California Couple Can’t Move Into New Home Because Previous Owner Refuses to Move Out

The seller is still living in the home because of the state's freeze on evictions during the coronavirus pandemic, the couple says. They bought the home 14 months ago and have been paying the mortgage.

A California couple says they can’t move into their new home because the previous owner refuses to leave and can’t be kicked out because of the state’s ongoing freeze on evictions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tracie and Myles Albert used their savings to buy a four-bedroom home in Riverside 14 months ago. They’ve been paying the mortgage every month, but haven’t been able to move in.

"He just said he wasn't leaving, that was it. Wasn't going to leave the house, barricaded himself in the house,” Myles said.

Realtor Chris Taylor says he’s never seen anything like this in his 18 years of selling homes.

“Every ‘i’ was dotted, ‘t’ was crossed. Everything that could have been done, was done. And there’s nothing that could have been done to actually prevent this,” Taylor told Inside Edition.

The couple says they closed on the house in Jan. 2020, before any government moratorium on evictions were put in place.

“I definitely think it’s a case of fraud that he knew he wasn't going to move out, staged boxes to make it look like he was going to move out and then stayed behind,” the couple’s attorney Dennis Block told Inside Edition.

The Alberts say the courts keep pushing their case back.

"I can't walk onto the lot, I've been told that would be trespassing. I've been there. The sheriffs have told me to leave,” Tracie said.

The alleged squatter, Hossam Boktor, and his family have apparently stopped taking care of the property.

Inside Edition was there when the homeowners tried one more time to get inside. Inside Edition correspondent Jim Moret also tried to talk to the family, but no one answered the door.