SQUATTING THE SQUATTERS: Handyman drives 'homeless' out of mother's home with unique interpretation of law
SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA: A witty factotum was able to get payback by driving out the squatters from his mother's house in less than a day. Flash Shelton, a member of the United Handyman Association posted a video of his success where he claimed that he moved into his mother's residence by showing up with guns and squatting there himself.
"If they could take a house, then I could take a house," Shelton said in the video. "They're the squatter, and they have rights. Well, then, if I become the squatter on the squatter, then I should have rights, right?" he said.
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What led to this situation?
According to Shelton, a family of squatters began living in his mother's vacant home after they broke into the residence several months ago. The man said that his father recently died and they put the home up for rent since his mother could not live there alone.
Shelton was asked to rent the home to a woman who claimed to be a prison guard but he refused as she said she had no money or credit. However, it did not stop her from making her own decision as Shelton came to know that a truckload of her belongings had been brought to the home. "She said that it was delivered by accident and she was getting rid of it," Shelton said.
Authorities were of no help
Shelton's friends and realtors told him that the house was full of people and furniture. He called the authorities for help but instead 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. The man, in his caption, said that he was well aware of the "squatter's rights" stories but he never imagined that he would have to deal with them in his life.
"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. Shelton got a reality check when he found out just how long it could take to go through the courts and evict the squatters.
Shelton takes the matter into his own hands
Shelton, being fed up with the situation, packed up his car and drove to the property situated in Northern California. "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.
He 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 with guns and his dog and waited for hours until everyone left. Shelton let himself in using his keys after witnessing all members of the family leave and then walked around the home and began installing security cameras.
A couple of women walked up and approached him as he was working outside. "I'm really sorry about all this," one of the women said. "It's a nightmare and beyond." Shelton held his nerve and calmly told them that they had very limited time to get everything out. He also told them that if their belongings were not taken out by midnight, he would be forced to take the matter into his own hands. The threat seemed to have worked 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."
Shelton advises extreme caution
Shelton said he advises extreme caution despite being an inspiration to many who face the same problem in the country every day. "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," he 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."