A California couple got more than they bargained for when they discovered a pest in their new home: the former owner, refusing to give up the keys and leave, thanks to a coronavirus eviction loophole.
Tracie and Myles Albert experienced a nightmare after they put down money on a beautiful four-bedroom home in Riverside on Jan. 31, 2020.
More than a year later, the couple is still fighting to move into their home. The previous owner wanted to sell immediately, but has since refused to leave the home, FOX 11 News reported.
“It’s just draining, emotionally and financially,” Tracie said.
Chris Taylor, the real estate agent who handled the sale, said the owner needed just over half a million dollars, demanding it on a Sunday, which meant he needed a cash buyer.
“It took us scrambling to get everything we had, our life savings put together and a hard money loan on top of it to make that happen," Myles said. “We own the house outright. That’s our house and it’s all in a contract, written, legal, done.”
“He’s been paid the money in his account. How could we have no rights to go into our home?”
Efforts to enlist the authorities met with frustration as the COVID rules prevented them from forcibly removing the previous owner.
"They have this case under a COVID tenant situation, of no evictions when it doesn't fall under that at all. This transaction went through in January 2020 before any of that, it isn't a renter who was getting thrown out. It's the guy who collected all of this money," stated Myles.
A local eviction attorney said that this situation is not unheard of, with at least seven cases “of this exact type of situation” arising.
The frustrated husband says that when he contacted law enforcement, they told him, "If you were in Arizona, if you were in Nevada, this wouldn't be a problem, you would just go take your house back. But in California, like our hands are tied, even though we're on your side, there's nothing we can do."