March 27, 2023
HOUSTON, TX—Linda Jiang said she was locked out of the house she owned on South Braeswood in Houston on March 23. Turns-outs, a group of African-American trespassers lived there for almost a month and even changed the locks.
Jiang wasn’t sure what to do after the trespassers produced a fake rental agreement, which initially caused police to categorize the dilemma as a civil matter, not criminal. Jiang contacted ABC13.
By Monday morning, the squatters were gone.
“I thought we had to go through the eviction process. Now they’re gone, completely gone,” Jiang told ABC13.
Jiang said a woman identified as Tamisha Holmes-Bey, had lived in her rental house with several other occupants for almost a month. She discovered them when she came to clean up the yard.
When Jiang confronted the squatters, Holmes-Bey and the other occupants refused to leave.
Both Harris County Precinct 5 and Houston Police Department responded to Jiang’s calls but told her it was a civil matter, not criminal. Holmes-Bey told ABC13 she signed a “legitimate lease with an alleged realtor.”
“No, I’m not trespassing,” she said during a live interview. “I have a lease and paid $6,000.”
“I don’t know what’s going on; all I know is that my kids and I moved here to start a new life from California,” Holmes-Bey said.
However, ABC13 learned Holmes-Bey has lived in Texas for decades, not California.
She has also been involved in multiple civil and criminal proceedings in Bell, Travis, and Fort Bend counties. Records also indicate she has had three evictions in Fort Bend County since 2019.
Houston police determined over the weekend the lease agreement Holmes-Bey produced was fraudulent and told her she had until Monday to get out or face trespassing charges. Holmes-Bey had no furniture in the house, just a few air mattresses, changed all the locks, and the lease agreement she produced did not show the alleged realtor’s name.
By Monday morning, the home was empty and the doors were left unlocked.
“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,” Jiang said.
Feature Screenshots via ABC13