New Home invoice would lastly make it clear squatting a legal act in Georgia – WSB-TV Channel 2

ATLANTA — Simply days after a Channel 2 Motion Information investigation uncovered an Instagram account that was permitting individuals throughout metro Atlanta to squat in houses, we’ve realized {that a} new invoice has been launched on the State Capitol designed to cease squatters from stealing houses.

The Georgia Squatter Reform Act makes it clear that squatting is a criminal offense to be dealt with by police.

“Home Invoice 1017 says to squatters, ‘No extra freeloading, no extra free rides,” state Rep. Matt Reeves mentioned.

It’s a possible legislative resolution to an issue that we’ve been reporting on over the previous yr in a collection of Channel 2 Motion Information tales – squatters transferring into properties like Michael Holmes’ DeKalb County home and making the most of authorized protections for renters to remain lease free for months.

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“If I can’t carry this to some sort of decision, I’ll be in jeopardy of submitting chapter,” Holmes informed Grey.

“This invoice will make it legal trespassing so the police can come and take them out of the home,” state. Rep. Devan Seabaugh mentioned.

In a Channel 2 Motion Information undercover investigation on Monday, Channel 2 client investigator Justin Grey reported on an Instagram account known as 1TimePaymentHomes that provides individuals the keys and the lease to a squatter dwelling for a one-time fee of $1,400.

They even spelled out on the location how squatting works.

“The corporate’s homeowners will come out, so will the police. The police will inform you there’s nothing they’ll do about it — squatters rights,” the account mentioned.

However HB 1017, the Georgia Squatter Reform Act, would make it clear in Georgia regulation that squatting is legal trespassing, making it a police matter, not a civil courtroom case.

It additionally makes any pretend lease a further crime.

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“No extra fraud on the paperwork. For those who falsify paperwork and also you get caught, you’re going to serve jail time on that. That’s incorrect,” Reeves mentioned

1TimePaymentHomes took off operating after we confirmed up as they had been planning handy over the keys for an unlawful rental.

The lawmakers behind the Georgia Squatter Reform Act informed Grey that they’re hoping this new regulation would offer stiffer protections squatters can’t run from.

“Does it make you offended whenever you see simply how blatant, how brazen they’re?” Grey requested State Consultant Deborah Silcox

“Effectively, that is an invasion of somebody’s dwelling,” Silcox mentioned.

“These squatters are stealing the American dream,” Reeves mentioned.

The invoice goes to the judiciary committee subsequent week.

Grey despatched Instagram a hyperlink to our investigation from Monday. They known as him on Wednesday to inform him they’ve deactivated that 1TimePaymentHomes Instagram account.

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