A Chicago homeowner is struggling to remove a squatter from her property, telling “Fox & Friends” Thursday that local police cannot remove the woman due to state laws.
Chicago resident Danielle Cruz said she discovered the squatter after a contractor she hired to make repairs told her of the situation.
“When he walked in to check out the roof, he realized there was a young woman who moved in all of her belongings and she took over the home,” Cruz told “Fox & Friends.”
Cruz was hoping to sell the three-bedroom property, in the Chatham neighborhood, calling police when she discovered the squatter inside.
The woman refused to leave the house when authorities arrived. The squatter presented the cops with a lease, which Cruz said is fake, and claimed to have paid $8,000 to live there.
Cruz told co-host Brian Kilmeade when the police arrived, they told her their “hands were tied.”
“They could not remove her, they couldn’t prove that she was trespassing even though all of the locks on the home had been broken and changed.”
Cruz added, “But with Illinois laws, the squatters are more protected than the actual homeowners.”
“Unfortunately, squatters do have rights, and, in order to get her out, even though she does not have a lease with us, and she’s not an actual tenant, we have to go through the whole eviction process to get her out.”
Cruz said that process could take anywhere from six to 18 months due to backlogs. She said she offered the woman $2,000 to leave the premises, but she refused, demanding $8,000 from Cruz to leave.
“It’s really infuriating,” she said.
Chicago police sent a statement to Fox News on the matter.
“Responding officers advised the owners of the home of eviction procedures …Only the Cook County Sheriff’s Office can carry out an eviction and we referred them to the Cook County Sheriff’s Office for that information.”