Author Topic: Squatters / fraud!!  (Read 15562 times)

Tbill

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Squatters / fraud!!
« on: December 19, 2015, 08:23:21 PM »
So craaazy story. I have decided to sell my rental house. I had a really great tenant there for the past year and a half, but they decided to move out. Property values have gone way up and I have decided to sell. I went to the property last weekend to check on the condition, everything looked great, tenant had completely moved out and I'm thinking full deposit return. I placed a lock box with key on the front door and my realtors for sale sign in the yard. I had nearly a full price offer and accepted contract on the house within days.

This is where is gets crazy. A couple days later the lock box and key disapeared. Since I live out of town, i fedexed a new key to the buyers agent. She went by the house today and apparently a family has moved in with kids furniture and everything. Buyers agent asked what are you doing here? they claimed to have a lease agreement with me. I have not even spoken with anyone about a lease. I contacted my old tenant and he assured me that he had not moved back in. I think there are two possible scenarios here: 1) the people are genuine squatters and just moved in and they know they are fraudulent. 2) someone fraudulently claimed to be me and rented out the house, collected rent/deposit and skipped town. I'm dazed and shocked as i write this, I cant believe this is happening. The buyers agent is concerned that our contract will fall through if I cant get the people out of the house.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2015, 01:00:43 PM by Tbill »

abhe8

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Re: Squaters / fraud!!
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2015, 08:35:41 PM »
Wow!!!!! That is crazy.

pl28

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Re: Squaters / fraud!!
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2015, 08:48:37 PM »
Sorry to hear, hopefully you can get things straighten out and the new tenants are reasonable to understand your situation. You might want to contact your local law enforcement to get an idea what are your options if the tenants are not moving out.

Good luck

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Re: Squaters / fraud!!
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2015, 09:12:25 PM »

Cathy

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Re: Squaters / fraud!!
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2015, 12:18:13 AM »
If you read enough property law cases, you'll discover that this kind of fact pattern is (unfortunately) common.

Although I cannot and will not comment on the specific situation of the original poster, I will post the following basic facts about Texas law, which may be of some interest.

In Texas (as in many states), it is unlawful to forcibly retake possession of property if another person is "in actual possession of the property", even if the person presently in possession "acquired possession by forcible entry". Texas Property Code 24.001. If squatters are in "actual possession", the only lawful way to remove them is to obtain an order from the Court by following the procedures set out in Texas Property Code 24.002 et seq.

On the other hand, if the squatters are not in "actual possession" and otherwise have no legal or equitable claim to the property but remain on the property after being asked to leave, they are committing the crime of criminal trespass and can be unceremoniously removed by a law enforcement officer without due process of law. Texas Penal Code 30.05 (definition of criminal trespass); Texas Code of Criminal Procedure 14.01 (officer may arrest "for any offense committed in his presence or within his view").

Whether a law enforcement officer will be able to remove the squatters will depend on whether the officer is satisfied that the squatters are not in "actual possession" and that they otherwise have no legal or equitable claim to the property. If the officer is not satisfied in that regard, a court order will need to be obtained to remove the squatters.

I express no view on whether the squatters described in the original post are in "actual possession" of the property.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2015, 12:19:56 AM by Cathy »

arebelspy

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Re: Squaters / fraud!!
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2015, 02:14:38 AM »
I've had a very similar issue on a flip I was doing.

Just move to evict as quick as possible.

If it will help, offer them cash for keys to help them find a new place.  I know it sucks paying someone to move out of something they have no right to, but if it nets you the most (and the sale goes through, and no damage is caused), it may be the best solution.

My "squatter" (had a lease with someone else who did not own the property) refused to move, we evicted them.

