A couple from Melbourne’s east have said a squatter almost forced them out of their home after selling possessions, changing the locks and leaving a damage bill.
The squatter took over the multi-million dollar property on Toorak Road in Hawthorn East and it proved very difficult to evict them.
The four-bedroom home turned into a dumping ground with every corner littered with filth.
A bedroom and a bathroom were left damaged.
“The squatter actually changed the locks and the remote controls to the garage and he drove his Mercedes into the place,” Tony Carbone from Carbone Lawyers said.
“He’s just taken advantage of the situation.”
The squatter even put a notice on the front door, claiming legal rights to the property.
The owners of the home are trapped overseas due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I felt very, very shocked and helpless,” Di Lui and Liying Huang said in a statement.
“The thought that someone could stay in my house without my permission seems completely ridiculous.”
Carbone said they applied to the Supreme Court of Victoria to evict the person.
“The police came and I could see them serving papers. It was like the movies,” a neighbour told 7NEWS.
A 48-year-old man was arrested and is expected to be charged.
In Victoria, adverse possession laws mean someone who occupies a property for 15 years and improves it can claim ownership.
Published on 7News 5 October 2021