Woman recalls scary moment squatters locked her out of her home and wreaked havoc
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Featured Image Credit: Fox
A Florida landlord has recalled the scary moment squatters locked her out of her home and wreaked havoc, causing almost $40K (over £32K) in damage.
She spoke out on the Fox News channel this week to raise awareness about a squatter problem in the state.
"That right there was when I lost control of my property," landlord, Patti Peeples told Jesse Watters Primetime.
There were holes in the walls, doors off their hinges and faeces on the carpet - with the two women owning up to having 15 pitbulls.
She explained further on why she's had enough of squatters' rights: "These squatters know the laws better than most attorneys do, and they use them to their advantage.
"And the police are absolutely hamstrung. They know that this is a civil matter.
"The police have absolutely no right to remove these squatters and treat them as criminals, as individuals that have broken in or trespassed.
"They simply throw up their hands and say, ‘you need to go through this civil court system and evict them.'"
She explained to guest host, Pete Hegseth, that the court process can take from 30 days up to 18 months in some cities in the U.S.
Telling Hegseth that 'this is a nationwide problem,' Peeples shot a video inside the property to show the costly damage.
During the video she pleads with the squatters, informing them she owned the property.
"It doesn't f****** matter," they reply.
The women claimed they were being scammed by the landlord, saying that they'd signed a lease and paid first and last month's rent as well as a pet fee, but Peeples said their alleged proof was 'fraudulent'.
When asked by Hegseth if physically removing them or removing access to basic amenities like electricity or water to flush them out is an option, Peeples informed him it isn't doable.
"We would be in jail," she explained.
"We are prevented from doing that. So not only did they steal a home to live in for a period of time, but they lived in relative comfort with a washer-dryer, which they stole, a fully stocked kitchen with all of the appliances and heat, air conditioning and water."
As for a solution, Peeples said she would like Gov. Ron DeSantis to 'focus on property rights.'
She continued: "I invite him, instead of focusing on Disney, I welcome him to focus on this critical issue that's affecting almost every community in the state of Florida.
"Property rights in this state are absurd," she lamented.