WASHOUGAL, Wash. (KOIN) — Brett Marquiss smiled and laughed when he talked about where he lives in Washougal.
“This is our home town and we like it and we’re here to stay,” he said of the house on Aberdeen Drive, a few miles from downtown.
Brett, nearly 22, and his 23-year-old brother Michael are squatters. They’ve been squatting at this house for a while, since their parents were the last renters and moved out.
“We haven’t done anything really illegal. We’ve just moved in and everything,” he said. “Maybe we are squatters but we still have rights.
Neighbor Carla Baines told KOIN 6 News the house went into foreclosure around the time the brothers’ parents moved out.
The owner, Sarah Lightner, lives in Winthrop, Washington, about 8 hours north. Serving an eviction notice would cost her about $1500, money she told KOIN 6 News in an email she doesn’t have.
“We’re in a completely gray area and nobody wants to take responsibility for the home,” Baines said.
“Because (Lightner) walked away from the property and gave it up for foreclosure, she has no motivation at all the spend the money to help us,” Baines said.
Another neighbor, Jim Bybee, said sometimes the Marquiss brothers shoot guns at night and race cars around the house.
Brett Marquiss doesn’t see the problem. “If it’s during the day, I don’t see what the big deal is, you know?”
Neighbors also say the brothers are picking the place apart and selling it online — trees and perimeter fencing, among other items.
“I don’t know why they thought that we were selling it,” Marquiss said.
The fact the house is in foreclosure and an eviction notice is not imminent means they will likely stay at the house for a while.