Washington man buys home in Portland … discovers locks changed, another family living inside

A Washington man who recently closed on a home in Northeast Portland was shocked to find a family had recently moved in and changed the locks. Rod Nylund said he learned about the occupants, who he assumes are squatters, last week, when a contractor he sent to do work at the home called to tell him it was occupied. Nylund called police and confronted the occupants, but said the officer was unable to do anything about it. Embargoed to Portland, Oregon. (Photo: KPTV via CNN Wire)

A Washington man who recently closed on a home in Northeast Portland was shocked to find a family had recently moved in and changed the locks. Rod Nylund said he learned about the occupants, who he assumes are squatters, last week, when a contractor he sent to do work at the home called to tell him it was occupied. Nylund called police and confronted the occupants, but said the officer was unable to do anything about it. Embargoed to Portland, Oregon. (Photo: KPTV via CNN Wire)

PORTLAND, Oregon (KPTV) — A Washington man who recently closed on a home in Northeast Portland was shocked to find a family had recently moved in and changed the locks.

Rod Nylund said he learned about the occupants, who he assumes are squatters, last week, when a contractor he sent to do work at the home called to tell him it was occupied. Nylund called police and confronted the occupants, but said the officer was unable to do anything about it.

Nylund said his realtor found out the couple had not only changed the locks, but started utility service at the home in their names.

“It’s kind of like buying a car and you walk out to get in it and somebody’s sitting in there,” said Nylund.

Nylund’s realtor, Kim Spiess, said the home’s previous owner has no idea who is currently living in the home, or how they got there.

Neighbors, who asked not to be identified, said they noticed the couple had recently moved into the home, which is near NE 170th and Glisan, after it had been standing vacant for several months.

Nylund said he has tried to communicate with the occupants, even offering them money to move out, but has had no luck.

“These people are pretty sharp,” said Nylund. “They turned the power on 30 days prior to moving into it, and they paid the power bill while the home was vacant.”

Gresham police confirmed an officer responded to a call for squatters at the residence, but could not provide details on the outcome of the response.

The home’s occupants answered a knock on the door Thursday, but would not comment about the situation.

According to John Henry Hingson, a Portland area attorney, Nylund will have to go to court to remove the home’s current occupants by filing a forcible entry and detainer action.

Nylund said he will be contacting his own attorney to try to claim his property.

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18 comments

  • Jim

    I hope they go to prison. It suck to be homeless but this house wasn’t abandoned it was just in the process of being sold. Stealing is not ok and that’s exactly what they’ve done.

  • Amelia

    This doesn’t surprise me. I’m a home owner in Tri-Cities Washington and this happened to me with renters. The renters didn’t want to move out she called the police and everything and I have never met the lady this went on for 3 months and I moved back into the states went over to my house and started unpacking because I wasn’t going to leave until she moved out with her son and to my and my husbands surprise she got all her stuff and left that night. Stupid stupid laws I tell you!!!!!!!

  • Annodal

    Nothing the police can do? Really? Well, it is his property. I say break down a door and take some officers w/ you to arrest the couple. He can fix the door later.

  • Maddy

    I dealt w/ this on a property I was the sole legal lease owner on in Salt Lake & the gal not on the lease refused to vacate so I contacted SLPD & gave her an hour or so to pack everything & leave or get arrested for not suppose to being there & she packed up and left real fast. I’d say do the same, though personally after they get out, I’d have them arrested for criminal trespass for tresspassing on your property by moving onto it, plus call the utility company & bring a copy of your property title in to them showing you are the legal owner & have power turned off on them. It’s your property not theirs. If police don’t want to comply w/ kicking them out, escorting them out or arresting them for criminal tresspassing which is exactly what they are doing, I’d go to chief of police & have the officer investigated or fired for not following the law. If they refuse to open the door, have police knock it down & arrest them and have them lose all their belongings period, if they want it back after they get out of jail, they can pick it up from the curb, the trash, or the local homeless shelter or thrift store you dump it at. These idiots have no business being in your house illegally & deserve no compassion for breaking the law.

  • Ray F

    Oregon law is like California. As he said they were smart when they turned the power on. Utilities are frequently used to prove residency. He has to go through the process to get them out or face repercussions himself.

    While the laws are on the books to protect renters from unscrupulous landlords you cannot pick and choose how a law is applied.

    He’ll get them out it will just take some time. Then I would sue the previous owner for the cost as it was his responsibility to maintain the property through escrow.

  • The World is Ending

    Liberal laws at their best, where squatters have more rights than the land owner, because in a just world he could just get a few guys and kick in the door and start throwing the squatters stuff out in the street.

  • RaeRae

    Absolutely ridiculous that these squatters cannot be charged with trespassing and removed from the premises immediately! Owner should begin remodeling starting with the noisiest outdoor equipment possible. Front porch steps need replaced? Bring in a jackhammer. Roof needs repair? Nail guns needed for that. Landscaping needs an update? That will take weed whacker, leaf blower, etc.

    If the homeowner is not able to legally begin work on the property, then I would suggest he exercise his rights under the law to peacefully protest. Gather all his friends and family and protest on the sidewalk in front of the house with signs and bullhorns and loud music (staying within legal noise and time restrictions, of course). Marching up and down in front of the house with big signs saying SQUATTERS GET OUT OF MY HOUSE might get their attention and force them to leave.

  • Addele Wells

    That is insane. Not only has the new owner paid for a home now he has to pay court and attorney fees to get someone out that is stealing from him. Every day they live in the house that belongs to someone else they are stealing and the fact the law protects squatters rather then the owner is nuts. If they cannot produce a lease that allows them to be in the house the police should have the authority to remove them with the proof of purchase by the new owner. The “justice” system does NOT work!!!!