'It never had to get to this': Judge gives access to home owned by Army reservist sieged by squatter

Miya Shay Image
Tuesday, September 19, 2023
Squatter gone from Army reservist's home a day after ABC13 report
A judge granted access to an Army lieutenant to retrieve her townhome after it was taken over by a squatter named Natasha Timmons.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- One week after ABC13's report, a young Army reserve lieutenant will be given her house back after a squatter took it over.

In court on Monday, a judge ruled Natasha Timmons can no longer legally live in the townhome owned by army reservist Mikiya Barber.

ABC13 first met Barber last week when the young officer flew in from West Palm Beach, Florida, where she is currently deployed to plead her case before a judge.

ORIGINAL REPORT: Army reservist from Houston claims battle with squatter is costing her $50,000

Barber had rented her townhome to Timmons after she was deployed, but court records show Timmons stopped paying rent after two months.

There has been no payment in the past 10 months by Timmons. Initially, Barber tried to set up payment plans to work the situation out.

Eventually, she went to court. However, records show Timmons, who has a theft conviction from 2003, filed two bankruptcies while living in Barber's home, which delayed court proceedings.

All the while, neighbors said they watched as she washed her Mercedes in the driveway and lived as if nothing was wrong.

"It never had to get to this point," Barber said, who appeared in court via Zoom and spoke to ABC13 afterward.

RELATED: Frustrated neighbors, owner in NW Houston turn to Action 13 about home taken over by squatters

A home in northwest Houston that was put up for sale is the site of an investigation where squatters have settled in.

When Timmons didn't show up, the judge issued a default verdict, giving Barber immediate access to her home.

"I'm definitely excited to have my house back. I'll be seeing the inside soon," she said.

The judge also ordered Timmons to pay back the nearly $20,000 in back rent. Though Barber doesn't think she'll ever see a dime.

Neighbors told ABC13 they have not seen Timmons since we aired the story.

"I definitely learned a lot, and I definitely learned a lot about laws," Barber said.

She told Eyewitness News she is considering contacting members of Congress to advocate for people finding themselves in similar situations.

"I'm definitely going to read up on everything before I put it back on the market to rent," she said.

WATCH: 'Finally they're out': Squatters living in SW Houston home move out after living there for 6 months

For the first time in 2023, a realtor whose property was taken over by so-called "professional squatters" finally got to go inside a now-emptied home.

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