A handyman with experience removing squatters said he tried a new method to help remove Iron Chef winner Adam Fleischman, who was accused by an older woman of living in her home rent-free. "I basically used the civil process against him," Flash Shelton told Fox News. Fleischman left Oct. 2 after Shelton borrowed a page from squatters’ typical playbook. The handyman said he used the threat of a lengthy civil court process to get the unwelcome celebrity chef to leave the home he's occupied since May. WATCH MORE FOX NEWS DIGITAL ORIGINALS HERE Shelton confronted Fleischman after he moved into Claudia’s home, where the chef was living without a lease for about four months before the handyman got involved. Claudia said she has a medical condition that is exacerbated by stress. Fox News agreed to withhold her last name out of her concern that media attention would affect her health. "I haven’t paid rent because intentionally she wouldn’t provide keys or an agreement, etc. etc.," the former Iron Chef judge previously told Fox News in a text. "Landlords or those renting a room have responsibilities." Claudia said she allowed Fleischman to move into the home that she is renting with permission of the homeowner. The two initially had an agreement to host pay-per-plate dinner parties to generate income in exchange for living in the Hollywood home with a pleasant view. Claudia initially thought Fleischman, who founded Umami Burger, was a promising partner to work with. But she said she was never paid for the event or rent. Fleischman, who admits to not paying rent, said he contributed to utilities and "house expenses." ARMY RESERVIST BATTLES SQUATTER LIVING IN HOME AFTER SHE WAS CALLED UP FOR ACTIVE DUTY Police usually tell landlords or tenants they can't lock a squatter out, according to Shelton. But he recently realized that this is only a warning from police to help avoid civil court cases. "All the police are doing is saying you can't lock them out, and people are just taking it for that word," Shelton said. "The truth is you can, but the squatters can take you to civil court." "The police cannot stop you from locking them out," he said. A past video from Shelton’s YouTube channel shows police telling Claudia she could not prevent Fleischman from accessing the home. SQUATTER VICTIMS FED UP WITH BEING LANDLORDS AFTER FEELING WRONGED BY LEGAL SYSTEM "The homeowner will usually listen to them like, ‘oh my gosh, I can't lock them out’ and be scared," Shelton added. "But for me, I just remind them that it's a civil process and that they can excuse themselves." According to California's civil code, a landlord can't prevent a tenant from accessing their property or belongings. If they do, they could face a lawsuit from the tenant and be forced to pay attorneys fees in addition to $100 each day the landlord is in violation. Shelton said he knows this tactic runs the risk of a court battle. But he weighed the risks. "I'm playing the odds that a squatter is not going to go through hiring an attorney and going through that whole thing just to get into a house that's temporary," Shelton said. "Since the police can't do anything about them, they also can't do anything about me." HOW A SQUATTER NEARLY RUINED THIS COUPLE’S WEDDING DAY Shelton said he threatened Fleischman that he had three days to be out before the doors would be locked. He left after four. "I told him, ‘there is no law to protect you from me,’" he said. "I said that ‘I can physically go and kick you out, throw your stuff out in the street and lock you out and there's nothing you can do about it.’" Fleischman called the police who confirmed that the matter would have to be settled in civil court, a video shared with Fox News shows. "'The whole time you fight in civil court, you have to find a new address because you will not be allowed back in the house,'" Shelton said he told Fleischman. "I will do the same thing a squatter does, and I will make sure that that process goes six months, eight months, a year." Shelton said Fleischman moved out shortly after the encounter. The Iron Chef winner has not been accused of or charged with any criminal conduct. FLORIDA VICTIM OF SERIAL SQUATTER CALLS ON DESANTIS TO CRACK DOWN ON ILLEGAL HOME OCCUPATION "It's amazing how quick somebody will find a place to live when they're afraid they're going to be homeless the next day," Shelton said. "I feel satisfied that Adam is out peacefully, but I’m onto the next squatter situation," he added. "So many elderly men and women fall victim, but ultimately, all ages can easily be taken advantage of by a squatter." Shelton said he’s raising money on GoFundMe to pay for costs to help others remove squatters. Fleischman said Claudia is feeling safe in her home again. "Claudia’s first words to me were ‘thank you so much, this is the first time I can lock my doors in six months,'" Shelton said. The Los Angeles Police Department did not return a request for comment. For more Culture, Media, Education, Opinion and channel coverage, visit foxnews.com/media
27 Ekim 2023 - 11:10
How a handyman known for taking on squatters invoked this civil — process to turn the tables on a celebrity chef
Flash Shelton, a handyman, said he employed squatter tactic to take on Iron Chef winner Adam Fleischman, who was accused of living in a woman's Hollywood home rent-free.
27 Ekim 2023 - 11:10