Evictions are a topic neither property owners nor tenants like to talk about, let alone be involved in, and yet it’s an inescapable part of being in the real estate business. A part that, if we are to judge by the headlines, is becoming more prominent by the day. Sometimes the causes are due to social and geopolitical forces that no property owner can solve on his or her own; sometimes they highlight the issues inherent in the use of eminent domain; and sometimes they stem from individual choices, such as blatantly violating the terms of the lease. What’s clear is that eviction is a problem that nobody—not the poor, not the old, not the rich, not the powerful and not even magical creatures—are insured against, as the following cases can attest. To see recent examples of high-profile eviction cases, click through our slideshow.
You’d think that being a figment of someone’s imagination would be an iron-clad guarantee against real world eviction, but think again. Last week, Pennsylvania state officials dismantled a gnome village in a forest at Little Buffalo State Park near Harrisburg, citing concerns about disruptions to the park’s natural habitat. The village included 38 gnome homes created by retired nearby resident Steve Hoke, who received permission from the park’s management before going ahead with the project, according to The New York Times. It turned out to be a big hit with visiting children, leading to an online petition protesting the eviction.
Being the secret concubine of a powerful man may come with many perks, but taking on outraged Upper East Side apartment dwellers and property managers is not an easy fight, as Svetlana Travis found out the hard way. Former New York State Governor Elliott Spitzer’s reported lover got evicted from her apartment at 1125 Lexington Avenue last summer, after neighbors complained about the high volume of men seen entering and leaving the premises at one-hour intervals on a daily basis, leading to speculation Travis was running a brothel, according to the New York Daily News.
Is it possible to evict the homeless? Apparently so, as San Francisco city officials recently issued a notice to “residents” of a makeshift tent encampment along Division Street to clear out the premises by 5:00 p.m. on February 26 as it’s been declared a “health hazard.” People living in the encampment were encouraged to go to a homeless shelter at Pier 80 instead, but as of end of day Friday at least 30 tents remained in the area. San Francisco has faced a growing homelessness problem in recent years, which many people attribute to the skyrocketing home prices and rents brought on by the influx of well-paid Silicon Valley employees.
Say what you like about the U.S. justice system, but tenants here have rights and cannot be evicted without cause and without due process. Not so in Brazil, where the government has simply issued a court order to demolish a favela (a shanty town) that sits too close to a Rio de Janeiro venue slated to host the 2016 Olympics this summer. The government did offer the community’s original 700 families compensation or opportunities for resettlement, but about 50 families have refused to leave homes they’ve lived in for decades in spite of facing problems with access to running water and electricity. According to ABC News, the favela “was included in the original plans for the Olympic park, but city authorities decided to demolish it instead. Much of the area around the park is being transformed into luxury apartment buildings for use after the Olympics.” This is not the first time Brazilian officials have done this either—in the run-up to the 2014 World Cup, they were accused of trying to forcibly “gentrify” favelas around the country to gain access to valuable land.
U.S. laws tend to be fairly generous toward squatters, even going so far as to recognize squatters’ rights to a property if it’s been in their open and continuous possession for a set period of time (a process known as adverse possession). We don’t know if France has similar laws on its books, but if it did, would they apply to people who are not legal residents of the French state or the European Union? That’s the quagmire facing French officials as they try to evict thousands of refugees and migrants from the Middle East, Africa and Asia from a makeshift camp called “the jungle” in the port city of Calais and have them moved to heated dwellings made from shipping containers. The camp’s inhabitants are bringing a lawsuit against the action in the French city of Lille, France 24 reports.
In the recent movie “99 Homes,” about evictions caused by the sub-prime mortgage crisis, Michael Shannon’s broker character counsels an employee to not “get emotional about real estate.” It sounds like good advice, but some people may take such admonitions a little too literally. For example, 97-year-old Marie Hatch, a cancer patient, and her 85-year-old roommate have been facing eviction from their Burlingame, Calif. home of 66 years as the property’s owner claims he needs to sell it to satisfy the conditions of a trust fund left by his late wife for their sons. Hatch, who passed away on March 4, claimed the property’s original owner, the current landlord's grandmother-in-law, made a verbal promise to her that she could stay in the home as long as she liked, which was then confirmed by the woman's daughter and granddaughter. Neither of the elderly tenants had family they could move in with, according to The Daily Mail, and they were getting ready to file a wrongful eviction lawsuit, aided by a law firm that has agreed to take on the case free of charge.
Living in a $2.8 million Hollywood Hills home is rarely the path that leads to being served with an eviction notice, right? Wrong. At least it is where the rapper Tyga (otherwise known as Kylie Jenner’s boyfriend) is concerned. Reports indicate the musician is three months’ behind in paying his rent and owes at least $51,000 to his landlord, who is now trying to evict him. This is apparently not the first time Tyga has been involved in a landlord/tenant dispute either, according to TMZ. If money is so tight he can’t afford rent, couldn’t he downsize to a $1 million home? Or borrow money from his girlfriend’s family? We hear all those apps are bringing in money by the shovel.
Sponsored Introduction Continue on to (or wait seconds) ×