A Houston woman has claimed her rental home was taken over by a group of squatters who changed the locks and drew up a fake lease, according to a report.
Linda Giang told ABC 13 she visited the Meyerland house last month and found a family of five living inside.
“They locked me out of my own property. That’s crazy!” Giang told the outlet.
“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.
The homeowner went to check out her second property — listed for $3,600 per month rent — after receiving a letter from the neighborhood homeowner’s association asking her to clear off the leaves piled up on her driveway.
The trespassers tried to tell Giang they were rightfully living inside the home with a “contract” as proof.
The document lists another stranger — not Giang or her husband — as the landlord and the squatters as renters.
The squatters have been living on air mattresses in the home and have changed the locks twice since Giang stumbled upon the living situation.
“They broke into my house. They’re trespassing,” said Giang. “That should be a criminal trespass. They’re violating my privacy. This is my property.”
The family, however, told the outlet they have been paying a realtor to rent the property.
“I’m not trespassing. I have a lease, and I paid $6,000,” she said.
A woman living in the home said she didn’t know “what’s going on” and that she and her kids moved in from California to “start a new life.”
Public records obtained by the DailyMail indicate she had been in the state for decades and that she has been evicted from homes three times since 2019.
Squatters in Texas have basic rights. They have the ability to move into a home through several avenues, including simply taking it over and taking care of the property.
Giang has reached out to area police, but was told there was nothing the department could do because it was a civil matter.