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Homeowner arrested for removing squatters from $1 million property

The Empire State Building in New York City. (Mark Bonifacio/New York Daily News/TNS)
March 20, 2024

A New York City woman was recently arrested for unlawful eviction after trying to remove squatters from a $1 million home in Flushing, Queens.

According to ABC 7, 47-year-old Adele Andaloro was arrested for changing the locks on a home she was selling after discovering that squatters had taken up residence in the property she inherited from her family. New York City law makes it illegal for landlords or property owners to remove “tenants” from a building if an individual has inhabited a space for over 30 days, even if they never signed a lease.

“It’s not fair that I, as the homeowner, have to be going through this,” Adele Andaloro said. “I’m really fearful that these people are going to get away with stealing my home.”

Andaloro told ABC 7 that squatters moved into the Queens property in February and have refused to leave. The outlet recently accompanied Andaloro on an investigative trip to her home, where the property owner discovered two people residing inside the house.

“Who are you sir, get out of my house,” Andaloro told one of the squatters. One of the squatters told ABC 7 that he had just moved into the house two days before the crew arrived.

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In response to Andaloro showing up at the Queens property, the squatters called the police, who arrived at the scene and tried to determine whether the squatters were legally allowed to remain on the property. ABC 7 reported that one of the police officers asked the squatters, “Do you have something that shows you’ve been here more than 30 days?”

After the two squatters failed to provide the police with documentation, they were escorted away from the property. Despite the police warning Andaloro that she could be arrested if she decided to change the locks, the property owner ultimately decided to change the locks.

“I may end up in handcuffs today if a man shows up here and says I have illegally evicted him,” Andaloro said. “I said ‘let him take me to court as I’ve been told to take him to court’ because today I’m not leaving my house.”

Shortly after the locks were changed, the squatters returned to Andaloro’s property and called the police a second time. In response to Andaloro asking why she was forced to leave the residence and why one of the squatters was allowed to remain at the property, one of the police officers said, “Technically he can’t be kicked out. You have to go to [housing] court.”