Here at SwedelsonGottlieb, we've dealt with or heard a lot of interesting situations. Sometimes, we think we must have seen just about everything there is to see. But a recent article about squatters at an a home in a Newport Beach HOA made us laugh out loud. The squatters had taken over a $2.6 million home in a gated planned development community, and amazingly, they complained of not being able to access the security gate to the association. They claimed they were "prisoners in their own home", but now it looks like they may have to make prison their home for awhile.
This story does have more serious implications. Associations should keep an eye out for squatters and then alert the owner, as the association should not get directly involved except perhaps to call the police. And, there could be some implications for not allowing access, assuming that the squatter is now a tenant (technically and depending on how they got possession of the home/unit). We have heard about owners putting people into their home or unit as the foreclosure was taking place. At some condominium associations we represent, we have been told that squatters have taken up residence. How did anyone know? The first clue was an extension cord out the door and plugged into the association's common area electrical socket. A clue for another association was a transient using the spa and clubhouse. A sign of the times?