The Lord of Squat: An Overview of Mark Guerette's Adverse Possession Claims

Categories: Economy
Mark Guerette
Our feature article this week is about Mark Guerette, who decided to take advantage of an old squatter's-rights law called "adverse possession" to move low-income families, some with checkered pasts, into empty foreclosed houses around Broward County. Mark was eventually charged with fraud because he charged rent for property that wasn't his. Still, it was a somewhat ingenious response to the sheer number of houses sitting empty and neglected and the tough financial straits facing many families.

While the state attorney's office was building its case against Guerette, he voluntarily handed over many of the dozens of adverse possession claims he had filed with the county. The addresses listed on these claims provide a glimpse into the breadth of his operation -- though Guerette says he ended up leasing only about 17 of these homes. Read the feature for more.

Interactive map after the jump.

View Mark Guerette Adverse Possession Claims in a larger map

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Adverse possession needs to be abolished. It is an outdated, arcane, unnecessary and unjust law that needs to end. People like Mark Guerette pervert it as an effort to take something for nothing. This is why it is called legalized land theft. Legislators should be ashamed for not doing anything about this horrible law.


While I agree with you that Mark Guerette is perverting this law for his own gains.  If a house has been left and no one owns it I see no reason why a single family should not be able to move into a home and take defacto ownership.

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