• DeKalb woman charged with living illegally inside Lithonia home

    By: Tony Thomas

    Updated:

    LITHONIA, Ga. - A DeKalb County mother said she's been duped into thinking she had legally rented a Lithonia area home, when in fact she has no right to be there.

    Yolanda Loews has been charged with criminally trespassing after the owners of a Downs Way home discovered her living there with her four children last month.

    Loews spent a night in jail, but then moved right back into the house where she remains.

    Loews said she didn't intend to stay at the house rent-free and actually paid rent for the first month.

    The rent went to a man she met at a nearby gas station. He offered to show here the house and then gave her a lease. She gave him $1,700 for a deposit and first month's rent.

    "I thought everything was legit. This is not my first time I've rented, but this is the first time going through this because I didn't know people did this type of stuff," Loews told Channel 2's Tony Thomas.

    She said she moved her stuff in and thought everything was legal. Then the property managers for the real owners showed up.

    Diane Dessailly, of Two Girls and a Deal, manages the property for the out-of-state investors.

    "We believe there was no fictitious agent at the gas station," Dessailly said.

    Dessailly's company called the police on Loews, who was charged with criminal trespassing and ordered to leave the house. She spent a night in jail and when she was released, she returned back to the Downs Way house.

    The owners' lawyer, Musa Ghanayem, is furious the courts didn't immediately force Loews out, but instead allowed her to stay while the owners had to seek a civil eviction.

    "These people are criminals, they are not tenants," Ghanayem told Thomas.

    Ghahayem said he has several cases like this, including ones where the homes are vacation or second homes for the owners and fully furnished.

    He said they, too, are having to seek a civil eviction while they worry about all their belongings being stolen or damaged.

    As for the Downs Way property, Loews said the man who "rented" her the house has not come by for the March rent and she knows she was scammed.

    She wants charges filed against him, if she can find him. She also said she's moving out this weekend.

    "At the end of the day my case will be proven," Loews said.


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