Palm Beach Squatter Arrested: Father of Three Claims Adverse Possession of House in the Acreage
Jason Friedman, a family man and father of three, saw Loki Boy, the 23-year-old Brazilian man that squatted into a $2.5 million mansion by means of "adverse possession" and apparently thought to himself, "Well now that looks like a fantastic idea!" and moved his family into an abandoned 3,400-square-foot home in the Acreage in Palm Beach under the same claim.
Because basing major life decisions on this guy is a terrific way to go about raising a family.
According to the Palm Beach Post, Friedman, 37, filed the adverse possession claim -- an antiquated Florida law -- with Palm Beach County on May 14, and then moved into the foreclosed home in the 12000 block of 54th Street North.
Friedman then forked over around $8,000 of his own money to change the locks, put up a brand new fence, and cleanup the filthy abandoned pool. He then posted a note on the front window saying that he had taken possession of the home under Florida statute 95.18.
On the same day he filed the claim, Friedman was arrested by Palm Beach County Sheriff's deputies on residential burglary, theft under $300, tampering with a victim and resisting arrest without violence charges.
Devon Anderson, the home's actual owner, heard of the Friedman's moving in through Acreage neighbors. Anderson went to the house and confronted the squatter.
Friedman offered Anderson $10,000 to sign a quit claim deed, which he obviously turned down (the home had been purchased for $373,000).
People claiming abandoned homes via adverse possession is nothing new in Florida. Loki Boy was the latest high-profile case.
Basically, adverse possession is a hundred-year old Florida law that was created for people to gain land or property legally. The law was created to protect property that was literally abandoned back in the day (i.e. no owners), and for those land owners who died without heirs leaving their property as a sort of free-for-all.
Now in the 21st Century, people have been using the claim as a loop hole to gran themselves a house for free.
But that hasn't stopped law enforcement from arresting squatters. Boca police stormed the home Loki Boy had been staying in back in February, removed his belongings, and the house was returned to the rightful owners.