I have begun to see an increase of complaints that residential real estate investors are wrongfully evicting occupants. The problem arises when investors purchase residential properties at foreclosure auctions. When this happens, the bank typically sells the home with occupants still in the home.
Thereafter, with deed in hand, the investor appears at the home, orders the occupants out, threatens to file a criminal complaint for trespassing, and threatens to have the police drag them out. Some investors say they will be "nice" and give the occupant a couple days to move.
Many occupants comply with the demands, walking away from thousands in personal property because they are scared and do not have time to move. Most people are just not used to this type of behavior. However, I have seen investors lock the occupants out of the home, without warning, without judicial process, and without allowing the occupant to remove all the personal property.
Investors who engage in such actions risk both civil and criminal liability. Investors simply do not have the right to use "self help" when evicting someone. When an investor has spent tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, to purchase property, why not spend a few hundred dollars with an eviction specialist to properly evict the occupant. Properly evicting the occupant will save the investor from liability; moreover, it's the law.