Deployed soldier unable to return to his Decatur home due to squatters
DECATUR, Ga. – A soldier returning from a year-long deployment said unwelcome guests were living in his home.
Duncan Fowler spent the last year in Poland. He was expected to officially complete his deployment in about a week and planned to return to Decatur.
Unfortunately, this is not the homecoming he expected.
“For the past two years, I’ve only been home for about eight weeks. And then the chance that I finally have to come home, I don’t really have a home to go to,” Fowler said. .
Fowler said he learned that people were living illegally inside his home.
“I tried to ask them to leave. They didn’t want to leave. The police have now been called four times asking them to leave,” Fowler said.
His property manager is the one who discovered the squatters, and Fowler believes they moved in late last year.
All of his personal belongings, including his car and motorbike, are in this house. He does not know the state of his belongings and his house.
He said his house was rented out at one point, but the people living there now aren’t supposed to be there.
Fowler said DeKalb County police were called to the home four times, but were told officers were unable to remove the squatters.
The police were able to obtain the names of some people living at the house. Fowler said he learned that at least one had an extensive criminal record.
“I have not allowed these people to be on my property in any way. I have never rented this property to them, they do not have a rental agreement with me. The utilities for the property are not neither. I fail to see how it’s not a break and enter or trespass,” Fowler said.
Fowler said he was told he would have to go through the legal process to evict the squatters.
A local attorney told FOX 5 that people in this situation in Georgia have to go through eviction proceedings to establish that the person has no right to be there.
Unfortunately, Fowler said that means he will likely be homeless for months.
“The problem is that getting a court date could take two months, three months, or even longer because the court systems are behind all the people trying to evict people who haven’t paid. in rent over the past two years,” Fowler said. .
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