Man With The $16 House Faces Eviction, But Says, "It's Not Over Till It's Over"
Kenneth Robinson overtook an abandoned Flower Mound home. Now Bank of America is claiming ownership and attempting to kick him out.
Photo by Danny Fulgencio
Surely you recall for the tale of The Man With the $16 House, a September cover story about Kenneth Robinson, who occupied a $340,000 Flower Mound home for the cost of filing paperwork with Denton County.
Now, Robinson faces eviction from the place that's been his home since June, according to WFAA. Bank of America filed court documents with Denton County that claim the bank owns the property after a January 3 foreclosure. Robinson could be kicked out if the court sides with the bank.
At the end of August, a spokesperson for Bank of America sent the Observer a statement saying the bank was "proceeding with the foreclosure process, and we anticipate it will be completed in the next two months." Five months later, here goes.
"This is simply a transaction," Robinson tells Unfair Park, describing the situation today exactly as he has since moving in.
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Last summer, when his new residence became an overnight circus of visitors and reporters curious about how he'd landed the suburban home, Robinson made it clear that under his application of the law of adverse possession, he did not own the home. He did not have the deed. It would be years before his inhabiting the spot could transition from a legal maneuver allowing for rent-free living to bona fide home ownership.
SMU law students even invited Robinson to give a lecture about his coup.
Several others in Denton County have attempted to replicate his "transaction," including a few with whom Robinson associated. Many, including those close to Robinson, ended up facing burglary charges.
The laws of adverse possession are written for the owner's benefit, Robinson says. The owner "has a right to claim his property." But Robinson, who's been maintaining the home's bean-shaped pool, paying for utilities and sprucing up the yard and home, won't reveal how he plans to handle the possible eviction, saying right now he's opting "not to talk about it."
"You guys are doing a great job of keeping this going," he said, taking a jab at the media but never losing his cool.
As he chatted with Unfair Park and railed on the media's fixation with his scenario, he spied more reporters outside his home. Once again, he's the center of the circus and remains characteristically vague, though neighbors told Channel 8 that Robinson has been scoping out other homes for adverse possession.
Robinson is scheduled to appear in Denton County court on Monday and offered only one definite assertion about his situation: "It's not over till it's over."
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