Local News


CONTACT 13: Taking on squatters will take team work

Posted at 6:00 PM, Feb 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-06 21:57:00-05
While homeowners talk to police about what more they can do, Contact 13 is taking it higher.  Chief Investigator Darcy Spears is looking for answers from our elected officials. 
County Commissioner Marilyn Kirkpatrick says there's no easy fix and no one answer.  Instead, it will take teamwork from neighbors and multiple agencies to take on the squatter problem. A key component of that?  Making sure property owners are responsible and held accountable. 
Finding the so-called victim or actual homeowner is a major headache for Metro--especially if the home is bank-owned or going through foreclosure.  
Kirkpatrick wants to see a local government database that will keep track of vacant properties. 
 And she says the state legislature needs to pass a law requiring banks to turn over titles of foreclosed homes in 30 days.  
Kirkpatrick is also looking at how other communities across the country are taking on squatters.   
"I really like Ohio where it required you to have a bond once your property became vacant," says Kirkpatrick. "So that any nuisances can be addressed right away as opposed to the county putting out the money."
Kirkpatrick tells Contact 13 she can't stress enough how important it is for you to call when you spot squatters. She says don't assume the county already knows. If you already called Metro, you should also call city or county code enforcement.