Woman says squatters at Lane County property costing her thousands

Abandoned cars and piles of trash litter the property on Row River Road.

Posted: Jul 18, 2019 7:20 PM

LANE COUNTY, Ore. -- A property owner east of Dorena may soon ben fined thousands of dollars if the land doesn't get up to code, but she says squatters on the property aren't making it easy.

Abandoned cars and piles of trash litter the property on Row River Road. Beth Campbell, the property owner who lives in southern California, said the eight people who are living there are squatting and the house doesn't have electricity or running water. She said some of the people living there are extended family and she has been trying to kick them out for years, including in an attempt earlier this month.

"They hired a public defender who said my 24-hour notice was not proper," said Campbell. "So now I have to get a lawyer and start over. If I had my way, they would have been gone four years ago."

County officials ordered Campbell to pay $5,265 if the mess on the property wasn't cleaned up by Aug. 26. Campbell said the county could fine her even more and said they could put a lien on the house.

"They're holding me responsible as me being the legal property owner, even though I have never lived there and they're aware of that," Campbell said.

KEZI 9 News reached out to neighbors in the area. Many of them didn't want their names published out of fear of retaliation and said the mess is only part of the problem. They said some of the people who live there make them fear for their safety.

"I totally empathize with their situation," Campbell said. "If I was looking at and driving by what they're driving by every day, I would be just as angry as they are. I have spent hundreds of hours in the last three to four years in an attempt to get this taken care of.

KEZI 9 News spoke to a man who lives on the property. He said they are cleaning up some of the mess, and he plans to move.

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