Skip to comments.Man uses obscure law to claim ownership of $300k home in upscale Texas town... for just $16
Posted on 07/20/2011 2:37:43 PM PDT by Mountain Bike Vomit Carnage
If someone you knew claimed to have bought a new house for $16, you'd probably expect it to be a rundown hovel.
But for Kenneth Robinson, that princely sum could see him as the new owner of a $300,000 home in an well-manicured part of Flower Mound, Texas.
On June 17, Mr Robinson took advantage of a little known Texas law to move into the abandoned home.
The house had been in foreclosure for more than a year and its owner walked away. Then, the mortgage company went bust. Kenneth Robinson answers the front door at his $16 manse
Kenneth Robinson answers the front door at his $16 manse
After months of research, Mr Robinson used the obscure law 'adverse possession', filled out some paperwork costing just $16, and moved some of his belongings into the home.
Under the law, if someone moves into an abandoned home they have exclusive negotiating rights with the original owner.
If the owner wants them to leave, they have to pay off the mortgage debt on the home and the bank has to file a complicated lawsuit to get them evicted.
Mr Robinson believes that because of the cost required to move him out, he will be able to stay in the house. Under occupancy laws, if he remains there for three years he can ask the court for the title.
He told WFAA.com: 'I want to be owner of record. At this point, because I possess it, I am the owner.
'This is not a normal process, but it is not a process that is not known. It's just not known to everybody.'
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2016745/Man-uses-obscure-law-claim-ownership-300k-home-upscale-Texas-town--just-16.html#ixzz1SgOZ5PTC
(Excerpt) Read more at dailymail.co.uk ...
Absolutely! How dare these “common people” have the brains to figure out this law.
TX state legislators are not in session - that means a few more people will be able to use this law to their advantage before the legislators can manage to change that law.
In northern California in the 1970`s, many houses were sliding down hillsides after heavy rains.
My friend`s brother had a house-moving company. Under the law if the owner evacuated the in-danger-of-sliding house and took belongings out, it was considered abandoned property.
The brother simply jacked up the house and moved to a lot he had already bought and sold it. It`s still legal, I think.
Adverse possession is neither obscure nor is this post...
That is a very wrong law if true.
If I move out of my house, it is considered abandoned and anyone can take it? Even though I am up-to-date on mortgage, taxes, etc? Hard to believe.
A lot of people move out of their homes prior to selling them.
Already posted here:
If he has legal possession he sould be able to get the utilities turned on.
What is the problem?
He figured out how to get “ahead” legally by grabbing a house that was owned previously by people who paid for it in blood and sweat most likely.Either he will turn it into a trash-heap or he won’t.Otherwise the guy has got some Chutzpah,if the Law doesn’t work out that way......he will get kicked out.
Which is fine.If the law is crap,change the law,you will never change those who take advantage of it.........
Bet he can’t keep up with the upkeep.
I think it had to be sliding a little and the sheriff posted it as uninhabitable— then it was up for grabs-
Homes in Slide Area Must Be Abandoned / Daly City residents have until April 17March 30, 2000|By Angelica Pence, Chronicle Staff Writer
2000-03-30 04:00:00 PST DALY CITY — Residents of a Daly City neighborhood plagued by landslides were given less than three weeks to abandon their homes last night.
The city informed 21 homeowners on Westline Drive that residents have until April 17 to pack up and move out of their houses. The homes will be “red-tagged” tomorrow, meaning that they are deemed permanently uninhabitable.
“The city has no choice at this point,” said City Manager John Martin. “These homes and these people are in imminent danger. We need to get this out.”
We are all likely paying for this house. When that bank went belly-up a good percentage of its depositors would have been able to collect on one federal deposit insurance plan or another. As we all know Bailout-1 poured hundreds of billions into those funds. These kinds of properties should be auctioned and the proceeds applied to the balance sheet of the defunct bank, either reducing or reimbursing covered deposit claims made to the Federal Government.
I don’t know a lot about real estate. That being said, if the owners left and it was in foreclosure AND the mortgage company went out of business then doesn’t the house belong to no one?! Will this man pay the taxes on the house? Seems odd and strange!
Why didn’t the original owners move back in?
Making easy money from someone else’s misery - your brother sounds like he’s an even bigger prick than my brother. I didn’t think that was possible.
He has no running water! Where the Sam Hill does he crap? Or take a shower?
Obviously, not a very good law. And he didn’t look all that smart so I bet he has “friends” like the aclu, black panthers and Al Queda looking up laws to pervert and take something for free that is NOT his. Welcome to the third world laws.
This is NOT a part of “Obamaworld” rather a very old English law in place called “adverse possession.”
If you have a field, for example, next to my farm, and, I let my cattle onto your field, WITHOUT YOUR PERMISSION, but, you were in a position to know (ie. the cattle were there all the time, not secretly) AND you never objected, never showed up, and never walked across the field, never put up any sign or fence or repair or a change of any kind...then voila, over a set period of time set in law, the land legally can become mine. (I actually know of a field where this happened (not to me!), in pricey Loudoun County, Va.)
Most of the states (all except Louisiana?) have it, as it is very old law, inherited from English law, and a pretty good principle (not allowing functionally abandoned real-estate) for the public good. This is especially relevant to America, where most of the land ownership originally involved squatters of some kind...
