HOUSTON – Two sisters who were living in the front yard of a rental property in Oak Forest after they were evicted from the home for not paying rent have been allowed back into the home.
Last week, the landlord moved all their belongings outside, but the women didn't leave. Some neighbors were complaining, saying it was an eyesore.
On Wednesday, the landlord said the sisters were able to bring their rent payment up to date.
The sisters said they had to wait for inheritance money from a deceased relative to pay.
Why were they evicted?
Tricia Meyer, 61, and her sister, Edwinice Meyer, 54, said they haven't been able to work due to health issues.
"I had surgery back in December. I've been trying to recover," Tricia Meyer said. "I used to work. I'm a party consultant. I was working part-time over at the Dollar Tree. Because I haven't been able to get back to work, my money has shrunk down, and I started having problems with paying everything."
That includes paying their $1,350 rent on Ebony Lane in the Oak Forest neighborhood.
The Harris County Precinct 1 Constable's Office said at 10:39 a.m. last Thursday, a deputy delivered the sisters an eviction notice for not paying the rent. Authorities said it appeared they were already living on the front yard. Meyer said the landlord had movers take their items outside.
"This is our second eviction that's happened. We were living in a house that belonged to my sister, and it was foreclosed on and sold," Meyer said.
If they were evicted, how were they living on the front lawn?
The constable's office said the landlord didn't ask deputies to intervene. The sisters could have been removed for trespassing, but authorities said the landlord didn't ask them to leave.
Some neighbors said it was an eyesore, others helped
Some neighbors complained that having the sisters' belongings sit on the front lawn created an eyesore for the neighborhood.
A homeowner who complained to KPRC Channel 2 said they didn't want to go on camera but wanted to see the items removed.
Other neighbors gave the Meyer sisters food and water.
"I just feel bad for them, trying to help out any way that we can," said Tina Lopez, who lives several houses down. "I think that people have been complaining about it, but they really need to stop and think (about) what if they were going through this and to try and help them out, pray for them if that's all they can do."
"I want to say, 'Thank you' to them, the ones that have helped. They're angels," Meyer said.
Meyer said the landlord tried to negotiate with the sisters.
"So he went through and did the thing to get us evicted and since we were evicted, and as soon as we were evicted, he turned around and said, 'If you can come up with the money, you can go back in,'" Meyer said.
"He's helped me find a lawyer to help me some probate problems," Meyer said. "Trying to get money from other property to pay the rent."
Why not go to a shelter?
The sisters said they declined going to a shelter because they don't want to give up their cat, Buddy Butt, and dog, Kayla.
"Both of the animals were emotional support animals, and we both need them," said Meyer, who also said they lost their documentation to certify their pets as support animals.