Good luck, keep us updated!
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Tbill

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Update
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2015, 05:52:16 PM »
So, I went to the property today and saw the people in my house. It was a guy in his late 30's, his girlfriend and a few kids.  Long story short, it seems its a fraudulent landlord case. Some guy broke the lock box off my house, replaced all off my locks, deadbolts, took pictures of the inside of my house and listed it on Craigslist for rent. Apparently the "tenant" paid about $1800 to move in. He didn't get a signed lease though, apparently the "landlord" was supposed to "email it later". He did however get a hand written receipt from one of those receipt books, complete with my forged signature. I felt sorry for the guy but I let him know he needed to move out. We both agreed it would be a good idea to call the police and report the fraud. So when the police arrived, I briefly told the officer what happend and asked if he would be able to help catch the fraudulent landlord.

The officer didn't seem to care much about the fraud but got very pushy with the "tenant" he told him that he was trespassing and would not be aloud to go back inside the house unless I gave permission and that he could be arrested for trespassing at any second. He basically scared the shit out of the poor guy. He was begging me work something out with him. I felt sorry for him and said he could have till Tuesday at noon to get all his belongings out. I didn't want to be a pushover, but I do believe that this guy got taken advantage of by some con artist and I couldn't bear to see him arrested in front of his kids or thrown out on the street. I asked the cop if I allowed him time to remove his belongings would I loos my right to get him off the property and he said "I dont think so"

justajane

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Re: Squaters / fraud!!
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2015, 06:06:34 PM »
When's the closing? Could you give him until after Christmas?

Tbill

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Re: Squaters / fraud!!
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2015, 06:35:28 PM »
When's the closing? Could you give him until after Christmas?

The closing is scheduled for about 5 weeks away so timing wise I could give him till after Christmas, that is what he was asking for, but I didn't want to agree to that on the spot. My main concern is if I give him too much permission to stay, I may lose the ability to get him out without going through a painful eviction process. Your question makes me think I could maybe be more gracious with him. I think what I need to do is talk with the constable on Monday morning and see if I'm in danger of him getting any "Squatters Rights". Another issue is they may damage the property then I will be stuck with repairs with my pending sale on the line.

arebelspy

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Re: Squaters / fraud!!
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2015, 01:46:20 AM »
So all of the below is conjecture and very much depends on state law, and you should consult with a lawyer, etc. etc., but IMO it should work and is the route I would go.

Get him to sign something saying he has no right to occupy the property, that he is renting it from you for 1 week for $1, and needs to be out by Monday the 28th.

Then he won't have any tenants' rights, in general, as it's more like a short term rental (similar to AirBnB), and kicking him out will be much easier if he decides not to move at the end of that period.

Sounds like he's going to be amicable about it, and you don't want to piss them off and have them damage things, so I'd say let them stay through Christmas, have them move right after.

Thanks for the update!
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justajane

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Re: Squaters / fraud!!
« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2015, 06:49:10 AM »
Did he already sign utilities and such over? Just something to think about, although I wouldn't go after him for utilities, considering you stand to lose more if you anger him than you would pay in utilities.

I suggested after Christmas because I feel for the guy. He's a victim too. You are ultimately the completely innocent victim here, since he should have done better diligence and perhaps read the signs of a scammer. But he really got screwed, financially more than you likely will.

I think arebelspy makes some good suggestions for how to handle this. You can also subtly harness the fear that the police officer put in him. Obviously you don't owe him anything, but given that the closing is over a month away, giving him till after Christmas could be a good compromise.

Can you imagine his poor kids? This will be a holiday season that will probably be etched in their minds forever - the year my dad got scammed and we had to move out right after we opened our presents. None of this is on you, so whatever you decide is okay. The scammer, however, can rot in hell as far as I'm concerned.

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Re: Squaters / fraud!!
« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2015, 07:05:46 AM »
Crummy deal.
I bought a foreclosure a few years ago and the former owner wouldn't leave.   Had to get the law involved, drag him to court, and have the judge order him to get out within (5) days.

