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‘Squatter hunter’ takes down squatters invading Americans’ homes

Gavel (Observer-Dispatch/TNS)
March 23, 2024

As reports circulate of squatters taking advantage of liberal laws in places like California and New York City that make it difficult for squatters who have invaded American homes to be removed from the properties of the rightful homeowners, a man known as the “Squatter Hunter” offers homeowners a new solution to fight back.

According to KTLA 5, 57-year-old Flash Shelton, founder of the “Squatter Hunters,” has devoted his career to helping homeowners take back their properties from squatters and advocating for states to change laws that make it challenging for squatters to be removed from people’s homes.

In the face of the growing squatting problem, Shelton offers homeowners a potential solution by taking advantage of the same laws that make it difficult to remove squatters. Asked to describe his job, Shelton told KTLA 5, “I’d say anti-squatter activist, squatter hunter, squatter remover. Just doing what I have to to help people get their squatters out.”

READ MORE: Homeowner arrested for removing squatters from $1 million property

KTLA 5 reported that Shelton’s “Squatter Hunter” mission started in 2019 when his mother was preparing to sell her home in California after his father died. While the house was on the market, Shelton discovered seven squatters had moved into his mother’s home and filled it with their own furniture.

After contacting the police, Shelton was told that the seven individuals could not be removed due to the state’s protections for squatters. As a result, Shelton decided to solve the problem himself.

“Squatters sometimes, in many cases, have a fake lease,” Shelton told KTLA 5. “So the first thing I did was I had my mom write a lease in my name.”

While the squatters were away from his mother’s home for a day, Shelton went inside, installed security cameras, secured the entrances to the house, and removed all of the furniture from the home, piling it in the driveway. Once the squatters returned, Shelton warned the squatters that they did not have a lease and that they would be unable to re-enter his mother’s house.

After Shelton reclaimed his mother’s home, he became the “Squatter Hunter,” helping other homeowners reclaim their homes from other squatters. According to KTLA 5, Sheldon charges homeowners between $5,000 and $20,000 to reclaim a home from squatters, which he said is significantly cheaper than paying attorney fees that can easily surpass $130,000 without a guarantee of success.

Shelton told KTLA 5 that his team works with law enforcement, conducts careful research for each case, and will arrive at each property with a copy of the home’s authentic lease to legally reclaim the property from any squatters.