Texas homeowners confront squatter climbing in their window

Wild video captured Texas homeowners confronting a squatter as he climbed through a window of their new San Antonio home — while the intruder’s accomplice stood outside telling the homeowners he had rights to the property.

After Abram and Yudith Mendez bought a fixer-upper, they hired an acquaintance to complete tile work and drew up a contract allowing the man to stay at the house short-term. Now, they say he won’t leave.

“Squatters breaking into my house again through the window,” Yudith can be heard saying in a dramatic video the couple shared with News 4 San Antonio and published Monday.

In the footage, the man is straddling a window in the couple’s home while a woman stands outside.

The homeowners captured video of the squatter entering their home through a window. Mendez Family

“He has rights. I can show you his rights,” the woman replies to Yudith before stepping through the window.

Abram showed the station a handwritten contract signed by the squatter, who told them he could do the tile work but needed a place to stay for a few days.

A female acquaintance of the squatter tells the homeowner that he has “rights.” Mendez Family

In the contract, the man agrees to do the work and leave the home. Instead, he has torn apart the front room and barricaded the entrance, all while refusing to leave, the couple says.

“I believe today would be a month,” Abram said. “And he had his long game already in mind.”

While the man claims squatters’ rights, attorneys in Texas told the station that he has not met all the requirements to claim adverse possession, which would allow him to gain ownership of a property even without the owner’s permission.

Someone can claim adverse possession in Texas if: They occupy the property with “color of title” — or a legitimate claim — for at least three consecutive years; they occupy the property and have a recorded deed in their name, play all property taxes and cultivate the land for at least five consecutive years, or they occupy the property and improve the land for at least 10 consecutive years.

Abram Mendez said they drew up a contract with the man that he signed, agreeing to only stay at the home for a few days. SBG San Antonio

So while the man could be considered a squatter, he can’t claim adverse possession of the property.

The Mendez family says they plan to move forward with an eviction.

“The intent behind adverse possession is to reward people who take care of the property and put it to good use,” said Nohl Bryant, a San Antonio attorney. “It is not designed to reward bad behavior.”

Squatters have been a hot-button issue across the nation in recent months after a new Florida law moved to end squatters’ rights.

The homeowners plan to move forward with an eviction. SBG San Antonio

In New York State, squatters can claim a legal right to remain on a property without the owner’s permission after 10 years of living there.

However, in New York City, a person only needs to be on the property for 30 days to claim squatter’s rights.

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