Seller Can’t Get Strangers Out of Her Home
July 14, 2017
Dena Everman in Marietta, Ga., was about to close on the sale of her home of 11 years when she discovered that a family—not the buyers—had already moved in. Everman, who had moved out of the home weeks prior, encountered the occupants when she stopped by the property the day before closing to check on it one last time. The closing that was set to happen the next day on June 26 with the rightful buyers continues to be put off as Everman struggles to get the family evicted from the home.
“I’m extremely frustrated that someone that has no legal right to be in my home is staying in my home and I’m the one that has to prove that they don’t belong there,” Everman told USA Today. “I went by the home on June 25 to say goodbye to my home. When I drove up, there was a different car in the driveway and it looked like somebody was in my home.”
Everman says she never gave permission for Tamera Pritchett, her fiancé, and two children to move in.
However, Pritchett says the family found the property listed for rent on Craigslist. She says they signed e-documents and wired $3,000 to a person in Garland, Texas, who claimed to own the house with Everman. She says they received the keys to the home and moved in two weeks prior to Everman showing up.
“We’re not squatters,” Pritchett told USA Today. “We have documents. We have keys.”
Local police are investigating the situation, but they have yet to evict Pritchett and her family from the home.
“At this point, I’m the legal owner of the property and I shouldn’t have to expend this energy to get someone out that I did not give permission to be in my home,” Everman says. “The police officers … decided it wasn’t breaking and entering at that point even though there was a broken window and changed locks and I had the deeds to my home and proof that it was my home.”
Georgia’s law states that “squatters have the right to take possession of this property if they occupy it without permission for a specific period of time.”
But Pritchett maintains they’re not squatters. “We got scammed. We understand this is your home,” Pritchett told USA Today, directed at Everman. “But why can’t we be adults and try to figure this out and go after this person that scammed us and is obviously out here scamming your name and your home.”
Both sides are currently working with attorneys.
Meanwhile, for the past two weeks, the family who was purchasing the home from Everman has been unable to move in and has been forced to put their belongings in storage and move in temporarily with friends.
Source: “She Found Strangers Living in Her House. Now She Can’t Get Them Out,” USA Today (July 13, 2017)
Updated: July 19, 2018