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"The Squatter Hunter" takes aim at illegal tenants across California

Meet the man fighting back against squatters across California
Meet the man fighting back against squatters across California 02:35

Flash Shelton has taken matters into his own hands when it comes to squatters, using his own experience with the illegal tenants to help homeowners across the state of California. 

Affectionately known by many as "The Squatter Hunter," Shelton gives squatters a taste of their own medicine as he looks to drive them out of the homes they've taken over without any real threat of legal consequence.

"All I'm doing is becoming a squatter and flipping this process on them," Shelton said. "I figured if they could take a house, I could take a house."

Shelton has been busy taking back properties across the West Coast for the last year, starting his mission after a squatter invaded his mother's home that they were trying to sell. 

In response, Shelton had his mother give him a lease for the home so that he could move in — making things very uncomfortable for the squatter. 

"I'm not going in and I'm not hurting anyone. I'm not kicking them out, I'm not throwing them out," Shelton said. 

Instead, he's turning the tables, forcing those squatters to go to court in order to fight to get the property for themselves, as opposed to the homeowner having to go to court to get them out. 

Since posting his first video on YouTube more than a year ago, Shelton has been able to do it a dozen more times.

He makes his way into homes occupied by squatters, squatting along side them until he can force them to leave. He brings cameras, recording every moment as he creates as many minor nuisances as he can until they get fed up with him. 

Shelton says that the issue isn't isolated in California, and that the United Nations estimates there are at least a billion squatters worldwide. 

As he continues to fight on his own terms, he's pushing for lawmakers to make things more official. 

"Squatters laws never were intended for residential properties," he said. "They were never intended to support breaking into someone's house."

Shelton contends that there needs to be a clearer definition between tenant rights and squatter rights. 

"It needs to be separated out to where squatting — criminal tenants serve civil process."

Until then, he plans to continue helping as many homeowners as he can, pushing out those who don't belong. 

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