To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

Family haven't been able to move into $2m home they bought after being unaware squatter was living there

Family haven't been able to move into $2m home they bought after being unaware squatter was living there

A 'squatter' has been living in the $2 million New York property for months

A couple have spoken out after discovering they couldn't move their family into their dream home because a 'squatter' lived there.

Picture this, despite a crippling economy and cost of living crisis, you've somehow managed to save up enough to buy your dream property.

You splash out a hefty $2 million and get ready to make the move, but find out you can't actually up sticks into the new house because someone is already living there - a squatter to be exact.

Well, this was apparently the reality for one family, who claim their dream home has quickly turned into a nightmare.

Buying the house

In a bid to settle down into retirement, Susana and Joseph Landa bought a $2 million house in their neighborhood in Douglaston in Queens, New York.

They purchased the house not only to live out their retirement in, but also to 'provide' for son Alex, who has Down Syndrome - the house right next door to family members who could help look after him.

The couple bought the property back in October 2023, however, fourth months on, the family say they are no closer to being able to complete the move into their new home.

The house is located in Queens.

The issue

A man named Brett Flores allegedly remains living in the property, according to court documents.

The docs claim Flores acted as the caretaker of the house for the former homeowner who resided at the property as well as a carer for the elderly man - the former homeowner having since passed away.

According to records, Flores claims he is allowed to stay at the property because he has a 'license' given to him by the previous homeowner, who allegedly paid him $3,000 a week to take care of him and the house.

And whether or not he has any sort of license doesn't really matter, given in New York City, if squatters live on a premise for 30 consecutive days or more, they then have certain rights.

Flores has been living there since the previous homeowner passed away in January earlier this year.

Susana Landa has spoken out in despair over the situation.

The legal battle

The Landa family have taken Flores to court in a bid to get him evicted from the property, already having gone through five hearings in civil court.

They allege the squatter has 'no lease' and is 'not paying rent' and that they've had to cough up thousands to pay for the utility bills as a result of owning the property.

The family have also accused Flores of trying to rent out some of the rooms in the house online.

Flores has since reportedly filed for bankruptcy which has 'prevent[ed] everything from going forward,' Joseph says.

Susana tells ABC7 New York: "I wake up and I go to sleep about the same thing, when is this guy going to come out?

"It's very crazy, our system is broken. I never would imagine we have no rights, no rights at all, nothing, zero."

When contacted for comment, Flores' attorney told 7 On Your Side investigators he had 'no comment'.

The next court date is scheduled for April.

Featured Image Credit: ABC7

Topics: Money, US News, Life