CORAL GABLES (CBS4) – A Coral Gables home believed to be occupied by squatters should be vacant once again.

The people who were living at the million dollar home on a corner lot along Sunset Drive was of Cocoplum Circle were told to move out immediately Wednesday afternoon.

Chains are now on the gate and no trespassing signs are posted out front.

“Were trying to show some compassion to them to allow them time to get out,” Coral Gables Ofc. Dean Wellinghoff said. “But at the same time they need to vacate. They should have vacated long before today.”

Robert Ramos said he’d been living in the home for over a year with his wife and step son.

He said his stepson signed a year-long lease for $1,500 a month to rent the property.

Ramos said they stopped paying the rent about six months ago, when he found out the home was in foreclosure.

When he first spoke to CBS 4 News he said he was a victim of real estate fraud.

But the lawful owner, Damian Echauri, said he never rented the house out to anyone… And he doesn’t even know Ramos.

“This is a trespassing matter. This is not an eviction matter. How did they get in? This was locked up,” Echauri said.

Echauri watched as the family packed their belongings.

He said he issued the trespass warning at 2 pm and was giving the family until midnight to clear the premises.

Code enforcement officers issued violations because documents listed the home as vacant.

Neighbors said they don’t want squatters on their street, but admitted this family took care of the home.

“They’ve at least cleaned the wall and cut the grass and they decorated for Christmas,” neighbor Marlin Ebbert said. “I think now that they’re going out, I don’t know whether the property will be maintained by the bank.”

The city attorney said Ramos provided a copy of the lease, but the signatures did not match notarized documents.

Cops were trying to figure out how the family ended up here in the first place.

“It’s troubling to think of somebody just moving in to a vacant house,” Ofc. Wellinghoff said. “From a law enforcement perspective, if you don’t have a right to go in someone’s house, you don’t go in it.”

Police said the suspected squatters were cooperative.

Right now, now one is facing any criminal charges.


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