Squatter accused of renting out houses he doesn't own - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Squatter accused of renting out houses he doesn't own

(WMC-TV) - Our investigators are uncovering information about a man who is not only accused of falsely claiming to own several Mid-South homes, but also renting them out.

Lawrence King is charged with three counts of claiming houses in which he has no interest. But county register's records show it is way more than three homes.

Neighbors say he has been making money by renting out the houses that are not his to begin with.

Kimberly Bush loves where she lives.

"This is a quiet neighborhood," she said. "Most of the people around here either own their homes or rent, you know."

But she is not so fond of King, who showed up a few months ago, claiming ownership of the empty house next door.

King called police on Monday to report that someone was inside his house at 7355 Woodshire Road.

The "intruder" was actually hired to do repairs by the bank that owns the house.

King showed police an "affidavit as to apparent of real property to be used in establishing adverse possession claim". It is a legally useless piece of paper he filed with the Shelby County Register's Office.

There are papers filed for homes on 3474 Fox Meadows Drive, 6044 Rosewind Circle, and 4507 Riverdale Road, too.

King filed similar claims on several properties throughout Shelby County, so many that Action News 5's Nick Kenney ran out of time before he could stop at all of them.

"It does put a cloud on a property that could hinder any future sales," said Shelby County Register Tom Leatherwood. "So, it does create a legitimate problem for the property owner."

Each "affidavit" includes the same handwritten address for King, but nobody answered the door at 1953 Prospect Street on Tuesday.

Back in Kimberly Bush's neighborhood, King managed to con someone into renting the house next door that he does not own.

"He got somebody. I hate it, but it is what it is," she said. "This lady works. She has kids also. Just looking for a stable place to stay and now ain't no telling what's gonna happen because of some idiot. Yes, he's an idiot."

King is free on a $100 bond.

Right now, the charges against him are misdemeanors, but state law changes July 1 and will upgrade those charges to felonies.

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