This is also where we get the very old saying, “possession is 9/10s of the law...”
Just because the new owner/squatter is black, does NOT make this something of “Obamaworld.”
I used to have a Real Estate license, and I recall first learning of this surprising law...and reacting against it. However when you really think about it, it’s a good thing.
Yeah, wait until he gets his property tax bill....
Would it be because Louisiana has Civil Law as opposed to common law traditions being that it used to be owned by France?
This is Brilliant. If thats what the law says then by all means go for it.
Actually, good for him.
We have tons of abandoned property in the inner cities. If we permitted anyone to occupy them—and thereby gain owernship (provided they brought the property up to code), then we’d get all those properties back on the tax roles
and a lot of underclass families would gain a stake in their neighborhoods.
(similar to the Homestead act).
This is known as adverse possession (”Squatters Rights”) and has been part of American Law ever since white people took land from the Indians. It’s “obscure” only in the sense that it’s like pluming regulations that are specialised and not part of most people’s daily lives.
Part of the deal is that he will now need to maintain the house, including paying property taxes (from this point forward — not back taxes). Which, if the house has truely been abandoned, should be an improvement.
I don’t get it. What if the original owner moved back in? Why can’t he take advantage of this? He paid some of it, at least?
This sounds like the illegals’ amnesty deal where they do not get to follow the laws we have to follow.
I smell an Obamaworld in this because in South Africa people come in when you are out grocery shopping and judges invariably side with blacks.
Who declares what abandoned property these days is very aleatorial.
“This is Brilliant. If thats what the law says then by all means go for it.”
That’s what I say. Leave the man alone. If it’s the law, then he should be able to do it. Let the common people have access the same laws the rich fat cats do, for a change.
I saw a show once where the author of “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” was being interviewed. He was saying that we have to learn the way rich people do things. They pay lower taxes, and accumulate assets, etc. because they know the system works, and they know what the loop holes are.
I’d rather see common folks and families have these homes and keep them up than the corrupt banks have them. We bailed these criminal banks out with our tax money and they still want more.
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I guess he could bring water into the house and use it to flush the toilets. I am thinking “sponge baths”? If this goes through for him, he has to live in it for three years and then he can apply for the title. People have done stranger things for a $300,000 dollar home for sixteen bucks.
Just cuz something’s legal doesn’t mean it’s right.
He would have had to know the mortgage company went bankrupt.
I’m guessing they didn’t keep in touch after he skipped out on the house notes.
If it doesn’t have power or water, wouldn’t it be considered uninhabitable?
I have thought about it... and it doesn't make much since to me
Yes it would per standards I once worked with. Harvard graduate with a sealed history besides being one of “my people”? How can he even leave and maintain squatter position #1?
It is an interesting situation but not much more.
“If you have a field, for example, next to my farm, and, I let my cattle onto your field, WITHOUT YOUR PERMISSION, but, you were in a position to know (ie. the cattle were there all the time, not secretly) AND you never objected, never showed up, and never walked across the field, never put up any sign or fence or repair or a change of any kind...then voila, over a set period of time set in law, the land legally can become mine.”
Yup. This is a real danger for landowners. People should be aware of this and not let their neighbors just sort of “gom onto” their land. My former neighbor wanted to pasture her horse on part of our unused land — which would have been fine — but when I drew up a simple contract designed to eliminate the possibility that she or her heirs could claim adverse possession sometime in the future, suddenly she didn’t want to pasture her horse there anymore. Hmm . . . wonder why?
Strange days. We’re pissed at a guy who follows the law, but not at the bankers who don’t.
He has been evicted. I attended the hearing.
He was a no show, and who ever he had living there had moved out over the weekend.
He's moved on to another property just down the road in the adjacent town.
People who have attempted the same thing have been arrested and charged with trespassing in the next county over.
I don’t know Texas law, but adverse posession does exist, but its a bit more complicated from my investigations, usually in requires living in the residence for an extended period of time and maintaining at as you owned it (paying taxes, upkeep etc) before you can successfully claim adverse posession.. but who knows.
Not suprised, while adverse posession laws exist, it usually requires the person claiming they possess the home to have lived there for an extended period, and engaged in maintenance and upkeep of the home, IE paid taxes etc etc..
Its usually not as simple as move in and file a form. Its more like find an abandoned home, move in, no one complains about it you live there for a certain amount of time, usually years, and maintain the home as your own, then you have the right to file for adverse posession process which includes proving that you have lived there, that the owner has abandoned the property and not attempted to remove you, etc etc.
They aren’t bad laws, but they aren’t as simple as filing a piece of paper and moving in.
IN PA for example to claim adverse posession, you have to have had continuous posession of the property for 20 years, and done so in an open, and not secretive manner, and have done so without the owners consent or permission. That’s the requirements to take the title in adverse posession.. basically openly squat and care for a property for 20 years without the owner saying its ok, or evicting you and the property is yours.
The property owner has surfaced and told him to get out. The Judge agreed that BoA is the rightful owner and the squatter must leave.
Adverse possession laws are written to protect the property owner. They are given a long period to stake their claim and prove ownership.
It seems Mr Robinson didn’t really understand the law, or thought the mortgage holder/owner would over look his presence for years? I have no idea what went through his head.
I’m just glad he is gone and didn’t get title to the property.