Georgia police are kicking out squatters after Republican-controlled state gov’t passes new law: ‘Nope!’ That’s over with!’

Georgia State Police Actions against squatters After the Republican-controlled government passed new protections for rental property owners.

video report WSB-TV footage showed police taunting suspected squatters who have previously taken advantage of a loophole in the law.

Before House Bill 1017, disputes between homeowners and squatters were civil matters that could take weeks or months to resolve in court, during which time the homeowner had to pay the mortgage while the squatters could live in the property for free.

“All these fake leases… No! No! No! It’s over!”

Under the new law, squatting will become a criminal offense if the suspect cannot prove they belong to the home within three days. If the rental agreement was fraudulent, the criminal charge will be a felony.

WSB reports that some police departments are still figuring out how to enforce the new law, but South Fulton Police have already formed a task force to clear out squatters.

“Fake rental agreement, receipt and I rented this too. No! No! No! It’s over!” said a South Fulton Police officer.

“I know people think it’s OK to go into their homes and squat and sit there, but that all changed the other day,” another officer said.

The law also allows other groups, including HOAs and neighborhood residents, to report suspected squatters.

“The police can’t subdue them. Is that justice?”

The WSB folks congratulated themselves for their reporting on the squatters and for helping lawmakers pass the new law.

In one infuriating case from 2023, an army officer was on active duty when squatters moved into her home. She discovered the squatters when she found someone inside while trying to sell the house, but the police could not evict them because it was a civil matter.

“You can’t tell them to leave. You can’t kick them out. The police can’t kick them out. That’s justice,” Lt. Dahlia Daule told WSB at the time.

Ironically, under the old law, squatters were protected from adverse action by the Daure.

“You want to shoot out the windows, you want to turn off the water, you want to cut the power lines, but you can’t,” she said. “That’s a crime. Law-abiding citizens can’t do that.”

“This is no longer a civil matter. With the passage of this law, it has become a criminal offense.”

South Fulton Police Lt. Jubal Rogers told WSB the new law will allow police to shut down suspected squatters within days instead of months.

“We’re basically giving these squatters a warning. The law has changed,” he said.

“This is no longer a civil matter. With the passage of this law, it’s now a criminal offense to be illegally in a home without a lease,” Rogers added. “I think the law that’s now in place will allow us to be more proactive.”

In one case, police found that a suspected squatter was living in the home of a corporate owner who was seeking repayment of $60,000 in back rent.

A report released in February by the National Rental Housing Council found that as many as 1,200 vacant homes were being occupied by squatters in Atlanta, Georgia alone.

It seems that this new law may turn the tide against squatters.

“House Bill 1017 says to these squatters, ‘No more free rides, no more free rides, no more fraudulent paperwork. If you get caught falsifying paperwork, you’re going to face prison time. This is wrong,'” said Republican state Rep. Matt Reeves. “These squatters are stealing the American dream.”

Georgia has a Republican governor and Republican majorities in both houses of the state legislature.

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