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I Need Somebody Smarter Than I Am To Make This Story About A Homeowner In New York City Being Arrested For Trying To Kick A Squatter Out Of Their $1 Million Dollar Home, That They Own, To Please Make Sense.

NEW: New York City homeowner gets arrested after changing the locks on *her own home* after it got taken over by squatters. Never do business in New York. In NYC, anyone can simply claim "squatter's rights" after 30 days of living at a home which isn't even enough time for the city to do their "investigation, their work, and their job" according to home owner Adele Andaloro. When the 30 day mark comes, it is illegal to change the locks, remove tenants or turn off the utilities. The bogus law means practically anyone can squat in a home and there is nothing the homeowner can do about it. During the news segment, Andaloro was arrested for unlawful eviction and taken away in handcuffs. Absolute insanity.

FLUSHING, Queens (WABC) -- Eyewitness News captured what a growing number of property owners and police are dealing with on a daily basis - a squatter standoff.

"It's not fair that I, as the homeowner, have to be going through this," Adele Andaloro said.

Andaloro inherited her family's home in Flushing, Queens after her parents passed away. She was in the process of selling it when she noticed a problem. Someone changed the entire front door and lock of her home.

"I'm really fearful that these people are going to get away with stealing my home," she said.

She says squatters moved into her home in February and refused to leave.

"By the time someone does their investigation, their work, and their job, it will be over 30 days and this man will still be in my home," she said.

In New York, squatters have rights after 30 days.

When Andaloro recently went to her property, Eyewitness News was there when a woman walked up to the house, unlocked the door, and left. Andaloro decided to enter the property with her daughter and her property deed in hand.

She didn't just find her belongings inside the home. She found two people.

"Who are you sir, get out of my house," she said to one of them sleeping in a bedroom.

Eyewitness News asked one of the men how long he'd been there. He responded by saying, "I moved in two days ago."

The second man refused to answer questions.

The men who Andaloro says are squatting inside her home called the police on her.

"They've called the police on me and I've called the locksmith," she said. "We didn't come in illegally, the door was open."

In the wild world of NYC real estate, where finding a decent apartment is like winning the lottery, Adele Andaloro hit the jackpot in the worst way possible. Picture this: you inherit your family's house in Queens, thinking maybe you'll sell it, make a few bucks, and live the dream. But nope, the universe has other plans. Enter the squatters—NYC's version of uninvited house guests who decide your place is their new crash pad, complete with a lock change because, why not?

Adele's thinking, "This can't be happening," but oh, it is. Turns out, in the Big Apple, if you play house in someone else's crib for 30 days, you basically become part of the furniture. So when Adele discovers her home's new "tenants," she's about as welcome as a landlord at a rent strike.

Police arrived shortly after and started interviewing the men, the neighbors, and asking for documents.

One officer asked the men, "Do you have something that shows you've been here more than 30 days?"

When the men didn't provide documentation, they escorted both off the property and Andaloro had a locksmith change the locks. Before police left, they warned her about changing the locks.

"I may end up in handcuffs today if a man shows up here and says I have illegally evicted him," said Andaloro. "I said 'let him take me to court as I've been told to take him to court' because today I'm not leaving my house."

In New York, it's against the law to turn off the utilities, change the locks, and remove the belongings of someone who claims to be a tenant.

Honestly, major respect to this lady, for handling this the way she did. I think most people would be homicidal if confronted with a surprise like this.


Less than 10 minutes after police left and the locks were changed, the man who claimed to be the one actually leasing the house showed up with another man police already escorted off the property. They pushed through the front door.

"Do you see this this guy just literally broke down my door, broke through myself and my daughter," Andaloro said.

Police showed up a second time and told Andaloro "he can't be kicked out, you have to go to court." They consider it to be a landlord-tenant issue and by law, it has to be handled through housing court and not with police.

Because Andaloro changed the locks, they arrested her for unlawful eviction.

When Eyewitness News asked Brian Rodriguez, the man who claims to have a lease, for documentation he provided none. Instead, he showed bills for work he claimed he had done to the house. He said he moved into the home a few months ago and signed documents with a realtor but wouldn't say who that realtor is.

"You got to go to court and send me to court," said Rodriguez. He said he'll leave "if she pays me my money that I put in the house," said Rodriguez. "Pay me the money and I'll leave or send me to court it's that simple."

Trying to get her house back, Adele steps into a bizarre legal twilight zone where the squatters have more rights than a homeowner. The police are doing the hokey-pokey because, legally, their hands are tied. Meanwhile, one squatter, who's got the audacity, and balls as big as fucking beach balls, to tell this reporter "Tell her to pay me my money back, and take me to court, and then I'll leave." As if he is the victim here.

What planet are we on?

And the cherry on top? The slow-as-molasses housing court system in NYC, where eviction cases drag on longer than a bad movie. Adele's looking at a 20-month saga just to say "adios" to her uninvited guests. Only in New York, folks, where squatters play the system better than a seasoned lawyer, and homeowners like Adele need more than just a key to get into their own home.

Somebody please make this make sense. 

Giphy Images.