place to stay, not all are bad and evil, from my sons runaway days I got to meet some of the kids on the street, many were young girls or even young males who moms ending up shack up with some guy to keep a roof over the families head often they were being physically and sexually abused and out of desperation ran away, homeless shelters can be dangerous places for them so they search out abandoned home to stay in often in small groups for protection, many are into drugs as a way to provide an income without having to sell their bodies instead and to block their own pain, and worse yet there are many adults that prey on them many are which we would think are upstanding citizens in our communities as they have realized these kids are afraid to go to the police, some of their stories would make your hair stand up on end, my son was not the average runaway child but what he learned out of the streets sure changed his outlook on life for the better and made him appreciate all he does have in his life. I know this does not help you with your dilemma but to explain why they are there now and why they are so desperate to get back in, once the place gets demolished they will have no choice but to find other accomodations. And from what evidence you found in the house it sounds like the currrent residents are just looking for a safe place sleep for the night rather than a place to party in, so not likley dangerous trouble makers.

pitgrrl
June 24th, 2006, 02:28 PM
OntarioGreys, you're awsome!