Handyman reveals his creative – and effective – solution to squatters in his mom’s home

Meet Flash Shelton, a handyman who managed to evict a bunch of squatters from his mother’s Northern California home using nothing but cleverness.

The story begins with the recent passing of Shelton’s father. He immediately realized his mother wouldn’t survive just living on her own, so he decided to move her elsewhere and put her house up for rent.

He found a potential renter, a woman who identified as a prison guard. But she said she had no money or credit, and so he obviously turned her down.

That’s when the problems began.

First, Shelton discovered that a truckload of her belongings had already been delivered to the house. That was weird.

“She said that it was delivered by accident and she was getting rid of it,” he said in a YouTube video.


Next, he started hearing rumors that the house was inhabited.

“I started hearing from realtors that were going there, trying to list the house, saying that hey, there’s this lady and people like in the house. Then I started getting, you know, reports from neighbors, and they were like describing her, and they were saying the lights are on at night,” he said.

That’s when he tried calling the authorities to have them evict the woman. But that, of course, didn’t work, which is no surprise given it’s California.

“They basically said, you know, I’m sorry, but we can’t enter the house, and it looks like they’re living there, so you need to go through the courts,” Shelton recalled.

“Even though you’re at your house and you’re paying the mortgage … at some point squatters feel like they have more rights than you, so they don’t have incentive to leave until a judge tells them to. And that could take months, six months, it could take years. I don’t know. I didn’t want to take that chance,” he added.

And so he did the unthinkable: He turned the tables on the squatters.

“So we wrote up a lease agreement between my mom and I stating that I was the legal resident. So me being a legal tenant for the house, all I needed to do at that point was do the same thing they did and occupy the house,” he explained on YouTube.

“I’ve heard so many stories about people that have gone through major things with the courts, and it takes so long, and so I just kind of figured … if they could take a house, then I could take it. If they’re the squatter and they have rights, well then, if I become the squatter on the squatter, then I should have rights,” he added.

Shelton then hopped in his Jeep with guns and his dog and drove to the house from his home.

“I think it was like a 12-hour drive, and I was up in Northern California. So I get there at like 4:00 am, and I pull up, and there’s cars in the driveway. … I stood out like a sore thumb, so I sit like back a few houses down the street and I sleep in my Jeep and I wait until morning. About 7:38 am, cars were pulling out of the driveway, so I would say like 8:30, 9:00 o’clock in the morning, I pull in the driveway,” he said.

“I figure that everybody’s out of the house now at this point, so with everyone out of the house, I feel like I can now get in the house. But you know, I have keys, so I don’t have to break. So I walk in. The house is completely full [with furniture] and we’re talking a two-story house,” he added.

Once inside, Shelton started installing Ring security cameras all over the place when suddenly the prison guard woman and another woman showed up.

The prison guard tried to apologize for the whole situation, but Shelton responded by telling her that she had until midnight to remove everything. Otherwise, he said, his associates would be removing the items themselves. Amazingly, the trick mostly worked.

While the prison guard missed the midnight deadline, she did have everything gone by 3:00 am.

Shelton concluded the video by giving others some advice, starting with the tip that they not look to either the police or the courts for help.

“If you hire an attorney, you call the police, the police basically they’re not going to kick them out. They’re going to tell you to go to the courts. Then you’re filing a suit. The legal process is so slow, and at some point when they’re in there, you’re gonna feel like that they have more rights than you do. And that’s how you’re going to be treated,” he said.

Instead, he argued, it’s imperative that people in this crisis become squatters themselves. Or, rather, they become “squatters on the squatter.”

“Become the squatter on the squatter, and tell them all their stuff is mine unless they get it out,” he said.

Shelton did warn though that this won’t necessarily always work, and that folks should be prepared for worst-case scenarios.


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Vivek Saxena


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