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Handyman-turned-squatter hunter outlines ‘nightmare scenario’ when migrants catch on to housing laws

A handyman-turned-squatter hunter worries that immigrants entering the United States will fall prey to states’ generous tenant rights laws, creating a squatting crisis that is “out of control.”

“A lot of people are coming. They’re going to be looking for a place to live. And if we don’t have housing for them and they come without money, they rent in the traditional way. You can’t do that,” Flash Shelton, founder of the National Handyman Association and Squatterhunters.com, told Fox News.

“Our squatter situation is going to get out of control,” he added, as we begin to see that many states are enacting laws that are more tolerant of squatters.

Squatter and tenant rights laws vary from country to country, with some states providing protections for individuals with unpaid bills and allowing them to occupy property for long periods of time.

In areas where complex laws hinder police action, homeowners have few options to recover their property other than filing civil lawsuits, which can take months.

Shelton has advocated changing laws that prevent people from doing illegal activities, and warned that the influx of immigrants crossing the southern border could significantly worsen the illegality problem.

Flash Shelton, founder of United Handyman Association and SquatterHunters.com. fox news

“What are we going to do when we have a million people illegally occupying this country?” Shelton said. “When we not only have a border issue that we don’t understand, but we also have people who are being pushed into a corner emotionally. All of these people are devastated financially and physically because they lost their homes. Are you there?”

“Regardless of how you feel politically or morally about this situation, put it aside and just think about the public,” Shelton added.

Nearly 7.3 million immigrants have entered the country illegally since the beginning of 2021, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Since 2022, Texas has sent more than 100,000 immigrants to major cities in other states, with most ending up in New York City and Chicago.

According to Bloomberg, the Big Apple expects to spend $1.45 billion on immigration in fiscal year 2023, and a combined $9.1 billion on immigrant housing in 2024 and 2025.

The squatter crisis will spiral out of control if laws don’t change, the handyman said. fox news

New York City Mayor Eric Adams said in September: “Dear New Yorkers, never in my life have I faced a problem where there is no end in sight. ‘There is no end in sight.’ . “This problem will destroy New York City.”

Shelton said resources to deal with the hundreds of thousands of homeless Americans living on the nation’s streets are already stretched thin and are being further depleted by the new rush to seek shelter. He questioned how to stop immigrants from taking advantage of illegal occupation loopholes when they find they can live rent-free in empty homes for months.

“We irresponsibly opened the door to a lot of people coming into this country and we’re not prepared to deal with them,” Shelton said. “What are the downsides if these people start taking over the house?”

New York City Mayor Adams said there was “no end in sight” to the problem. fox news

The California handyman first experienced squatter removal in 2019, when two women took over his mother’s home, which was for sale.

After local law enforcement failed to help, Shelton spent days scouring laws surrounding squatter rights, using loopholes such as signing a lease with his mother and designating her as a legal resident. They succeeded in kicking the women out the same day. House. He now uses his experience to provide squatter removal services to others.

He warned of the “nightmare scenario” the country would face in the future if politicians did not act now to curb illegal occupation.

“I’m using this time to raise awareness about squatting and how the laws need to change,” Shelton told Fox News. “Isn’t it going to get worse before it gets better? I think it’s already there.”

“At some point it will become irreparable,” he added.

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