Fed-up homeowner arrested after tense standoff with squatters ‘stealing’ $1M house she inherited from parents

By Reuven Fenton ,Olivia Land & Emily Crane – NY Post

A New York City property owner recently ended up in handcuffs following a fiery standoff with alleged squatters who she has been trying to boot from her family’s home, tense footage shows.

Adele Andaloro, 47, was nabbed after changing the locks last month on the $1 million home in Flushing, Queens, that she says she inherited from her parents when they died, AB C’s Eyewitness News reported.

“It’s enraging,” the homeowner said of the squatter saga. “It’s not fair that I, as the homeowner, have to be going through this.”

Andaloro claims the ordeal erupted when she started the process of trying to sell the home last month but realized squatters had moved in — and brazenly replaced the entire front door and locks.

Adele Andaloro, 47, was recently nabbed after she changed the locks on the $1 million home in Flushing, Queens, that she says she inherited from her parents when they died.ABC7
She said she got fed up, and went to her family’s home on 160th Street — with the local TV outlet in tow — on Feb. 29 and called a locksmith to change the locks for her.

A heated, caught-on-camera spat with the people occupying the house quickly unfolded. The police were eventually called, and escorted two people off the property.

In New York City, a person can claim “squatter’s rights” after just 30 days of living at a property.

A man claiming to be on the lease — identified by the local outlet as Brian Rodriguez — said he had been unlawfully evicted.ABC7

Under the law, it is illegal for the homeowner to change the locks, turn off the utilities, or remove the belongings of the “tenants” from the property.

“By the time someone does their investigation, their work, and their job, it will be over 30 days and this man will still be in my home,” Andaloro said.

“I’m really fearful that these people are going to get away with stealing my home,” she added.

A woman who answered the door to The Post on Tuesday said she did not know anything about the squatting claims.

“I don’t have to explain more. Talk with the guy who has the business or the problem with the woman, but not with me because I don’t know anything about it. This is not my problem,” she said before slamming the door.

During the recent encounter at her home, Andaloro — who was armed with the deeds — was filmed entering the property after one of the apparent tenants left the front door open.

After changing the locks, a man who said he was leading the property — identified by the local outlet as Brian Rodriguez — returned and barged through the front door.

Andaloro was arrested for unlawful eviction after cops arrived and determined she had changed the locks.ABC7

After changing the locks, a man who said he was leading the property — identified by the local outlet as Brian Rodriguez — returned and barged through the front door.

“You shouldn’t be trying to steal my house,” a furious Andaloro yelled at him during the caught-on-camera ordeal.

Following a flurry of 911 calls, responding cops told Andaloro she had to sort the saga out in housing court because it was considered a “landlord-tenant issue.”

Andaloro was ultimately given an unlawful eviction charge because she had changed the locks and hadn’t provided a new key to the person staying there, the NYPD confirmed to The Post.

She was slapped with a criminal court summons, cops added.

The $1 million home in Flushing, Queens.James Keivom

What you need to know about squatters in New York:

What are squatter’s rights in New York?

Squatters in New York state 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.

Why is it so hard to get rid of a squatter?

Squatters are allowed a wide range of rights once they have established legal occupancy, making it difficult to evict them.

How does someone become a squatter?

Some of the scenarios in which a person becomes a squatter include: a tenant refusing to pay rent, a relative of a former owner refusing to leave the property or even a stranger who entered the property and never left.

According to Manhattan-based law firm Nadel & Ciarlo, squatters must have a reasonable basis for claiming the property belongs to them and must treat the home as if they were an owner — such as doing yard work or making repairs.

How can a property owner get rid of a squatter?

A property owner must first send a 10-day eviction notice and then file a court complaint if the order is ignored. If approved by a judge, the owner can get a summons and have a sheriff evict the squatter.

Why does the law provide squatters with rights?

The law was designed to help prevent long-term tenants from getting evicted. New York City’s law was partially made in response to vacant and abandoned buildings that were becoming a blight on the city.

How can property owners protect themselves from squatters?

Owners should avoid keeping any properties vacant for an extended period of time. They should also make sure the building is secure, has adequate lighting and has surveillance cameras installed.

If a squatter does appear, owners should notify the police quickly before squatter’s rights are established.

Despite the footage showing other alleged squatters being led away in cuffs, police said no other arrests or summonses were issued.

Andaloro said she is now being forced to start an eviction filing in court to settle the landlord-tenant dispute.

“It’s horrible. It’s her home. I’m glad it’s coming to the forefront, because it’s a disgrace. They can just come and take your house,” a neighbor, who didn’t want to be named, told The Post on Tuesday when asked about the ongoing spat.

“It’s just crazy. We don’t know how they got in, when they got in. We have no idea. How these people found out about the house being empty, I don’t know.”

The ordeal is just the latest involving squatters in the Big Apple in recent weeks after a couple’s plan to move into a $2 million home in Douglaston, Queens, with their disabled son was derailed by a squatter who claimed to have an agreement with the previous owner.

Separately, a squatter was also found to have turned a Rockaways home into a stomach-turning house of horrors by keeping more than a dozen emaciated cats and dogs trapped inside the property.

New York-based attorney Alan J. Goldberg, who specializes in landlord vs tenant law, told The Post the Big Apple has seen a 40 to 50% in similar cases in the wake of COVID.

“It’s incumbent upon the city to deal with the issue,” he said.

“It’s much harder to remove them now because the courts are so backlogged,” Goldberg continued. “I think there should be a fast-track court for squatters and licensees. They should have an expedited-type hearing.”

Additional reporting by Haley Brown

One thought on “Fed-up homeowner arrested after tense standoff with squatters ‘stealing’ $1M house she inherited from parents

  1. So, looks like they are telling us that squatters’ rights trump property rights.

    Hmm… Property rights on chopping block. Bill of Rights has remedy:

    Article IV – The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers…



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