Moment shameless squatter who works as a fourth grade TEACHER is evicted from the luxury house in Houston where she lived illegally after using a fake lease to deceive the police
- Amberlyn Prather and her family have been illegally living in the house since January
- The Houston public school teacher finally moved out on June 15 after a judge ruled the lease was bogus and ordered the family to vacate the premises
- Realtor Shanequa Garrett was able to get in and figure out how they broke in
A public school teacher and her family have been evicted from a house in Houston they had squatted with a bogus lease.
Amberlyn Prather, a fourth-grade teacher at a Houston public school, was silent when confronted with ABC13 out of eviction court last month after a judge ordered the family to vacate the house before the end of the month.
Prather, who arrived at the property in January while it was vacant and up for sale, still managed to drag her heels and stay a few weeks longer.
But now she has finally been evicted.
Real estate agent Shanequa Garrett, who is authorized to sell the house, had not been in for months because of the squatters and had been fighting for months to remove them.
But on June 15, the teacher and her family left the house, allowing Garrett to go inside and finally figure out how the family broke into the house.
The shameless Amberlyn Prater, pictured in red T-shirt and mask, declined to comment on why she was squatting in a Houston home after being ordered to leave the premises by a judge during a court hearing in May
The photo shows the building Prater squatted in. A property management company repeatedly changed the locks to try to keep her out, but she climbed back in through a window
“They can climb on a garbage can and climb onto the roof,” Garrett told ABC13, speaking from the bedroom on the second floor of the home.
“From this window (which was loose), they can just open it from the outside and jump in. Because we had the house tinkered over and over again, and they kept going in.”
It all started when the house was for sale in January. Prather managed to get into the house and then moved with her entire family.
Neighbors saw the moving truck and called the police, but the squatters were allowed to stay until Garrett took the case to court.
Prater, pictured facing a reporter outside a courtroom, allegedly used a fake lease to trick police into believing she had the right to stay at the property
Garbage is pictured outside the property after Prater and her family were ordered to leave
Estate agent Shanequa Garrett, who managed the property on behalf of the unidentified owners, is pictured in his living room after the squatters finally got the boot
A No Trespassing sign was posted on the property. It’s unclear if Prater lit it up in an effort to stop people from evicting her from the property that wasn’t hers initially
A neighbor told ABC13 earlier this year that he had recorded one of the squatters showing his lease to the police – which was later ruled fake by a judge.
“It’s insane,” said Garrett at the time, who has since gone to court several times over the issue.
Although the judge ruled that the family should never have been in the house, it took months for the squatters to be removed.
“They’re finally out,” Garrett said. ‘Now it’s to keep the squatters out completely. We don’t want a situation like that again.’
Legal experts told ABC13 that to avoid such situations, prevention is best. If you know you will have an unoccupied home for an extended period of time, put up no trespassing signs and install security cameras inside and out, checking them regularly.
Squatting is generally investigated as a civil case, rather than a police case. Civil courts can generally evict squatters quickly, but those who know the system can use a variety of blocking tactics to stay where they are for longer.
Squatters who retain control of someone’s property long enough may even sue to obtain the property.
In March, Melissa Schrock successfully obtained a $125,000 parcel of land next to her Delaware home that belonged to her neighbor after putting a goat pen there for 20 years.