Need a Place to Live in Idaho? Break In, Write Yourself a Lease, and The Homeowners Have to Accept It

Posted on April 18, 2016

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This comes under the “we are a nation of idiots” category.

I’m getting pretty tired of lawyers and courts failing to uphold common sense just because we don’t have a detailed, specific, nitpicky written law for every imaginable, conceivable, remotely possible thing that could ever arise.

Imagine this:  you are a homeowner.  You do one of the most ordinary things that homeowners do:  you move to a new place and put your old place on the market.  Happens every day.  We feel pretty secure in the knowledge that we own that house and have control of it until we sell it.  Right?

Ha! Ha!  WRONG!  Not in Nampa, Idaho!

A Nampa, Idaho couple moved out of their home, put it on the market, and was in the process of fixing it up for sale.  They went by regularly to check on things… which is how they discovered a stranger living there with her children.  They did the normal thing and called the cops – the woman was a trespasser.  The cops came and the woman showed them a “lease.”  She claimed that some guy had showed her the home and leased it to her, and she had already paid a deposit and rent.

Here’s what any normal person might think would happen next:  “Hey, lady, sorry you got scammed, but that guy is not the owner and had no authority to lease the property.  Now you help us track him down for fraud, and you move out because actually, even though you didn’t know it, you are trespassing and causing financial damages to the owners, who are in the process of selling.”  Right?

Nope.  The cops told the owners that hey, this poor lady has a lease, so she can stay.

WHAT??

Not only that, but the cops aren’t even investigating because they are calling it “a civil matter” and not a criminal one.  Seriously?!  Fraud isn’t a crime in Idaho?!

And not only THAT, but now the case has had its first round in court, and the court actually upheld the cops’ viewpoint on this… for now… refusing to expedite an eviction.  As if the owners should ever have had to “evict” a trespasser in the first place.

I want to scream over this!!  I want to grab the cops and the judge by the ears and shake them silly!  Are property rights meaningless?  What part of this do they not understand:  IT. IS. A. FAKE. LEASE.  The owners did not sign it.  How does fake documentation entitle anyone to anything?  How can they base legal decisions on fakery and fraudulent documents?  Doesn’t that make the legal decisions flawed, too?

Maybe the homeowners should make themselves a fake lease on the Judge’s address and move in while he is out at the grocery store.  That might provide a little more clarity on this issue.

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