NEWS

Freeman left 'embassy' house in shambles, landlady says

09/30/2013 02:50 EDT | Updated 11/30/2013 05:12 EST
A landlady whose Calgary property was being occupied until Friday by a man claiming to be a Freeman-on-the-Land finally got a look inside the house 

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Rebekah Caverhill said her half-duplex in Parkdale is filled with old computer equipment, Freemen manifestos and garbage.

The 48-year-old tenant, who goes by the names Andreas Pirelli and Mario Antonacci, rented the unit from the Sylvan Lake pensioner in November 2011.

He told her he was a handyman, convincing her to let him make improvements on the property in exchange for three months rent.

But Caverhill soon discovered the man had changed the locks on the house and gutted the kitchen and bathroom.

He told Caverhill he was a Freeman-on-the-Land and that the house was now his embassy.

Freemen are self-styled "sovereign citizens" who have — in their view — freed themselves from the restrictions and conspiracies of government.

Caverhill later received an invoice from the renter's personal company for $26,000 in work done to the home and a notice from the Land Titles Office that a $17,000 lien had been put on the house.

A lien is a form of security interest granted over an item of property to secure the payment of a debt or performance of some other obligation.

After taking her story to the media, Caverhill secured a court order to have the man removed from the property by the end of last week.

On Friday, police arrested the unwanted tenant on warrants from his native Quebec, stemming from an alleged 2007 assault against his former landlady in Montreal.

Caverhill said the man still owes her more than $10,000 in back rent, but 

“Thank God I have someone from [law firm] Gowlings, a lawyer pro bono that will help get rid of these liens,” she said.

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