NYC Woman Arrested For Trying To Kick Squatters Out of Her $1M House

Brittany M. Hughes | March 19, 2024
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An actual story, in 2024 America: a woman inherits a house from her dead parents. The woman shows up at the house, intending to list it on the market.

The woman finds squatters hunkering down in her family’s house, so she changes the locks.

The squatters show up, mad that they've been booted out of the house they've taken over, so they call the cops.

The woman - the actual property owner, who's standing in the living room holding the deed to the building - gets arrested.

Crazy? Absolutely. But this is the predicament one New York lady found herself in this week when Adele Andaloro, 47, said she showed up to her deceased parents’ house in Flushing, Queens, estimated to be worth about $1 million with plans to sell it, only to find multiple adults squatting in the house, with her family's furniture still sitting in the living room. So, like anyone who arrives at their property only to realize people are illegally occupying it, she called a locksmith, with a TV crew filming the entire thing.

One of the squatters, identified as one Brian Rodriguez, returned a few minutes later, incensed that the property owner had the gall to boot him from the house. After several tense moments, the cops showed up and arrested  the owner, saying she’d violated a New York law against unlawful eviction that says no property owner can change the locks or turn off utilities on property being occupied by a tenant. The cops told Andaloro she’d have to file a complaint in court and that the matter was now a “landlord/tenant issue,” despite her never having given the squatters permission to move in in the first place.

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Rodriguez, who was unable to produce a signed lease for the property, was permitted to stay, with the cops telling Andaloro that he was technically a tenant under the law.

While New York State law says squatter's rights don't kick in until someone has occupied a property for at least 10 years, New York City law sets the threshold at just 30 days of a person illegitimately living in a house, stating that squatters who occupy a building for more than 30 days are considered legal tenants and that a landlord cannot evict them without a judge signing off.

“By the time someone does their investigation, their work, and their job, it will be over 30 days and this man will still be in my home,” Andaloro said, adding, “I’m really fearful that these people are going to get away with stealing my home.”

A fair concern, given, you know, the insanity that is New York City.