Aji Philip needed to sell her house in order to go care for her sick mother. But what she did in an attempt to speed up the process just might have delayed things even more.
Philip, who lives in Collin County, Texas, thought it was “a fantastic idea" when a realtor suggested she rent out her home through a staging company to make it look more attractive to potential buyers, CBS 11 reports. Trouble began when the Burgesses, the family that moved in, violated the terms of the deal by displaying religious crosses in the front yard, keeping a pitbull and not paying rent, according to complaints alleged in a petition currently in litigation.
Drew, Shaun and Nadia Burgess had made an agreement similar to a lease with Castle Keepers, a staging company that offers short-term rentals and dresses up homes to make them more appealing to buyers. The company is now seeking an eviction order on behalf of Philip, since Nathan Burgess, the father of the leaseholders, refuses to leave despite not being included in the original agreement.
“He has no legal basis [to live in the house],” Jeffrey Sprigg, the attorney representing Castle Keepers, told The Huffington Post. But Nathan Burgess can’t be forcibly removed from the property until a decision is made in court because he says he was "invited" by his sons, according to CBS 11.
While CBS 11 previously reported that Philip could be arrested if she goes on her own property, both Sprigg and local constable Lonnie Simmons told The Huffington Post that, by law, this isn't the case.
Burgess isn’t the only Texan who’s attempted to exploit a legal loophole to get a free place to stay. Just a few counties over in Tarrant, squatter Kenneth Robinson was evicted from a home after claiming he owned it. Texas has seen a string of these claims, called adverse possession, that squatters say gives them ownership of abandoned homes.
Adverse possession claims have been made elsewhere too. Residents in one upscale Detroit neighborhood glued the locks and barricaded the driveway in one home where a squatter was taking up residence and claiming ownership due to the legal loophole. The squatter was ultimately charged with 11 felonies.
Check out these eviction stories, among other foreclosure fails below: