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Texas squatters booted out of property after changing locks and forging lease

By Hope Sloop For Dailymail.Com,


Squatters who had moved into a Texas area home and changed the locks on the property's owners have been booted out after local media and police investigated.

Linda Giang of Houston reached out to ABC 13 after squatters who had lived in her home for almost a month refused to leave and even faked a lease for the residence.

One of the brazen squatters, identified as Tamisha Holmes-Bey, was confronted by the outlet and said she moved to Texas from California to start a new life.

'No, I'm not trespassing,' Holmes-Bey said. 'I have a lease and paid $6,000.'

Public records, however, indicate the woman has been in Texas for decades and that she has been evicted from homes in the state three times since 2019.

Police originally told Giang they could not do anything but gave the group a deadline to move out after discovering they had forged a lease.

Giang officially reached out to the news station on March 23 after she showed up at the home to perform yard maintenance.

After entering the home with her own key, she found the group living inside.

'I had the keys with me and walked in and discovered a family of five living in there. And she says she has a lease contract and actually emailed me the lease contract,' Giang said.

She asked them to leave but only came back to find they had changed the locks.

'They locked me out of my own property,' said Giang. 'That's crazy!'

The so-called 'contract' did not list Giang or her husband as landlords but does name all four people who were found inside the home, including Holmes-Bey.

She called the police to report the incident but they told her they could not help as it was considered a civil matter. Neither tickets nor arrests were made.

'They broke into my house. They're trespassing. That should be a criminal trespass. They're violating my privacy. This is my property,' Giang said.

In Texas, squatters can obtain a property but have to meet a very specific set of guidelines that include having no prior knowledge of a pre-existing property owner and operating under 'good faith.'

Surveillance footage shared with ABC showed a locksmith arriving at the home to change the locks on the owner and her husband.

In a live broadcast outside of the home last week, Holmes-Bey exited the home and told the TV station she didn't know 'what's going on.'

'I don't know what's going on; all I know is that my kids and I moved here to start a new life from California,' the woman said at the time.

The local news reporter confronted the woman and said the 'lease' had her name, her husband's name, and her two children's names on it.

After Holmes-Bey mentions the document, the reporter comes back and says 'I believe your husband has a warrant out for his arrest right now, is that not the case?'

The stunned woman is silent for several seconds before responding: 'Umm that's nobody's business and I don't know.'

She then says she knows that the reporter is 'violating her rights' and that she is going to contact the United Nations for 'violating her privacy.'

The two then go back and forth arguing over the legitimacy of the lease with Holmes-Bey stating she filed a police report and that the cops sided with her.

That situation, however, changed after the police were allegedly shown evidence that the document had been forged.

Cops came and told the family they had until Monday to move out or they would all face trespassing charges, ABC 13 reported.

Records obtained by the station show the woman has been involved in numerous civil and criminal proceedings in Bell, Travis, and Fort Bend counties.

On Monday morning, Giang arrived to find unlocked doors and an empty house.

'I thought we had to go through the eviction process. Now they're gone, completely gone,' the real homeowner said graciously.

Eviction attorney Brian Cweren said situations like these have increased in recent years.

'We're seeing a rise in this kind of fraudulent document, people breaking into nice homes, trying to squat there. We're seeing a rise,' he said.

'I've been doing it for 25 years. I can't say I've seen as much as years past,' Cweren said.

'It was very frustrating, having to deal with this, but now I'm happy she's gone, and I'm hoping legislators will do something and change the law and protect homeowners rather than the squatters,' Giang said.

The woman told the local outlet she and her husband have now taken the home off the rental market and posted 'No Trespassing' signs on the property.

Giang said she's considering selling the house and not being a landlord for a while.

Just last week, shared the story of one man who turned the tables on squatters inside his mother's Northern California home.

Flash Shelton posted a video about his success in removing squatters from his mom's home in less than a day.

'If they could take a house, then I could take a house,' Shelton, a member of the United Handyman Association, said in the video.

'They're the squatter, and they have rights. Well, then, if I become the squatter on the squatter, then I should have rights, right?' he said.

Shelton watched and waited until the squatters had left the property and then moved himself and some of his own belongings in, telling the others to move out immediately.

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