Tbill

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Christmas at Grandmas House
« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2015, 12:55:01 PM »
I feel sorry for the guy losing his money, and I am conflicted about whether or not to let him stay till after Christmas. However, based on a few details that I had left out of my previous post, I'm going to stick with Tuesday at noon. If he struck me as a person of character I would let him stay, but I dont have a good feeling about him. Hes not a person I would have rented to to begin with. He seems like the type of person that, if I give him an inch he would take a mile. Also he has a ankle monitor on his leg, he mentioned that he was out on bail for assault. I have his cell# and I called him a few hours after the police confrontation to follow up with him and he mentioned his church friends are going to help him, and he has family in the next city over that can help him, which he will need because he is flat broke now.

arebelspy

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Re: Christmas at Grandmas House
« Reply #13 on: December 21, 2015, 01:01:32 PM »
I feel sorry for the guy losing his money, and I am conflicted about whether or not to let him stay till after Christmas. However, based on a few details that I had left out of my previous post, I'm going to stick with Tuesday at noon. If he struck me as a person of character I would let him stay, but I dont have a good feeling about him. Hes not a person I would have rented to to begin with. He seems like the type of person that, if I give him an inch he would take a mile. Also he has a ankle monitor on his leg, he mentioned that he was out on bail for assault. I have his cell# and I called him a few hours after the police confrontation to follow up with him and he mentioned his church friends are going to help him, and he has family in the next city over that can help him, which he will need because he is flat broke now.

Ah. Well that explains the overly aggressive cop.

At least he likely has the fear of his parole being violated to help move him along.

The ankle monitoring is usually confined to a specific location (like house arrest)--wonder if your address is being used for that?
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Tbill

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Re: Squaters / fraud!!
« Reply #14 on: December 21, 2015, 01:32:18 PM »
Did he already sign utilities and such over? Just something to think about, although I wouldn't go after him for utilities, considering you stand to lose more if you anger him than you would pay in utilities.

Can you imagine his poor kids? This will be a holiday season that will probably be etched in their minds forever - the year my dad got scammed and we had to move out right after we opened our presents. None of this is on you, so whatever you decide is okay. The scammer, however, can rot in hell as far as I'm concerned.

Agreed. He said he did sign utilities over which I dont know why the utility company allowed that without a signed lease. I'm kinda glad the cop scared him because then I could swoop in and look like the good guy for letting him stay two days, hopefully that will buy me enough good will to leave the property in good condition.

The whole Christmas thing sucks, but hopefully they can do that at a relatives house. I have a feeling his kids are accustomed to trauma.


The ankle monitoring is usually confined to a specific location (like house arrest)--wonder if your address is being used for that?

Yeah he mentioned he is using my address for his ankle monitor and was kinda grumbling about having to change the address again.

Tbill

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Re: Squatters / fraud!!
« Reply #15 on: December 21, 2015, 10:41:17 PM »
Hey Owner its me "tenant". Just updating you on the situation. Im exhausting every possible option. Even shelters. But that means being separated from my girlfriend and children i would have to stay in a separate shelter for men. And to be honest thats not an option. Its more difficult to do anything due to the holidays bein in a few days. I spoke with several people. Constables police. And explained the situation. Constable Jackson informed me that we would have to go to court but im not trying to put you in that situation. That would cost you money im sure you dont want to spend. He also said to speak with you and maybe come to some sort of an agreement. Im so frustrated and still am haven't wrapped my mind around the fact that someone would actually do that to another person so close to the holidays. Im physically sick to my stomach and dont think i hve slept more than an hour since yesterday. Plus im missing work to figure this out. Please believe im trying my hardest. Thank You for your patience Owner. And maybe hopefully we can come to some sort of an agreement. Thank You and Good Night.

Got this message from my "tenant" today. I take this to mean hes not moving out tomorrow. I guess I need to start the eviction process. I spoke with the JP's secretary today and she told me the quickest I could get someone evicted would be Jan 21, which would probably derail my sale contract. The buyers agent said they didnt want to do inspections until the "tenant" was out due to safety concerns. It just seems like there should be a way to short circuit the eviction process since the family living there has paid me no money and we have no agreement whatsoever.

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Re: Squatters / fraud!!
« Reply #16 on: December 21, 2015, 11:14:43 PM »
Since you don't want the contract to fall through, can you offer him money ($500?) to be out by January 3 (as a somewhat random date)?  I'd likely consult a lawyer before doing so, but it seems like it would be worth it if it could salvage the sale. 

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Re: Squatters / fraud!!
« Reply #17 on: December 21, 2015, 11:57:31 PM »
I would strongly urge you to retain counsel to finish dealing with this squatting family. Entering into any kind of agreement with the occupant is a risky proposition without the advice of counsel because such agreement may have the exact opposite effect of what it is intended to achieve. For greater certainty, I express no view on what the original poster should do because that is something that the original poster needs to discuss with his counsel.

(This post originally had a few other paragraphs but I decided that it would be best to remove them to reduce the risk of misunderstandings by readers.)
« Last Edit: December 22, 2015, 12:36:01 AM by Cathy »

arebelspy

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Re: Squatters / fraud!!
« Reply #18 on: December 22, 2015, 01:57:18 AM »
I would strongly urge you to retain counsel to finish dealing with this squatting family.

Yup, it's that time.

Once you've drawn a line (a little too early, IMO, but what's done is done), and they're violating it, you can have no faith that they'll move out now.

Proceed with the eviction.  Let them know you are doing so.  Keep the communication lines open.
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justajane

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Re: Squatters / fraud!!
« Reply #19 on: December 22, 2015, 06:13:40 AM »
So sorry, Tbill. His holidays are ruined, but he's also ruining yours. How terrible for you to deal with all this stress. I think you are right not to trust him. My first thought was also to give him money to sweeten the deal, but Cathy is indeed right that this could make the situation worse.

My only thought would be that you could give him a predetermined amount of money once all of his belonging are out of the house and he has given you the keys. Then hand him the cash. Then change the locks again and be sure there is no lockbox anywhere. :)

But, yes, eviction sounds like the most secure option, but you don't want to jeopardize the sale. Any chance the buyers would give you more time in light of these unfortunate circumstances? If they really want the house.... I mean, after all, you are the victim of a crime here. I was just thinking there might be some wiggle room there.

arebelspy

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Re: Squatters / fraud!!
« Reply #20 on: December 22, 2015, 06:16:51 AM »
But, yes, eviction sounds like the most secure option, but you don't want to jeopardize the sale. Any chance the buyers would give you more time in light of these unfortunate circumstances? If they really want the house.... I mean, after all, you are the victim of a crime here. I was just thinking there might be some wiggle room there.

If they want the house, likely escrow will just be delayed with a simple contract addendum.  If they don't even want to start inspections until after though (and if they're getting mortgage paperwork on top of that), it could significantly delay things.  Not the end of the world though.
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Re: Squaters / fraud!!
« Reply #21 on: December 22, 2015, 06:51:07 AM »
Crummy deal.
I bought a foreclosure a few years ago and the former owner wouldn't leave.   Had to get the law involved, drag him to court, and have the judge order him to get out within (5) days.

This is one reason I do a walk through with the realtor on the way to closing and change all the locks immediately after closing (and I mean straight from closing to the property to change the locks).  I do a door and lock count and buy new sets to take with me to closing  :)    But..... I don't trust people.

Tbill

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Re: Squatters / fraud!!
« Reply #22 on: December 22, 2015, 01:07:39 PM »
The plot thickens!!!

I realize i am making a lot of posts about this. This issue is pretty much consuming my world right now and my scope of reality my be a little shaken, so I hope I am not offending you guys by taking up so much forum space. If its inappropriate for me to post so much information please let me know.

One of my coworkers was able to find some information on the guy in my house. Basically we have been able to disprove several things he told me.

1) He did not transfer the utilities to his name as he had told me. I called the utility company and they confirmed I am still paying the bills.
2) He is not out on bail for the crime he had told me. He was convicted of CRIMINAL TRESPASS OF A HABITATION about 2 months ago. He also has been convicted of THEFT and contributing to the truancy of a minor several times.
3) the neighbor just called me and he is currently having direct TV satellite installed.

