Woman Hires Family To Liven Up For-Sale Home, Now She Can’t Enter Her Own Property

With so many abandoned and vacant homes on the market, some sellers are hiring companies to place families in their properties in the hopes that doing so will make the house feel less empty and more appealing to buyers. But one woman in Texas says she’s been bitten on the butt by her decision to use a so-called “staging” family.

The homeowner decided to move out of her Dallas-area home before it sold, but says it was her real estate agent who suggested bringing in the temporary family.

“It actually sounded like a fantastic idea,” she told Dallas’ CBS 11 News.

But then she found out the new tenants had brought a dog with them… and parked a truck on the yard… and put a 10-foot tall crucifix on the lawn, which violates HOA rules.

The homeowner contacted the company that had placed the family there and began the process of evicting the tenants, which now included additional family members beyond the two brothers that were supposed to be there.

Unfortunately, while those brothers have moved out, their father has not. And he says he’s not leaving until all appeals have been exhausted.

Police tells CBS 11 that the man is allowed to stay on the property until the courts say he can’t.

But that means that the homeowner — even though she’s continuing to pay the mortgage, insurance and HOA fees — “can’t go onto my [own] property. There’s nothing I can do to that property to really reclaim it or save it from these people who have really taken it hostage.”

And it’s not just the homeowner who is persona non grata in her house. A real estate agent recently tried to show the house to an interested buyer but was told the house was occupied.

She says she’s no longer comfortable having agents show the house, and even brought a police escort with her when she went to get her For Sale sign back from the front lawn.

The company that placed the brothers in the house says it pre-screens all tenants.

“With regard to whether we put the wrong people into the house, the people who are on the lease I don’t think are bad people,” a company rep tells CBS 11. “I think people outside of the tenants we put in that property are the ones causing the problems.”

Legal Dilemma: Man’s Castle Or Woman’s Home? [CBS News 11]