Squatter refusing to leave cancer pensioner's home

 

FOR more than two years, Deniliquin resident Julie Pearn has been forced to live in a motorhome after her house in the NSW Riverina was allegedly occupied without permission.

Another woman, Theresa Smith, has been living in her home with her children and slowly destroying it.

Pearn alleges Smith moved into the home in 2016 without her permission while she was away looking after her sick father. Pearn rented her place out to a friend - Nathan Smith - but when she got back, he was gone and this stranger was living there in her place.

"She's destroyed me," the pensioner told Nine's A Current Affair.

Julie Pearn says her house has been destroyed by squatter Theresa Smith, who she says moved in and never left. Source: Channel 9
Julie Pearn says her house has been destroyed by squatter Theresa Smith, who she says moved in and never left. Source: Channel 9

 

Theresa Smith refused to talk to the media. Source: Channel 9
Theresa Smith refused to talk to the media. Source: Channel 9

Three years ago, Pearn's house looked perfect. She was a keen gardener who liked to put her own personal touches on the home - with welcoming signs on the wall and flowers all around.

All of that has now been replaced by mounds of rubbish, bags of garbage and dirty nappies in the driveway. Pearn's car - still in her garage - looks dented from the outside.

 

Julie Pearn’s car looks dented from the outside. She does not have access to it. Source: Channel 9
Julie Pearn’s car looks dented from the outside. She does not have access to it. Source: Channel 9

Pearn says no rent has been paid on her property. She received two astronomical power bills 18 months ago, and nothing since.

On Julie's phone are dozens of messages asking for rent money, but she says Smith "just abuses her" every time she tries to go in.

To make matters worse, Pearn has skin cancer and is suffering from heart issues.

The woman made several attempts to get a formal lease agreement signed with the occupant, but these never eventuated. At this point, she started the formal process of trying to get Smith removed from her room.

But she says red tape has seen her locked out of her home, meaning Pearn has no access to her personal belongings.

Pearn has served three eviction notices upon her, all of which have gone ignored.

 

Rubbish was flung all around the property.
Rubbish was flung all around the property.

The local police advised her to obtain a court order, but the NSW Civil Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) said the case will be difficult as there was never an official rental agreement.

At one point, Pearn and ACA reporter Alison Piotrowski knocked on the door and tried to talk to Smith, only to be met with profanities.

"Take your little crew with you and f*ck off," Smith can be heard saying from inside. "Take em away, f**k you're a liar. You're a liar Julie, you're a f**king liar."

"I'm gonna bash ya Julie when I get my hands on ya," she threatened at another point.

"She tells me to get off her property - says it's her property," said Pearn.

Pearn says she still pays squatters' rates because the woman has children. "I couldn't do that."

After her previous issue with red tape, Pearn is hesitant to go back to NCAT.

She set up camp a couple of kilometres from her house, and says she's not leaving till she gets her home back, but doesn't want to make the gamble of spending thousands on a lawyer.

Pearn will deliver another termination notice to Smith this week, and will return to the tribunal to try and get her evicted.


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