Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

U.S. News

Republicans take aim at squatting crisis

via FOX
This article was originally published at Publications approved for syndication have permission to republish this article, such as Microsoft News, Yahoo News, Newsbreak, UltimateNewswire and others. To learn more about syndication opportunities, visit About Us.

Georgia lawmakers are proposing a bill, HB 1017, known as the Georgia Squatter Reform Act, to address the issue of squatting in Atlanta.

The bill aims to criminalize squatting and expedite the process of removing squatters from properties.

“We have to do something about this,” Rep. Devan Seabaugh said.

The legislation seeks to charge squatters with a misdemeanor, impose fines, and potentially lead to jail time.

The bill also targets fake leases and fraudulent documentation related to squatting.

“We’re dealing with criminals… These are people that know exactly what they’re doing, and they’re stealing other people’s most valuable capital, which is their home. I’ve heard from a lot of people. This has caused them to file bankruptcy. They’re mentally harmed by it. It’s a tough situation, and we have to do something. I don’t know how it took us this long to get here… but no more free rides,” he said.

“What we’ve done is create new code in the Georgia law that, in a nutshell, says, if you’re squatting in a home, and you do not have the consent or legal authority to be in it, you’ll be arrested and charged with a misdemeanor of a highly aggravated nature. You’ll be fined, and you may spend up to a year behind bars,” he said.

“To speed up the process, we’ve moved the proceedings, which now require a superior court jury trial that could take months to years to adjudicate, through a non-jury magistrate court trial that can be heard much sooner and hopefully significantly decrease the time it takes to remove these squatters from a property,” he added.

The initiative has bipartisan support and is expected to pass through the Georgia General Assembly.

“No more fraud on the paperwork. If you falsify documents, and you get caught, you’re going to serve jail time on that. That’s wrong,” Rep. Matt Reeves said.

“The last incident that I had, there was a squatter there who totally destroyed the place,” real estate agent Kesha Chedeaux said.

“One has went to jail. They sold the appliances from the property and received money for them. Selling appliances, [there’s] feces everywhere, [they’re] sleeping in the beds because these properties are staged on the market.”

“I think this is a quick fix to a problem so that if you are squatting at someone’s home, we’re going to get you out. We’re going to move a 1-2 year process to hopefully less than 30 days and return this property back to the rightful owners,” Seabaugh said.

Most Popular:

FBI Informant Who Criticized Biden Gets Bad News

Drag Queen Principal Learns His Fate Amid Controversy

You May Also Like