Texas homeowner Linda Giang said squatters temporarily locked her out of her property.
Speaking to ABC13 Houston, one of the people living in the home insisted they had a lease.
The lease was proved to be false, and Giang regained access to the home after police intervened.
A homeowner based in Houston, Texas, said trespassers who changed the locks in her property have finally left after almost one month, ABC13 Houston reports.
Linda Giang first spoke to the news outlet on March 24 and said a group of people who she didn't know had moved into her house in Meyerland, Houston, and changed the locks "without my authorization." The group was living on air mattresses without any furniture, according to photos shared by ABC13 Houston.
"They are not authorized to be here. They shouldn't be here," Giang said.
One of the people living in the home, identified as Tamisha Holmes-Bey, said in a separate interview with ABC13 Houston that she paid $6,000 to live on the property and that she had a lease that had her name, her husband's name, and her children's names on it.
Holmes-Bey told ABC13 Houston she paid the $6,000 to a realtor but wouldn't disclose who they were. Giang rebutted the woman's claims, saying it wasn't her lease and she didn't authorize anyone to live there.
Holmes-Bey also told the news outlet that she and her family had just moved to Texas from California to start a new life. However, according to the outlet, public records show that she had lived in Texas for decades and had been involved in civil and criminal cases in several counties.
Houston police initially declined to take action against them as they told Giang it was a civil case, ABC13 Houston reports. But according to the outlet, the police were able to prove that the lease was false over the weekend and they informed Holmes-Bey that she and her family had to vacate the property.
By Monday, Giang had regained access to the property and changed back the locks, according to video footage shared by ABC13 Houston.
Houston Police did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment. Insider was unable to reach Giang and Holmes-Bey for comment.
A home security expert says there are a few ways to deter and catch trespassers
While squatting is not a new challenge for owners of second homes, there are steps homeowners can take to deter them, according to home security expert Richard Christian.
Christian is the founder and managing director of BluSkills, a UK-based specialist security firm.
Speaking to Insider, Christian said homeowners can avoid being singled out by trespassers, burglars, and squatters by making sure their home looks occupied, even if they aren't living at the property. He said opportunists often look for signs of vacancy, such as the trash not being taken out, the curtains not being drawn, or an unlit home.
"If you cannot do it yourself, utilizing trusted neighbors or friends who can check your home regularly and make you aware of suspicious activity and challenge people who are suspicious is a huge asset for the owner of an unoccupied home," he said.
There are also security measures that can be taken, Christian said, including physical barriers to the home such as a locked gate, as well as using a security camera.
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