Georgia Senate passes bill to charge squatters with trespassing, awaits governor’s approval

The state Senate took decisive action on Tuesday to combat the issue of squatters, following a series of eye-opening investigations by Channel 2 Action News. In a unanimous vote, a bill was passed to address this pressing concern.

For months, Justin Gray, a Consumer Investigator at Channel 2, has been diligently uncovering the problems caused by squatters in various parts of metro Atlanta.

The squatter will have a three-day period to provide the necessary documentation, followed by a hearing in magistrate court after seven days.

According to Gray’s report, squatters are relying on a civil eviction process instead of a criminal one. They have been exploiting the backlog of court cases, which can cause delays of several months.

In a recent investigation conducted by Channel 2 Action News, it was revealed how criminals are using social media to advertise squatter homes for rent. They entice people by offering them the opportunity to live rent-free until the lengthy eviction process is completed. This alarming discovery has been cited by lawmakers during important hearings.

According to Setzler, the procedural processes are being used as a weapon to avoid accountability. He believes that this new approach will simplify the landlord’s rights and provide the accused with a fair and efficient way to seek clarity and justice. Setzler emphasizes the importance of active adjudication rather than prolonging the process for months in the courts.

Lawmakers express their hope that this measure will effectively close the loopholes that individuals have been exploiting in order to occupy these homes illegally.

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