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TX Woman Claims Trespassers Changed Her Locks

locks changed
Keys in a door lock | Image by Roschetzky Photography/Shutterstock

A homeowner in ​​Meyerland, Houston, who had her locks changed by trespassers, has confirmed that they left her property after being told to do so by Houston police.

In early March, Linda Giang, owner and landlord of a rental property on the 5300 block of South Braeswood, said she received a message from ​​Meyerland HOA that she was required to remove the leaves on her driveway. Upon arrival at her house, she discovered a family was living there.

This reportedly surprised Giang, as she had no tenants.

“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,” said Giang, per ABC 13 Houston.

The contract, which Giang sent to ABC 13, has someone other than Giang or her husband listed as the property’s landlord.

On Thursday, March 23, Giang arrived at her home to show ABC 13 Houston the property. When she tried to open the door, Giang discovered that every lock in the house had been changed, per ABC 13.

Locksmiths were seen on security camera footage entering the property to change the locks, despite not receiving permission from Giang or her husband.

“They locked me out of my own property,” said Giang, per ABC 13. “That’s crazy!”

The woman who left the house to speak with ABC13’s Eyewitness News team said, “I’m not trespassing. I have a lease, and I paid $6,000.”

Giang said that the woman, Tamisha Holmes-Bey, had lived in her house for almost a month, per ABC 13.

“They broke into my house. They’re trespassing,” said Giang, per the New York Post. “That should be a criminal trespass. They’re violating my privacy. This is my property.”

Since there is evidence that the people inside the house are trespassing, this should not be treated as a civil matter, said Brian Cweren, an attorney specializing in eviction cases.

“I don’t think we need to evict someone who’s clearly a trespasser,” said Cweren, per ABC13 Houston. “If you look at different factors, this person went in by force, there’s signs of forced entry, there’s no rental history, there’s no discussion of rental history between the actual landlord and the person claiming to be a tenant.”

Over the weekend, Houston detectives determined that the lease presented by Holmes-Bey was fraudulent. She was informed that she must leave the property by Monday, or face trespassing charges, per ABC 13.

By the end of the weekend, Holmes-Bey and everyone else living in the house had left the property.

“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,” said Giang, per ABC 13.

The Dallas Express reached out to the Houston Police Department for additional information but received no response by the publication deadline.

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1 Comment

  1. Karen in Dallas

    I saw a story about several cases in Florida where people (not the property owners) posted residences for rent & actually showed the properties & collected fees and rent from unsuspecting tenants. The tenants found out later that they had been duped & that their rental contracts were fraudulent.
    The criminals are always one step ahead.
    I hope TX gets out in front of this.

    Reply

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