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Woman renovates her home then finds out a stranger changed her locks & moved in during that time
When Danielle Cruz and her husband purchased a home they planned to renovate and resell it, but they never anticipated their plan to backfire in such a disastrous way.
Jaclyn Abergas
06.24.22

Danielle Cruz was so excited. She had bought a house and renovated it so she could sell it for a profit.

But before she could do that, she needed to have a few repairs done in the house before it was finally sold. She sent a contractor to do the repairs but there was a problem.

YouTube - ABC 7 Chicago
Source:
YouTube - ABC 7 Chicago

All the locks were changed and there was a stranger living inside, which baffled Danielle because she hasn’t let anyone live in that house.

“We honestly thought he was joking because we knew the house was vacant. My husband just repaired the house completely with his own money,” Danielle remarked. “So, we show up with the cops, and there’s a young woman in there with all of her belongings.”

And when the police asked why she was living in the house, she said she responded to an ad online and signed a month-to-month lease with the “landlord.” She even paid $8,000 upfront.

YouTube - ABC 7 Chicago
Source:
YouTube - ABC 7 Chicago

In other words, she wasn’t leaving.

But Danielle never placed her house for rent online, never showed anyone around the house to rent, and never signed a lease with a renter. Bringing the police when she confronted the woman was a guarantee for her that they’d make the woman leave.

But when the woman showed a lease, the police couldn’t do anything about it and told Danielle this was a civil matter. Since checking the authenticity of a lease is beyond their jurisdiction, the police couldn’t do anything about the matter.

They had to go to court and file an eviction notice.

YouTube - ABC 7 Chicago
Source:
YouTube - ABC 7 Chicago

However, filing an eviction notice is not as easy as it sounds in Cook County, Illinois.

The office is completely backlogged and the process could take around 12-18 months. And it could cost thousands of dollars.

But Chicago real estate attorney Mo Dadkhah has an alternative solution.

YouTube - ABC 7 Chicago
Source:
YouTube - ABC 7 Chicago

“Although it’s a difficult pill to swallow to give money to somebody who is unlawfully [inside] your property and refusing to leave, you have to think that $1,000 or $2,000, or whatever that number is that makes them leave, is less expensive in the long run,” Atty. Dadkhah said.

And Danielle said she was willing to work out a solution with the woman but she refused to face Danielle.

YouTube - ABC 7 Chicago
Source:
YouTube - ABC 7 Chicago

And she was in an even stickier situation.

The Chicago Police Department said that only the Cook County Sheriff’s Office can give an eviction notice. But the Sheriff can only do that if the police can clearly establish if a law has been broken, which in this case there is none.

YouTube - ABC 7 Chicago
Source:
YouTube - ABC 7 Chicago

How could this have happened?

Atty. Dadkhah said it could either be one of these two scenarios.

One, the “landlord” broke into her home, showed the renter around, and rented it out fraudulently. Or two, the woman herself broke into the house and forged the lease she presented to the police.

YouTube - ABC 7 Chicago
Source:
YouTube - ABC 7 Chicago

Unfortunately, because of the situation, Danielle will need to take the woman to court to get her house back.

“You know, we’re trying to live the American dream,” Danielle lamented. “They say own property, you know, we are trying to provide for our family. And then this happens, and it almost makes you never want to own anything. It’s not worth it.”

YouTube - ABC 7 Chicago
Source:
YouTube - ABC 7 Chicago

Watch the video below to find out how to prevent situations like this from happening to your homes.

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

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By Jaclyn Abergas
hi@sbly.com
Jaclyn Abergas is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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