When living in a home that doesn’t happen to be yours, you should have an excuse. And one man in Niceville, Fla. (how nice!) says he was just squatting there by way of the a law that makes it okay for what the pioneers used to call “claim jumpers” to hang on to property they don’t own.
Here’s how it works, under the Adverse Possession law: You just live there, make improvements and stay for at least seven years. Unfortunately for Robert, a substitute teacher arrested Dec. 29 for squatting in a home owned by Bank of America, he was only there two months, says the Northwest Florida Daily News.
Robert says he found the home open with unsecured locks so he moved in and bought locks for the residence, under the Adverse Possession law, which we’ll call “Claim Jumper’s Rule”* after those fellows in the Old West who would squat on another’s deeded land and keep it by force. It’s fun and old-timey, see?
Unfortunately, claim-jumping or adversely possessing for two months wasn’t cool with cops, as Robert was charged with burglary, larceny and fraud. He should’ve followed the example of the man who got a $300K home for $16 under similar circumstances.
*(In case you were wondering, our knowledge of claim jumping comes almost entirely from Laura Ingalls Wilder books, so we’re happy to have utilized it.)
**Thanks for the tip, George!
Man squatting in home buys locks for doors, says its OK because of Adverse Possession law [Northwest Florida Daily News]