Its beginning to come clear to me this guy was not scammed. He is a con artist. I called the police back, they wouldnt do anything even in light of his conviction for the same issue. I consulted with a lawyer this morning and I was told my options are police or 30 day eviction..

My next move is trying to get ahold of the original officer that was going to arrest him and begging for help while also beginning eviction. I'm very pissed at this point and I think I may turn off the utilities.

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Re: Squatters / fraud!!
« Reply #23 on: December 22, 2015, 01:12:52 PM »
My next move is trying to get ahold of the original officer that was going to arrest him and begging for help while also beginning eviction. I'm very pissed at this point and I think I may turn off the utilities.

If you pass him off he may end up causing damage to the property.

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Re: Squatters / fraud!!
« Reply #24 on: December 22, 2015, 01:22:01 PM »
You are not over posting. This is a very interesting case.

Where I live significant damage to the place or assaulting or threatening to assult the landlord are all grounds for 24h evictions.

Not that you want any of the above to happen, but if they do know your laws and act swiftly.

I would not visit the place alone & record every conversation with him.

Best of luck. Tuesday has come & almost gone & no sign of him moving out as agreed.


arebelspy

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Re: Squatters / fraud!!
« Reply #25 on: December 22, 2015, 01:25:12 PM »
Evict ASAP.

Do NOT turn off the utilities. This could be grounds for a lawsuit.

Sounds like you have a professional tenant/scam artist.

You really, really need to get legal counsel ASAP.
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Re: Squatters / fraud!!
« Reply #26 on: December 22, 2015, 01:42:39 PM »
This sounds bad.  People who are looking for a new place, don't go through the trouble to install DirecTV.  He either plans to stay by stringing you along with lies and sympathy as long as he can, or getting you to pay him to leave.  I am guessing that will be the quickest way to get rid of him and his family, but I hate to pay off someone for something like this because it encourages them to do it again.   If you have any contacts with the Judge and/or DA, I would contact them, since he obviously has done this before, and since they know his history maybe they could get you some help. 

I don't think you can cancel any necessary utilities, such as heat or water, (especially in winter) but I would call DirecTV and stop them from installing the dish or make them remove it from your property so at least it will make his life a bit less comfortable.  And I would get the police there as often as I can to make him even more uncomfortable. 

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Re: Squatters / fraud!!
« Reply #27 on: December 22, 2015, 01:49:49 PM »

Evict ASAP.

Do NOT turn off the utilities. This could be grounds for a lawsuit.

Sounds like you have a professional tenant/scam artist.

You really, really need to get legal counsel ASAP.

This.


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justajane

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Re: Squatters / fraud!!
« Reply #28 on: December 22, 2015, 03:21:54 PM »
So, so sorry. What a nightmare for you. After consulting a lawyer, I would start the eviction process immediately. You can always change course if need be. If eviction is 30 days, you might be able to salvage the sale, if the buyers would be willing to budge by a week or so. If I were a buyer, I would be very, very sympathetic to you and your plight. Hopefully they will be as well.

Tbill

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Re: Squatters / fraud!!
« Reply #29 on: December 22, 2015, 03:49:06 PM »
I did an initial consultation over the phone with a local real estate attorney. He recommended I try getting the police to remove him one more time and If that didn't work he would accept a retainer from me to help me with the eviction process. We discussed his fee and timeline.

I called the local police dispatch with the details about his criminal past. They were no help. I emailed the Chief of Police directly pleading my case and begging for swift justice. I attached mug shots of the guy smiling after being arrested for Criminal Trespass of a habitation, I also attached a pdf of all his convictions. I was called by the Chief directly and he said he would send out the original officer that was going to remove the tenant and let him "do what he originally was going to do". He said he may not be able to arrest him but he said I have enough to at least get him removed from the property. He said I will need to sign a affidavit saying I did not accept payment from him to be my tenant. I think this is exactly what I needed and hope its the beginning of a happy ending.

