Housing News

What’s a Professional Anyway?

A new breed of squatters

Imagine this: You purchase a home for thousands of dollars, leave it empty since you signed the papers then suddenly discover that squatters are already living in your house. A tall story you say? In London, it isn’t. The Times has reported that a house in The Bishops Avenue, a high profile address where neighbors include some of the world’s royal families is currently occupied by so called “professional” squatters.

Now that, I’m sure, has put a smile on your face.

According to the report, “… Calin Ciufudean, a 32-year-old “professional” squatter, said that the owners know that the squatters are in. However, he claims that they do not mind because he and his housemates are “looking after” the home by carrying out repair works and gardening. He said that he and his friends had embarked on a renovation project, removing all the carpets, throwing away rubbish and doing the gardening, but that “a lot still needs doing. Mr. Ciufudean, who recently set up Prep Ltd, a company offering property management services to absent owners, said that he would stay until the owners decided whether to sell up, develop the property or demolish it.”

Since when did squatters become this ingenuous?

If you’re wondering how this could have happened, then you’re not alone. We know times are hard but we can’t simply imagine how some people can have the nerve to live in someone’s house and “pay” for their accommodation through minor fixes.

Clearly, they’re not doing any favor at all.

But here in the U.S., squatting is more horrendous. In a report by Reuters last year, it was discovered that some squatters pose as tenants and resist any means of throwing them out of the property until the banks offer them a “cash for eviction” payment of about $1,000 to $1,500.

Then again, this gets us to think twice about Calin Ciufudean’s controversial “trespassing” given how some Americans are turning squatting into an easy cash cow.

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