An alleged squatter with a false lease moved into a Chicago woman’s recently remodeled house, and police told her they couldn’t do anything to make the invader leave.

Danielle Cruz of Chatham, Illinois, claimed she and her husband acquired the house with the idea of sprucing it up and selling it. But before they could do so, a stranger entered and took up residence.

Cruz learned about the break-in when a contractor the couple had hired to perform some final repairs contacted to say that all the locks had been changed — and that someone was living inside.

“We honestly thought he was joking because we knew the house was vacant,” she recounted. “My husband just completely repaired the house with his own money.”

When they went to see the property, they discovered that the contractor was telling the truth- the house was occupied by a young woman who had all of her possessions.

The residents promptly contacted the authorities. Officers, however, informed them that there was nothing they could do on their end, much to their surprise and chagrin.

The lady claimed to police she spotted an ad for the house online, signed a month-to-month lease with a fictitious landlord, and paid $8,000 up front, according to Cruz. Cruz, on the other hand, said she had never met the woman and did not lease the home to her.

The problem would have to be handled in court because cops were not permitted to assess whether or not the lease was false.

According to Chicago real estate lawyer Mo Dadkhah, the entire procedure might take anywhere from six to 18 months. He went on to say that the problem is not new, and that it is becoming more prevalent.

The Cruzes could either wait it out in court and hope for a favorable outcome, or they might go for a quicker, but less desirable, option: cash for key, according to Dadkhah.