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Re: Squatters / fraud!!
« Reply #30 on: December 22, 2015, 04:10:51 PM »
Good luck!
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Re: Squatters / fraud!!
« Reply #31 on: December 22, 2015, 04:54:59 PM »
I sure hope the police route works.  Terrible that this happened.

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Re: Squatters / fraud!!
« Reply #32 on: December 22, 2015, 05:09:43 PM »
/popcorn

What a turn of events. Please do not refrain from posting updates.

Gotta admire the nerve of the dude, installing DirecTV after selling you his sob story... I can't help but wonder what his typical playbook looks like. Shame that OP is on the other end of it, but wow.

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Re: Squatters / fraud!!
« Reply #33 on: December 22, 2015, 05:53:55 PM »
Good luck, hope the police are able to get this resolved for you and quickly.

If not... They (squatters) have got to physically leave the house SOMEtime, whether to go buy groceries or whatever. Does anyone know, would it be illegal for you (or a neighbor) to stake the place out until they do, then quickly retake "actual possession?" Turn the tables on the squatter. Bring a few friends and quickly change the locks. It's your property to begin with; so if they step out (even for a few minutes) then you wouldn't have forcibly removed anyone. Not offering actionable legal advice, just spitballing ideas for the forum. This might be difficult to execute if GF and kids stay holed up in the place at all times to maintain possession... quite possible he's already thought of this, if he's an experienced squatter.

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Re: Squatters / fraud!!
« Reply #34 on: December 22, 2015, 09:36:44 PM »
I just earlier tonight finished reading the book "X" by Sue Grafton and this exact thing is one of the plotlines. So funny to come hear and read about this. In the book, she was able to get the squatters out by learning they had skipped out on bail for a previous crime and she called the bond agent. Probably not the answer here. But please keep us updated on this. I am fascinated at the idea that people think they can get away with such a brazen crime.

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Re: Update
« Reply #35 on: December 22, 2015, 10:48:55 PM »
Some guy broke the lock box off my house,

"Some guy" is obviously your new "tenant." Thankfully, it's easy to evict in Texas. Ask your lawyer about an immediate possession bond. File it with the eviction suit.

https://www.stcl.edu/library/TexasRulesProject/TRCP474-522/rule510-52013.html

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Re: Update
« Reply #36 on: December 23, 2015, 01:30:58 AM »
Some guy broke the lock box off my house,

"Some guy" is obviously your new "tenant." Thankfully, it's easy to evict in Texas. Ask your lawyer about an immediate possession bond. File it with the eviction suit.

https://www.stcl.edu/library/TexasRulesProject/TRCP474-522/rule510-52013.html

Great idea.

Then closing won't have to be delayed.

Wonder what that'll cost.
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Re: Squatters / fraud!!
« Reply #37 on: December 23, 2015, 07:51:46 AM »
Your laws may be different. Often, local police don't do evictions, that's the function of a sheriff's deputy or constable. And most beat/uniformed cops have very little interest or ability to do a fraud investigation, particularly when they've probably got calls for service stacking up and waiting.

I echo the attorney advice and to start the eviction proceedings yesterday.

My best suggestion: If he's on active monitoring, that means he has a probation officer. He will likely have search terms as part of probation. While a law enforcement officer can't enter/search his residence without consent or a search warrant, the PO can enter and search at any time for any reason. I imagine, based on what you've said, the PO would have grounds to revoke his probation and have him taken into custody, which should solve your problem.

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Re: Squatters / fraud!!
« Reply #38 on: December 23, 2015, 08:04:44 AM »
^ This.  The PO will have him out and back in jail as soon as he figures out what is going on.  Then you will have to get the GF and kids out, if they don't leave on their own.

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Re: Squatters / fraud!!
« Reply #39 on: December 23, 2015, 08:10:26 AM »
This is Texas; can't you just force him out at gunpoint?

(In case you can't tell, that's a joke, not a serious suggestion.)

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Re: Update
« Reply #40 on: December 23, 2015, 08:53:36 AM »

Then closing won't have to be delayed.


Does the buyer know about all this? Does it have to be disclosed?

