Richard Craven and his wife Kristen inherited a spacious four-bedroom, 3,200-square-foot ranch-style house in Baton Rouge in 2022.
For some time, the property remained vacant until Joseph Guerin and Jennifer Chapman moved in.
The couple initially entered the property in April but were evicted by the police.
To Richard Craven’s dismay, they returned on September 5 after being released on September 4, creating a vexing problem.
A Troubling Homecoming
Upon their return, a neighbor informed Richard Craven about Guerin and Chapman’s reappearance at his property.
Astonishingly, Guerin had listed the house for sale at $225,000 during their previous stay, misrepresenting it as a “magnificent home” suitable for a large family with a pool.
Although Craven promptly removed the listing, it remains accessible online, marked as “off market.”
Squatters and Their Alterations
Guerin, during his earlier stay, had made unauthorized changes to the house.
He had altered the locks, transferred utilities to his name, and carried out questionable renovations.
These renovations included painting over wood with matte black paint, painting a window black, removing carpeting, installing tile flooring and new countertops, painting certain areas white, and even covering one room’s walls with graffiti.
Additionally, he left behind drug paraphernalia and empty liquor bottles, raising concerns about possible illicit activities.
Frustration with Legal Process
When Guerin was released from prison on September 4, he promptly reoccupied the house, and Baton Rouge police declined to intervene, deeming it a civil dispute over ownership.
Craven’s attempts to clarify Guerin’s legal claims and obtain evidence of his property ties proved futile.
Frustrated, Craven insisted on reclaiming his home and rectifying the extensive damage caused during Guerin’s occupancy.
Resilience and Determination
Richard Craven remains resolute about restoring his property to its original state and expelling Guerin.
While facing an uncertain legal landscape, Craven is determined to protect his home from the grasp of unauthorized occupants.
The story of Richard Craven’s struggle with squatters highlights the complexities homeowners may face when dealing with individuals who unlawfully occupy their property.
It underscores the importance of legal safeguards and efficient law enforcement to protect property rights and prevent unauthorized occupants from causing damage and disruption.