DeKalb County

DeKalb man says squatters changed his house’s locks while he was away caring for sick wife

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — A DeKalb County homeowner says squatters broke into his vacant rental house last week and changed the locks while he was caring for his sick wife.

“Basically, these people came in Friday, broke into my house and had a U-Haul move all their stuff in. It’s frustrating. It’s very frustrating. I can’t even sleep,” Paul Callins told Channel 2′s Tom Regan.

Callins says he inherited the house on Ashton Oak Circle from his father after he died of cancer three years ago.

[DOWNLOAD: Free WSB-TV News app for alerts as news breaks]

He spent thousands renovating the home by himself. He planned to rent the house to a government-subsidized tenant. He posted an ad online.

He believes the squatters saw the ad, the address and took advantage of the vacant house. He believes two men and a woman are now living in his house illegally.

“I guess they have done this before, because when I called the police, they said since they have a fake lease, that they can’t do anything. That it’s a civil matter,” Callins explained.


While Channel 2 Action News was at the home, two cars were in the driveway but no one answered the door. Later, two men entered the home but did not any questions from Regan.

Callins says he has been told he needed to file an “Affidavit of Intruder” in court and have it signed by a judge. He could then appeal to the county sheriff’s office to have the intruders evicted.

“I have to go through the court system, and I understand it could take sixty to ninety days,” he said.

The Georgia General Assembly is close to passing a new law that would allow police to arrest squatters for trespassing and make using a fake lease a felony.

[SIGN UP: WSB-TV Daily Headlines Newsletter]