Squatters take over Georgia man's home while he was away caring for wife - Hindustan Times
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Squatters take over Georgia man's home while he was away caring for wife

Mar 04, 2024 11:06 PM IST

Paul Callins was advised to file an Affidavit of Intruder as per Georgia law

Paul Callins, a resident of DeKalb County, Georgia, is facing an ordeal after squatters illegally occupied his newly renovated home while he was caring for his ailing wife. Callins invested heavily in renovations on the property, which he inherited from his father, who passed away from cancer in 2021. He listed the house for rent after the renovations, but upon returning, he discovered the locks had been changed, and strangers were residing inside.

Squatters took over Paul Callins' Georgia home while he was away caring for his sick wife(Google Maps)
Squatters took over Paul Callins' Georgia home while he was away caring for his sick wife(Google Maps)

What happened with Paul Callins?

“I guess they have done this before, because when I called the police, they said since they have a fake lease, that they can’t do anything. That it’s a civil matter,” Callins said. Despite the emotional and financial investment in the property, local authorities deemed the situation a civil dispute due to a purported fake lease presented by the squatters.

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Callins was advised to file an Affidavit of Intruder as per Georgia law, a process he fears could take months, adding to his distress. Callins' situation is not unique. The National Rental Home Council estimates that around 1,200 homes in DeKalb County alone are facing similar issues with squatters. This highlights the widespread problem plaguing the region.

Authorities consider establishing reform act

In response to this growing issue, Georgia lawmakers are considering the "Georgia Squatter Reform Act." This legislation, backed by Republican lawmakers like Devan Seabaugh, aims to criminalize trespassing and impose stricter penalties for fake leases. The fate of homeowners like Callins hinges on the success of this proposed legislation. Enacting stricter laws against squatting is crucial to protect property rights, deter future attempts, and ensure a sense of security for homeowners in Georgia.

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