NYC squatters strategically using legal loopholes and crowded courts to take over and STAY in homes

As experts sounded off on the cause of the Big Apple’s “sophisticated” squatting crisis, lawmakers are proposing changes to stop bad actors who “use our laws against us.”

Much like the crisis at the southern border, the decades-old Cloward-Piven strategy seemed at play in New York City as residents in search of recourse found wrongdoers had overwhelmed the system toward a style of redistribution of assets.

Instead of direct welfare, squatters were gaming the legal system at increasing amounts as one attorney contended to the New York Post an uptick of 10-to-20% in cases over the past two years.

“The irony,” said Manhattan real estate attorney Alan Goldberg, “is the more publicity it gets the more people think about it.”

“I think it’s got media attention and also the migrant crisis, more people homeless. The media, by telling people about squatters, is kind of encouraging it,” he added while drawing a stark contrast between squatters and licensees, similar to the difference between illegal border crossers and those who overstayed their visas.

“I think anyone who’s paying attention sees this is becoming an increasing issue,” New York State Assemblyman Jake Blumencranz (R-Oyster Bay) had told the Post. “People, especially migrant groups or other groups who are looking to use our laws against us, will use this loophole to hurt law-abiding citizens.”

Stating much the same to Fox 5, the lawmaker had said his proposed Property Protection Act had nearly 50 cosponsors as they attempted to extend the time period to establish tenancy rights from 30 days to 45 days and amend the definition of criminal trespass in the third degree to include squatting.

“We have a holy trinity right now that we’ve never had before, which is a cost of living crisis, a housing crisis and the migrant crisis happening in the city at the same time,” said Blumencranz to the Post. “These people are here, they are looking for a place to live and people on the Internet are providing an avenue for them that is free.”

While some argued there had been little change in the number of instances of squatters, real estate attorney Josh Price told the newspaper, “This is happening far more now than in the past.”

“Squatters have become far more sophisticated than before. They set up elaborate schemes, fake documents and investigate the homes before breaking in,” he added. “They will send mail to themselves, use fake leases to have utilities changed to their name and other artifice to claim right of possession.”

New York Real Property Actions Proceedings Law 711 required “a special proceeding” to kick out squatters and a new law said that those who established squatters rights couldn’t be removed without first filing a lawsuit.

Recent headlines have included the arrest of one homeowner after she attempted to evict those who’d laid claim to a family home as other Queens residents, Denis Kuryland and Juliya Fulman, had a suit brought against them by alleged squatters attempting to get the locks changed to keep out the rightful owners.

The Post indicated that the suit had been dismissed by a Queens judge as Fulman remarked there was “a very big problem with these criminals and these squatters.”

Meanwhile, as eight illegal aliens had been arrested, only to have six released without bail, at a Bronx residence on gun, drug and child endangerment charges, state officials indicated that “adverse possession” of property was not tracked and therefore the total number of active cases remained unknown.

Kucker, Marino, Winiarsky & Bitters partner Nativ Winiarsky argued, “Certainly things have gotten worse after the pandemic due to the backlog, but to blame it on the pandemic is a superficial explanation.”

“It is a product of insufficient resources being devoted to the housing court system, threatening a collapse of the system as we know it,” he went on.

“It is more onerous now than in years past because it takes so long before an owner can get a court date,” added Price.

Kevin Haggerty


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