Jason Friedman moved his family and belongings into a 3,400-square-foot Palm Beach home in foreclosure, claiming adverse possession, the same antiquated Florida law unsuccessfully cited earlier this year by a Boca Raton mansion squatter, the Palm Beach Post reported.
Friedman, 37, cleaned the pool, installed a new fence, changed the locks and moved his wife and three children into the home, hoping the owner on record would hand over the title. Instead, Devon Anderson called the police. Friedman was arrested two weeks later on charges of residential burglary, petty theft and resisting arrest without violence, the Post reported.
Adverse possession is a means of attempting to gain legal title to a property by continuous possession of the property for at least seven years, challenging ownership.
Celebrity squatter Andre Barbosa made national news in January when he moved into a $2.5 million foreclosed mansion in Boca Raton, claiming adverse possession. The owner, Bank of America, eventually cleared out Barbosa’s belongings with the help of police.
“I thought the Boca case would have ended this whole fiction that one can squat and acquire property under adverse possession,” Boca Raton-based real estate attorney Daniel Kaskel told the newspaper. “There are no loopholes towards homeownership,” he said. [Palm Beach Post] –Emily Schmall