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Texas cops say they can’t remove staging family from home

Showdown in Texas: an aggressive pit bull, yard crucifixes, and an aggressive house guest that police say they cannot remove.

Hiring a staging family

An increasingly popular trend in a tough seller’s market is to hire a staging family when a home is to be vacated, typically when homeowners are relocating. The idea behind paying someone to live in a house while vacant is to lend it the lived-in feel and allow buyers to have a vision of what life would be like for them in the home.

So when Realtor Robin Everly suggested that her client, Aji Philip hire a staging family so she could relocated to Boston to be with her ill mother while the house sold, Philip said “it actually sounded like a fantastic idea.”

[ba-pullquote align=”right”]The family has placed a crude paper plate on the mantle that says the home is occupied and no one shall touch anything in the house.[/ba-pullquote]Philp tells CBS Dallas that not only did the staging family bring a pit bull with them, violating their agreement, not to mention a truck parked in the grass leaking oil, a red sign in the yard, and multiple crucifixes, namely a ten foot tall cross that violates the HOA rules. The family has placed a crude paper plate on the mantle that says the home is occupied and no one shall touch anything in the house.

The failing eviction process

The homeowner contacted the company that had placed the staging family, who began the process of evicting the tenants, but while the two brothers have complied and moved out, their father who they “invited” to stay with them claims he has rights to remain and refuses to leave until all appeals have been exhausted.

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[ba-pullquote align=”right”]”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.”[/ba-pullquote]CBS Dallas reports that according to police and Texas state law, the man is allowed to stay on the property until the courts say he can’t. As a result, the homeowner cannot go onto her own property, and despite paying all mortgage and insurance on the home, “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.”

The Realtor went with a police escort to remove the sale sign and take the lockbox until the man is evicted as it is unsafe for other agents to enter a property that someone tells visitors is his and claims occupancy.

“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 told CBS 11, adding that they pre-screen all tenants. “I think people outside of the tenants we put in that property are the ones causing the problems.”

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Tara Steele is the News Director at The American Genius, covering entrepreneur, real estate, technology news and everything in between. If you'd like to reach Tara with a question, comment, press release or hot news tip, simply click the link below.



  1. Emmy Basch

    June 7, 2012 at 10:59 pm

    A staging FAMILY????

  2. Loretta O'Banan Blendermann

    June 7, 2012 at 11:02 pm


  3. Brandon Begley

    June 7, 2012 at 11:02 pm

    That’s just plain stupid. It’s the sellers own fault for taking such ridiculous advice.

  4. AgentGenius

    June 8, 2012 at 1:38 am

    It’s not an uncommon concept, it just appears Texas laws allow squatters independent of short term leases.

  5. Mindwear

    June 8, 2012 at 11:09 am

    A staging FAMILY?  Why would you pay someone to live in your house.  I would rather show vacant houses 10 to 1 over occupied.  Buyers don’t have to look past all the sellers junk to see the house.  Vacant homes are a blank slate ready for the buyers decor.  

  6. abodograph

    June 8, 2012 at 11:20 am

    LOL. I didn’t even know staging families were even a thing. As a free service to the realtor community, I selflessly volunteer myself as staging food-eater.

  7. Jack Cassedy

    June 8, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    Pit bulls are wonderful dogs! I am immediately siding with the staging family based on this person’s slight bashing of pit bulls. Also, this is ridiculous.

  8. Trust 2 Move - San Antonio Homes

    June 9, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    collect rent… home furnished and looking great! Wonderful concept, just poorly executed. Very Poorly Executed!

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