Stand-off between homeowner and a squatter | A Current Affair

Stand-off between homeowner and a squatter | A Current Affair



first the extraordinary standoff between a homeowner and a squatter it's Julie's house it's in her name and she pays the mortgage but for more than two years Teresa Smith has been living there slowly destroying it and unbelievably not even police can kick her out she's destroyed me it's just destroyed what do you want how long has she been in it two and a half years it's a long time yeah a long long time you know it's just that's just destroyed Tresa can I please talk to you just wanna know why I just want to know why I just want my house and I love the garden yeah this was Julian's house only three years ago Chuck's in the yard fruit on the trees but it was more than just a pretty patch it was the place that held her final memories of her dear father we had to put my stepmom in a nursing home and she passed away and dad lived with me so it was the last place he lived with me and he loved it as much as I did Julie's dad Ian became ill in 2016 and she had to place him in a nursing home an hour away so she hopped in her motorhome and hit the road so she could be close by she leased her property out to a family friend Nathan Atkinson but when she returned after her father's death she discovered that Nathan had left and his sister Teresa Smith had moved in with her kids and she was in the front garden and I just asked what was she doing and she said she'd moved in and that was that that was late 2016 Julie claims that ever since no rent has been paid on her denilla Qin property the only money that Teresa has handed over is to cover two large power bills more than 18 months ago not wanting to sour her relationship with the family Julie says she's been patient given to raise a space tried to set up a formal rental agreements and then even tried to get her financial help you've gone out of your way to try and get her help yes to get a rent assistance to get everything organized and nothing nothing she's lost a pension or she's sick or the kids are sick or and and then it went from that I'm squatting so you can't do anything about it there's dozens of messages from you in there asking her for rent money every single week and she doesn't reply to you no no no she just abuses me when I go there could get throughout this entire period julie has continued to pay off a mortgage and pay the bills for her home in the meantime with skin cancer and heart issues Julie's health is failing her and surviving on a pension her financial health isn't much better julie has served three eviction notices upon Teresa all of which have been ignored she's tried to call the local police only to be told they can't get involved until she's obtained a court order but now she's been told by the New South Wales Civil and Administrative Tribunal in Cass that the case will be a difficult one as there was never an official rental agreement such a shame at her wits end she called us here in Teresa and together we went to try and talk to Teresa terrible it's not fair not surprisingly Teresa didn't want to speak to us it's destroyed shed ran the backs empty from one with tools but how about the house Teresa Teresa Teresa it's Alison Petrowski from a Current Affair we just wanted to have a word to you about the property and what you're doing here Teresa I really need to move home I'm not well have the decency come and talk to us please Teresa come on Teresa what sort of example are you setting for your kids by doing this you okay Julie yeah the house has been turned inside out furniture has been discarded look at the bed up there I mean for God's sake the front door is broken and so a remnants of Julie's precious garden and it gets worse her garage door is busted a car Julie left inside looks to be damaged there's bags of trash lying everywhere a used nappy in the driveway and all the personal touches that Julie had put on her little cottage now leave a sour taste lovely you are how does she look like she loves it don't think so can I please talk to you Theresa if you could just have the courtesy to come out and have a chat to Julie I mean it is her property okay sorry don't swear Theresa just come out come out and see you think you're in here far as she's concerned she's she's got the rights and she said that and she's told me that you know it's her place she tells me to get off her property get out of her house I understand why paying your mortgage still why are you still paying the other things have you been tempted to cut her off the rates no because she's got kids living there and I just I couldn't do that squatter's rights do exist in Australia but there's some very clear rules around it and it's not an easy thing to claim according to Leo Paterson Ross the senior policy officer of the tenancy Union of New South Wales you need to be squatting for twelve years before you can claim ownership he says Julie's only real option to remove Teresa is to go to NCAT once again and plead her case then it may be that actually the tribunal dismisses the case and says this isn't a tenancy there is no legal relationship here which makes it very clear though for the for the owner to say that you're trespassing on my property and call the police Julie is doubtful after her previous experience with red tape trying to go to the tribunal she's now also attempting to engage a solicitor but is worried about the potential costs she set up camp a couple of kilometres from her house and says she's not leaving until she gets her home back there's no guarantee if I go to Switzerland spend twenty thirty thousand but that will get her out either so where where he left not a good place it's awful following more legal advice Julie's going to deliver another termination notice for rent arrears to Teresa this week and will return to the tribunal to try to get her out

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