Squatters nightmare: Queensland woman forced to live in car
A GOLD Coast woman was forced to live in her car after she claimed a group of squatters took over her home and refused to leave.
The homeowner, a single mother identified only as Alesha, was looking to raise some extra cash so advertised on Gumtree for a flatmate. And that's when she says her nightmare began.
Alesha told the Nine Network's A Current Affaira young woman called Tania Anderson answered her ad - her story was she needed an urgent place for herself and her daughter to live.
Alesha told the program they made a deal where Ms Anderson would rent a room for three weeks and was given three weeks rent for two rooms. But six weeks later she was still there and Ms Anderson said she had been essentially forced out of her home and into her car, while at least two other men unknown to her moved in.
Alesha said soon after they moved in she needed to leave town for awhile. It was only after she returned she discovered the locks had been changed and she was barred from entry.
Confronting footage of Alesha approaching the group was shown on A Current Affair last night - including one of the men, Ms Anderson's partner Dallas, towering over her and screaming. He later stormed throughout the house yelling for her to leave, while a second man tried to shut the door and threatened violence against the ACA crew.
"I only gave them permission for three weeks to stay ... They didn't pay me so they have no right to stay on my property," Alesha said.
She had done everything she could to get the home back, including calling police, but ended up getting arrested herself. Even the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal, which normally handles property disputes, informed her they were powerless because the dispute was over renting rooms, not a single property.
"I don't know how I can meet bad people like this," Alesha said.
The real estate agent who sold the property to Alesha, Grant Stephens, called the situation "harrowing".
"There are a couple of fairly scary customers in the home so it's something that is quite daunting for a lady from China, at her age, with her health and her language limitations," he said.
It was only after A Current Affair intervened the squatters left the home. But Alesha claims there is property missing and damage to the home.
Ms Anderson responded to the squatting claims in a series of social media posts.
First she posted: "Don't believe everything you hear" and then followed that with a lengthy statement, where she accused Alesha of not living her car.
"We paid rent for 1 month upfront. I have receipts. After 10 days she wanted to throw us out.
"We offered $700.00 a week for house (that's when she kicked us out) We were renting the whole house bar one room which she locked up for storage."
Ms Anderson said the situation had got "way out of hand" and alleged the home had been used as a brothel.
She threatened legal action against Channel 9 who she said "forced there [sic] way into the house and scared two children in the process".
She and her daughter were now "in hiding" and "in crisis", according to the statement.