Homeowner tours damage left behind by squatters | 7 On Your Side Investigation

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Friday, May 17, 2024
Homeowner tours damage left behind by alleged squatters
7 On Your Side Investigative Reporter Dan Krauth tours the damage with the homeowner.

QUEENS (WABC) -- After a series of 7 On Your Side Investigations, a Queens homeowner is finally back inside her property after it was taken over by an accused squatter.

"This door had been broken into several times," said Adele Andaloro as she gave Eyewitness News an exclusive tour of the inside of her Flushing, Queens home.

"You can smell it, it smells like cigarettes, there were cigarette butts all over the floor," she said.

Back in February, Andaloro noticed someone changed the front door and lock of the home she inherited from her parents.

7 On Your Side was there when Andaloro changed the locks back on her front door and police arrested her. In New York, people have rights after 30 days and it's against the law to change the locks, turn off the utilities, or remove their belongings without taking them to housing court.

ALSO READ | Squatter standoff captured on camera in Queens: 7 On Your Side Investigates

Dan Krauth has more in this 7 On Your Side Investigates squatting story.

"No one ever would've imagined it would've gone that way," said Andaloro. "So with the cameras rolling, I think it almost needed to happen that way."

The charges were later dropped against Andaloro and the Queens District Attorney launched an investigation into the accused squatter. A month later they charged Brian Rodriguez with a variety of criminal charges.

A judge ordered Rodriguez not to go near the home but prosecutors say Rodriguez rented out rooms of Andaloro's home to other people. The Queens DA removed those people and Andaloro finally has her home back.

"It's amazing, it feels right," Andaloro said.

A series of 7 On Your Side Investigations led to lawmakers changing state law and New York City leaders also filed a bill that would help track how often squatting is happening.

"If it made them pay attention and it made them push to change the law, I'm okay with it," said Andaloro of the whole ordeal.

"I want to thank 7 On Your Side, I want to thank Channel 7, I want to thank the Queens DA, everyone that has just reached out with support and love and kindness," she said.

Rodriguez has pleaded not guilty and is scheduled to appear in front of a judge again in July.

WATCH: An Eyewitness News 7 On Your Side Investigation: Squatter Standoff on Eyewitness News at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday.

ALSO READ | New York Governor signs new squatter law after 7 On Your Side Investigation

Dan Krauth breaks down the new law and its impact.


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