I sure wouldn't buy a house if I knew this was going on. I'd worry about retribution in the form of destruction of property once I owned it! 

I am so sorry the OP is going through this.

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Re: Squatters / fraud!!
« Reply #41 on: December 23, 2015, 10:06:13 AM »
This is Texas; can't you just force him out at gunpoint?

(In case you can't tell, that's a joke, not a serious suggestion.)

I would actually be tempted to do this myself if I had to deal with that asshole.

I probably would wait until they left the house, take it over, and when the guy came back and tried to enter I would point a gun at him and tell him to get the fuck off my property, as he is trespassing.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2015, 10:08:30 AM by shotgunwilly »

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Re: Squatters / fraud!!
« Reply #42 on: December 23, 2015, 10:09:42 AM »
This is Texas; can't you just force him out at gunpoint?

(In case you can't tell, that's a joke, not a serious suggestion.)

I would actually be tempted to do this myself if I had to deal with that asshole.

I probably would wait until they left the house, take it over, and when the guy came back and tried to enter I would point a gun at him and tell him to get the fuck off my property.
I was thinking the exact same thing. This situation pisses me off to no end. It doesn't seem like an eviction is even necessary here. Isn't this a case of breaking and entering? The criminal trespasser just hasn't left the property yet.

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Re: Update
« Reply #43 on: December 23, 2015, 10:10:49 AM »

Then closing won't have to be delayed.


Does the buyer know about all this? Does it have to be disclosed?

I sure wouldn't buy a house if I knew this was going on. I'd worry about retribution in the form of destruction of property once I owned it! 

I am so sorry the OP is going through this.

Don't know about Texas but where I am all the contracts require that the property be in substantially the same condition as the last viewed date on possession date.  The seller remains liable for any damage in the intervening period.

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Re: Squatters / fraud!!
« Reply #44 on: December 23, 2015, 10:29:20 AM »
Yeah, I was discussing this with my husband earlier today, and I just don't understand why the police won't intervene. This isn't a tenant/landlord dispute or a traditional eviction. Pure and simple, this is breaking and entering. It really makes me mad that the local law enforcement are essentially refusing to help you.

If I weren't worried about the safety and well being of the OP, I would find a way to change the locks again when they left and take back your property, but this could potentially be dangerous for you.

I like the parole officer suggestion, although is this guy even using his real name?

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Re: Squatters / fraud!!
« Reply #45 on: December 23, 2015, 10:40:28 AM »
Do not take the matter in your own hands and try to "evict" your non-tenant yourself. As Cathy would say, we are not in possession of all facts. Our interpretation of what constitutes a tenant-landlord relationship may not be the same as your jurisdiction's.

Professional tenants are expert manipulators, having OP act impulsively is the winning move for him.

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Re: Squatters / fraud!!
« Reply #46 on: December 23, 2015, 11:44:01 AM »
Squatters can have tenant rights.

It's not as simple as breaking and entering.

Thus the advice for legal counsel.

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Re: Squatters / fraud!!
« Reply #47 on: December 23, 2015, 01:08:34 PM »
Squatters can have tenant rights.

I guess I don't consider someone who stole the keys to a residence, changed the locks, and moved in to be a squatter in the same sense that we consider individuals who move into an abandoned property to be.

Legality aside, it should offend all of our sensibilities that a criminal like this could hide behind a concept of tenant rights and is a perfect illustration of why people can and do become disillusioned with the law sometimes.

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Re: Squatters / fraud!!
« Reply #48 on: December 23, 2015, 01:11:20 PM »
Sure, I feel the same, but our feelings don't matter as much as the law. Part of living in a society, gotta take the good with the bad at times.
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Re: Squatters / fraud!!
« Reply #49 on: December 23, 2015, 01:58:39 PM »
What a crazy story!   I don't really understand why squatters can sometimes get tenants' protections, but if so, why can't some random person break into my house and just decide to stay there while I'm living there?  Do I have to have personal belongings to differentiate between B&E and squatting?