A 23 year old Brazilian squatter has become much hated in upscale Tony Town neighborhood, Florida as he claims ownership to a multimillion dollar property simply by occupying it without anybody’s knowledge and most importantly without paying a dime.
The Florida man claims that he’s the rightful owner of a $2.5 million mansion in upscale neighborhood because he walked through the front door.
The police can’t move the squatter. Neither did anybody saw the squatter breaking into the 5-bedroom house, so it’s a civil matter. And representatives for the real owner, Bank of America, said they are aware of the situation and are following a legal process.
But the situation is driving his wealthy neighbors crazy.
The Orlando Sentinel reports that 23-year-old Andre “Loki” Barbosa is a squatter trying to cash in on a Florida law that says an individual may claim ownership of a property if they can stay there for seven years. Sunrise real estate lawyer Gary Singer told the paper Barbosa is arguing that the obscure Florida law, known as “adverse possession,” applies to him.
The foreclosed, 7,522-square-foot property has reportedly been empty for about 18 months. Barbosa reportedly filed his “adverse possession” paperwork in July 2012.
That a random stranger has moved into the upscale Boca Raton neighborhood isn’t sitting well with its other residents.
“This is a very upsetting thing,” neighbor Lyn Houston told the Sentinel. “Last week, I went to the Bank of America and asked to see the person in charge of mortgages. I told them, ‘I am prepared to buy this house.’ They haven’t even called me back.”
According to reports, no one saw Barbosa enter the property, “making it a civil matter,” according to the paper, so police have been unable to forcibly remove him from the five-bedroom home. For its part, Bank of America says it’s following a legal process to reclaim the property, sending a request for an eviction notice to the local court.
“The bank is taking this situation seriously and we will work diligently to resolve this matter,” BofA spokeswoman Jumana Bauwens told the paper.
A Facebook page listed under Barbosa’s name chronicling the situation refers to the disputed property as “Templo de Kamisamar.” A recent post claiming to be from Barbosa declares, “A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.”
The Sentinel also reports that Barbosa has placed a notice on the front window of the property declaring himself the “living beneficiary to the Divine Estate being superior of commerce and usury.”
Real estate websites show canal views from sumptuous interiors including pillars, a curved staircase, marbled bath, second-floor balconies and a pool.
Singer says the adverse possession rule stems from the days when most people lived on farms. He said whoever tries to use the rule has to occupy the property in an “open and notorious manner.”
“They can’t be boarding up the windows and hiding in there,” he said.
After relatively few instances of the rule being invoked over the previous 10 years, 13 cases of adverse possession were filed in 2011, according to John Enck, a manager of ownership services at the appraiser’s office. It spiked even more in 2012: 19 cases, but so far, since Oct. 1, only six cases have been filed, he said.