Tuesday, November 9, 2010
The NY Times has a piece today on Mark Guerette, an enterprising person in Florida who sought out homes in working-class neighborhoods that were apparently abandoned by the banks. He sent letters to the record owners and lenders, informing them that he planned to take over the homes, renovate, and lease them. He now manages and leases 17 homes, even paying the property taxes that are due. The renters, who are getting a bargain, love him. The neighbors seem pretty happy that the homes have been fixed up and are occupied. The government (and presumably the lenders) aren't so happy. Mr. Guerette is scheduled to go on trial next month in North Lauderdale on fraud charges.
This is a pretty interesting case and I plan to use it when we discuss adverse possession in Property. Mr. Guerette seems to have done a lot of things correctly within the rules of the doctrine of adverse possession. He gave notice to owners and mortgagees, he disclosed to the tenants in writing that he wasn't the legal owner of the property, he fixed up the homes and paid property taxes.
And I thought adverse possession was a fairly dead doctrine!
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