A Southern California couple who closed a $ 650,000 dream home weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic finally took control of the home after the former owner used an eviction ban to squat in the house for 15 months.
Cell phone video from last fall shows the moment when Tracie Albert and her friends confronted the squatter who refused to leave the Riverside, California home he sold to her and her husband.
Tracie and Myles Albert used all of their savings to pay for the four-bedroom house in January last year. CBS Los Angeles reported.
The couple entered into a contract with the seller on January 31, 2020 and would withdraw on that day.
The salesman, who Tracie Albert identified to DailyMail.com as Hossam Boktor, “didn’t request time after bail to move,” she said.
In a cell phone video from last fall, we see a Southern California woman confront the seller of a house she and her husband bought in Riverside. Tracie Albert can be seen in the maroon shirt
The seller had been squatting in the house for the past 15 months after taking the buyers’ money in January 2020
The squatter was identified as Hossam Boktor. He is seen at the doorway with a tire iron while confronted by Tracie Albert, 39
Tracie and her husband, Myles, used their savings and paid $ 650,000 for their dream four-bedroom home in Riverside, California (above)
Tracie, 39, and her husband, Myles, 41, are shown above. She works as a real estate agent. Her husband is an auctioneer
The couple was shocked to learn that when they arrived at the house to move in, they were told by the salesman that he had no intention of leaving.
Tracie told DailyMail.com that she and her husband paid the seller the full amount in cash.
She said she had been told by the Riverside County Sheriff’s Office to get a court order from a judge to evict the seller.
However, in order to obtain the court order, she had to file paperwork with the county proving it belonged to her.
After collecting the money from the sale of the house, Boktor refused to leave. Just as the couple finished filing the papers to deport him last spring, California was shut down due to the pandemic. A few days later, an expulsion moratorium was declared statewide
Under California law, a landlord must evict a tenant if he pays or cancels a three-day tenant, officially letting the tenant know he has three days to pay the outstanding rent or leave.
After the three days have passed, landlords must wait 30 days if the tenant stays on the property without paying.
If the tenant does not pay within the allotted time, the landlord could be unlawfully detained.
After filing the paperwork, the landlord will receive a warrant from a judge. That document is then taken to the sheriff’s office.
The sheriff has three to fifteen days to issue the subpoena. After the tenant receives the subpoena, they have five days to vacate the property.
If the tenant refuses, the sheriff has six to 15 days to physically evict the tenant.
Tracie told DailyMail.com that by the time she filed all the paperwork to evict the seller, the state had imposed the COVID-19 shutdown and there were no judges in the local courts to carry out the eviction messages.
“I had to get my statement that week, when the state shut down,” she said.
“ If you were in Arizona, if you were in Nevada, this wouldn’t be a problem, you’d just take your home back, ” Myles told Albert Fox 11 TV
“But in California, as our hands are tied, even though we’re on your side, there’s nothing we can do.”
During the lockdown, Tracie, 39, and her husband, Myles, 41, stayed in their old home in Costa Mesa.
Tracie told DailyMail.com that the seller finally left home last week. She believes the media attention the story received and the lifting of the restrictions by the state prompted the seller to finally give up the house.
“He thought it would happen now with all the publicity,” she said.
“He probably didn’t want to be left out by the sheriff.”
Tracie said she’s not sure she and her husband will stay in the house, given the negative feelings it has generated.
“We don’t even know if we want to live in that house now because I hate it,” she said.
“It’s not really what I wanted when we bought it.”
When the coronavirus started spreading in the United States last March, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a house arrest in the country’s most populous state. The order entered into force on March 19, 2020.
Myles and Tracie Albert, who previously lived in Costa Mesa, California, said the experience left them disappointed with the home and are considering selling it.
A week later, Newsom issued another injunction “prohibiting the enforcement of eviction orders for tenants affected by COVID-19.”
That moratorium has been extended to this day and will last at least until June.
Last month, Biden’s government said it is extending a federal moratorium on the eviction of tenants who have become rent arrears during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have switched to continue the pandemic-related protection, which was scheduled to end on March 31. The moratorium is now extended until the end of June.
The ban, which initially went into effect last year, provides protection to tenants out of concern that the highly contagious virus, which has killed more, would further spread the highly contagious virus if families lost their homes and moved to shelters or shared busy conditions with family members or friends than 545,000 people in the United States.
To qualify for housing protection, tenants must earn $ 198,000 per year or less for couples filing jointly, or $ 99,000 for single filings; demonstrate that they have sought help from the government to pay the rent; state that they cannot pay due to COVID-19 hardships; and confirm that they are likely to become homeless upon deportation.
In February, President Joe Biden extended the seizure ban to June 30 to help homeowners struggling during the pandemic.
Housing advocates had generally expected the extension of the tenant eviction moratorium and lobbied the Biden government, saying it was too early in the country’s economic recovery for the ban to fall.
Landlords in several states have filed lawsuits to scrap the order, arguing that it caused them financial hardship and infringed their property rights.
They remain against any renewal, saying it is doing nothing to address the financial challenges that tenants and landlords are facing.
There are at least six prominent lawsuits challenging the authority of the CDC ban.
So far, three judges have sided with the ban and three have spoken out against, and all cases are currently under appeal.
A Memphis judge declared the CDC order unenforceable throughout the Western District of Tennessee.