Article Image

IPFS News Link • New York

American Director Exposes New York Squatting Laws Forcing Him To Pay Bills For Family...

•, by Kelen McBreen

Last month, popular film and television director and screenwriter Jean de Segonzac experienced a nightmare scenario when his home was occupied by squatters and the government left him nearly powerless when trying to remove them from his property.

De Segonzac, who has directed multiple episodes of Law & Order Special Victim's Unit as well as several feature-length films, purchased the Bellport, New York home for $650,000 in August 2022.

The director explained the house was perfect for his family because it had ground-floor access to several rooms and the backyard, which is ideal for his 32-year-old daughter who uses a wheelchair.

Speaking with Long Island's Newsday TV de Segonzac said he had his utilities shut off when he went out of town for three weeks and instead received a water bill, with the company saying the water couldn't be shut off because somebody was "living in the house."

Next, the filmmaker went to his home and confronted the couple living in his home but they claimed to have a "lease" allowing them to stay there.

According to New York state laws, de Segonzac was unable to lock the family out of the house or shut off utilities since the squatters had allegedly been in the home for more than 30 days and were considered legal tenants.

Local police informed the homeowner they couldn't legally evict the unwanted occupants, but Bellport city officials ended up helping the screenwriter get rid of the squatters.