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Contractor Becomes Squatter in Client’s Home, Sells Her Property with a Garage Sale (video)

In a shocking case from Texas, a homeowner’s trust in a repairman turned into a nightmare when he squatted in her home, causing extensive damage and selling off her furniture.

Squatter Horror Story: Texas Homeowner's Destruction Tale

This incident highlights the growing issue of squatting and the challenges homeowners face in such situations.

The Beginning: Hiring a Repairman

The homeowner, Terri, initially hired the repairman through Thumbtack, a platform that connects individuals with local service professionals. Impressed by his work, she continued to employ him for various jobs over several months.

The Break-In and Squatting Incident

Terri informed the repairman that she would be away to care for her ill mother. During her absence, he broke into her home, invited friends over, and turned it into a drug den.

He sold large appliances and other belongings online and through a garage sale.

Discovery and Immediate Actions

Upon discovering the situation, Terri contacted the police. However, she was informed that the matter was civil, not criminal, making it challenging to get immediate assistance. The police classified it as a civil issue due to the duration of the repairman’s stay.

Attempting Eviction

Terri tried various methods to remove the squatter. She reached out to his ex-wife and had friends talk to him, but these attempts were unsuccessful.

Texas law posed a significant hurdle, as it does not provide a straightforward process for evicting squatters without a tenant agreement.

Legal Battle and Costs

Eventually, Terri had to hire an attorney to handle the eviction, a process that took approximately seven months.

During this time, the repairman and his associates caused extensive damage, resulting in over $150,000 worth of losses. The house was left in a state of disrepair, described as “completely destroyed.”

Current Situation and Financial Impact

Currently, Terri is living with her mother in Florida, working with insurance to arrange repairs. The financial impact is severe, and she faces a long road to restoring her home.

The insurance negotiations and repair process will likely keep her out of the house for an extended period.

Challenges with Squatting Laws

This incident underscores the inadequacies in the legal framework for handling squatters. Texas laws make it difficult for homeowners to evict squatters quickly, especially in the absence of a tenant agreement.

This loophole allows squatters to exploit homeowners, leading to significant financial and emotional distress.

Conclusion

Terri’s story serves as a cautionary tale about the risks of hiring individuals without thorough background checks and the limitations of current squatting laws.

Homeowners should be vigilant and informed about their legal rights to protect themselves from similar situations.

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