A handyman who shot to fame after kicking squatters out of his mum’s house has revealed how he booted them out. The founder of the United Handyman Association Flash Shelton became fed up with the squatters after they moved into his mum’s California home. His mum left the home after her husband died.
Mr Shelton said: “She tried to say her furniture was ‘accidentally delivered. And she just happened to be pulling out of the driveway when I was scoping out the house.”
He continued: “I staked out the house to see what kind of individuals were going in and then make a determination if I needed to enter the house. I knew that the backdoor was broken in anyway.
“Pre-emptively, I wrote up a lease and had my mum make me the legal tenant. I got it notarised. I had current utility bills in my name. I had keys to the house. At that point, I would have entered the house. If the squatter can take a home, I can take a home.”
Although Shelton says he first spoke to police, who said they couldn’t help him, he had heard that court cases on squatters’ rights could take months or even years.
Fearing a protracted court battle, he decided to take matters into his own hands. He packed his car, bringing a gun just in case, and headed to Northern California where his mum’s house is located.
He said he hoped that his story would highlight “outdated squatter laws” which he hoped to help change.
In a video posted to YouTube which has since gone viral, he said: “They’re the squatter, and they have rights. Well, then, if I become the squatter on the squatter, then I should have rights, right?”
He said they broke into the vacant house several months ago after his father died. His mum moved out after his death knowing she couldn’t live alone.
Shelton put the house up for rent and a woman who said she was a prison guard asked if she could rent from him. However, she said she didn’t have any credit or money so he declined.
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That didn’t stop her from having her furniture delivered and moved into the home. Shelton arrived at night and slept in his jeep with his dog, staking out the home. In the morning, he saw several people leave the house.
Using his keys, he entered the home to find boxes, furniture and other belongings strewn around the two-storey house.
Shelton filmed what he saw and then began installing security cameras on the inside and outside of the home.
While working outside two women approached him and one said: “I’m really sorry about all this. It’s a nightmare and beyond.”
Shelton told the squatters calmly they needed to move everything out by midnight or else he would move it for them. He even enlisted the help of some neighbours who he offered the squatters’ furniture in return for the help.
The occupants were able to get everything out of the house and the situation was solved peacefully but Shelton warned that might not always be the case.
“I don’t suggest that everyone take a chance like I did on their own. It’s worth noting that I have had special training, a license to carry and was prepared for whatever situation was to arise,” the handyman said.
He continued: “The men and women I had to deal with remained peaceful and that may not always be the case. If you ever have a situation like this, it is best to expect the worst and you will be prepared.”
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