Welp. You know what they say: Possession is nine tenths of the law.

And if a crafty “banker” in Sydney has it right, that little adage is about to score him a million dollar property for sweet fuck all.

A young, mysterious bloke who identifies both as “Andrew James” and “Andy Robert” is on the verge of claiming ownership of a Redfern townhouse using a archaic old real estate law.

The bloke, who has told neighbours that he is a “banker,” has been squatting in the abandoned property on Elizabeth Street in Redfern, and intends to make a claim on ownership of the house using the claim of “adverse possession.”

The law states that a person occupying a property can make a claim of ownership after living in it unobstructed (ie, freely, without paying rent or signing any legal documents of occupancy) for a period of time. In essence, if someone lives in a house without interference from the owners for long enough, they can legally make a claim of ownership.

A Crafty Sydney Squatter Is Trying To Claim A Million Dollar House For $0

Under NSW law, the bloke in question would have to live in the house unobstructed for 12 years. But in this utterly bizarre case, that’s not even close to being impossible.

The property itself was bought by an investor named Paul Fuh, who purchased it back in 1991. However in 2007, Fuh returned to his native China and has not been heard from since. He’s not even traceable, as it turns out. The house became dilapidated and in 2008 the City of Sydney took Fuh to court for neglect of the house. Fuh, quite obviously, did not show up to proceedings, and in his absence a Judge ordered emergency repairs be carried out by the City of Sydney council which (combined with legal costs) ran up a bill of $35,850. It’s unclear whether the Council was able to contact Fuh or whether that bill was paid.

The squatter living in the house now, apparently gained access to the property with a locksmith, and has told neighbours he intends to renovate and rent the house out until the claim of adverse possession can be fulfilled.

A Crafty Sydney Squatter Is Trying To Claim A Million Dollar House For $0

The neighbours, fearing the house’s run-down state could adversely affect their property value by extension, have been urging the council to put the house up for public auction and hold the amount raised in the public trust for whenever Fuh resurfaces. But the council states that it has no legal rights or grounds to take possession of the property, unless the rates on the house are not paid. Instead, the council suggests that the issue is merely a matter for the owner of the house and its current occupant to sort out.

Neighbours fear this bloody brazen move could spark a rash of similar, copycat efforts by people legit fed up with the housing affordability crisis, particularly with so many useable properties sitting empty and unoccupied after being snapped up by overseas investors.

Holy bloody hell. Who knew the answer to not being able to afford property was just to find an empty gaff and barge your way into it?

This is NUTS.

Source: Domain.

Photo: Google.