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Woman collects rent on her neighbors’ house without their knowledge

By Mason White 12:00 PM February 13, 2013
Nathalie Heil 

By: David Ross
(Scroll down for video) Is seems to be the new “American Dream”, where people take over foreclosed homes and use it as their own.

A woman is accused of taking over her neighbor’s foreclosed house. She rented it out through Craigslist, and collecting more than $13,000 in rent before the owner found out the fraud and called police.

Nathalie Heil, 30, of West Palm Beach, Florida, was arrested. She is facing charges of theft and fraud. She was released after posting bail of $6,000.

Heil, is defending her right to the property she claims to have ownership of the house, because she has filed “adverse possession” papers.

The adverse possession claim was created hundreds of years ago when hand-scrawled property records could be easily lost, damaged or confused. Given that adverse possession property remained a productive use of land when ownership was unclear, or for example, if the owner died without heirs.

If the person claiming adverse possession remains in the house for seven years, paying taxes and caring for the property, the person can then take permanent possession.

Recently, the “adverse possession” law has been used in another disputes over a A multi-million dollar mansion.

A young man, took advantage of this real estate law in Florida, that allows an ownership claim of vacant or abandoned properties.

The multi-million dollar oceanfront mansion at 580 Golden Harbour Drive, is being occupied by 23-year-old Andre De Palma Barbosa, who submitted his adverse possession claim on the house.

In 2005 the house was bought for $3.1 million, by the former owner Michael Comparato, who signed a deed in lieu of foreclosure with Bank of America in July, according to Palm Beach County court records. Now, Barbosa, lives in the mansion without paying a cent.

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