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Accused Squatter Files Restraining Order Against Homeowner

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A California homeowner says a squatter has taken over her Fair Oaks home and even filed a restraining order against the owner, Fox40 reports. Sandra Forbes says the woman moved in about two months ago without meeting her or getting permission. And while the alleged interloper produced a lease and other paperwork to the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, Forbes says they’re fake. For her part, the unidentified resident isn’t bending. “There is always more than one side to a story,” she says in a statement. “I am not a criminal. I did not force the [Forbeses] out of a house.” But this isn’t her first such conflict: Susan Haltom, another Fair Oaks homeowner, says the same woman signed a lease with her in 2012, but stopped paying rent after four months, inventing complaints about rats and other issues.

Haltom says she begged the woman to leave for a year and a half, and she finally did after the homeowner began legal proceedings. But squatters do have rights in California and can even gain tenants’ rights, making eviction difficult, the San Francisco Chronicle notes (to do that, the squatter usually has to pay taxes on a property for five years or make repairs to it). “It feels like the squatters have way more rights than the landlords,” Haltom says. “[And] squatters have way more time on their hands. We are just working 9 to 5 trying to make a living.” A moving truck did show up outside Forbes’ home last Thursday, suggesting an end to the ordeal—but neighbors say they saw the woman moving furniture off the truck and into the house.

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