A persistent squatter who delayed repaying his mortgage for decades finally vacated the premises on Nov. 12.
Nassau County Sheriff’s Office forced its way into the repossessed Long Island home and changed the locks. Deputies hired removalists who spent 3.5 hours clearing out previous owner Guramrit Hanspal’s belongings.
Hanspal bought the three-bedroom, 2.5-bath East Meadow home for $290,000 back in 1998. He made a $58,000 deposit and repaid $1,602.37 but not a penny more.
The now 52 year-old kept the property until it was repossessed in the year 2000. He spent the next 21 years repeatedly filing for bankruptcy and litigating to avoid eviction.
During this time he allegedly earned income through renting out rooms. Although law enforcement officers repeatedly tried to evict him, Hanspal would obtain court documents that gave him another chance.
Hanspal hired many different lawyers and dismissed most of them, leaving him no choice but to represent himself in court. He also adopted a strategy of defaulting or failing to appear for hearings.
Nassau County Housing Court previously declared Hanspal must vacate the premises, because Chinese Communist Party (CCP) virus moratoriums do not apply to him since he is an illegal squatter and not a renter.
Authorities were still unable to immediately evict the resident even after the ruling on Sept. 14. This is partly due to one tenant Parmjit Puar submitting an emergency claim to stop eviction for 30 days because he has “no place to go.”
Judge William Hohauser scheduled a hearing but Puar failed to appear.
Current property owner Diamond Ridge Partners previously offered Hanspal $20,000 to leave the house in 2018. He refused and left the business with over $150,000 in legal fees and at least $50,000 in overdue property taxes.
The business paid for removalists and will store the belongings for 30 days.
“We will be lucky if we break even,” Diamond Ridge owner Jason Epstein said according to the New York Post. “I expected it would take about 1.5 years and about $50,000 … [and] it took three years and about three times that amount plus the taxes for three years, which we had to pay.”
Epstein criticized the Empire State’s judicial system as a “tragedy of errors.”
“[This] allowed a derelict to leech off of hardworking taxpaying constituents for 23 years,” he said. “The fact that this man could cynically distort the ‘law’ shows how perversely tilted the playing field is in favor of scam artists, who reign free and able to commit fraud without consequence.”