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Wedding Woes

You've put up with this for 11 years?

Dear Prudence,

I love my family, and I know that times are tough. I have two family members who live in my three-bedroom home and have been doing so since 2008. I did not want to let them live here, but our mother pleaded, as they would otherwise be homeless. (My mother has since passed away.) The agreement, however, was that this would be temporary! They paid no rent and considered themselves “guests,” so no responsibilities while they were looking for new employment. That was 11 years ago. Since then I have tried to ask for help around the house and/or rent, but I am bombarded with excuses; then, they have the audacity to criticize me. They know how much I make from an online salary database, and they insist that I am rich (I manage my money well). I have room in my home. We’re family. One family member is a senior and can’t physically help with chores. The other family member actually stays with a boyfriend or friends during the week and comes home to do laundry. They make minimum wage and can’t afford rent or the cost of living. Everyone tells me to kick them out, and believe me, short of calling the police, I’ve tried that too. At this point, I’m not sure what to do.

—Family Freeloaders

Re: You've put up with this for 11 years?

  • These family members are so much b.s., I can't even.  So, the senior family member is in poor enough physical condition that they can't even help around the house.  Yet they have a job, albeit minimum wage.  Uh-huh.

    Plus, if they're working, than why can't they help with bills or pay a nominal rent?  A f/t minimum wage job is $1256 gross/month.  Let's say $800 net/month.  That's a lot of money for someone not paying any rent or utilities.  Maybe not even food.  So what HAVE they been spending their money on?

    They contribute nothing because the LW is family and makes a decent income, so they feel ENTITLED to being taken care of 100% by him/her.  I'm sure it has also never occurred to them that more people = higher utilities.  They literally COST the LW extra money every money.

    Though, I don't see the other family member as being as big of a deal.  They really aren't living there the majority of the time.  But still, if the LW doesn't want them there doing laundry, that's perfectly fine also

    The LW should have taken the blinders off 10 years ago.  If they have nowhere to go, that isn't her problem.  They are grown adults.  Though it would be another kindness of the LW to help the family members navigate through whatever assistance programs would be available to them.

    Though the LW has the wrong idea of the next step.  They can't call the police, the family members are legal residents of the house, even if they don't pay rent.  You all are right, the LW needs to go through an eviction proceeding if the family members won't leave.

    In most states, they wouldn't even need to hire a lawyer.  Landlord/tenant law and eviction procedures are well worn ground and pretty straightforward.  A 1-2 hour Google search and/or visit to the County Clerk's office would tell them all they need to know.  Though I take all of that back if they live in OR, MA, NY, NJ or CA, lol.  For those states, hire a lawyer!

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • My story of something similar.  Though not my family member.  If anyone is bored and wants to be entertained on this long Thurs. afternoon.

    I bought a dilapidated duplex a few years ago.  The seller's brother had been living in one of the units, rent-free, for over 10 years.  His monthly income was something like $600.  I gave him a 30-Day Notice to Vacate after closing.  I also offered him $600 if he moved out in two weeks or $350 if he moved out in 30 days.  I didn't even need to offer him the latter, I just wanted to give him an incentive to do things smoothly.  He called and asked if he would could meet with me to talk about the notice, so we did.  He ended up having a friend there to speak for him because he was too mad.  He was very upset his gravy train was about to end.  Which, I understood why it was upsetting for him.  But that doesn't change the facts.  Your sister doesn't own the house anymore, obviously you need to leave.  I was actually glad the friend was there.  Although she was of course on his side, she was a surprisingly reasonable person who understood exactly what I was saying also and kept him in check with reality.  Some highlights:

    • All the sob stories.  He doesn't want to leave.  He doesn't have anywhere to go.  I kid you not.  He wanted me to just let him keep living there, like his sister did.  He vaguely offered me rent...no specific amount...but then almost immediately backtracked on it with a "Though I only make $600/month, so I don't know that I could pay anything."  I tell him that, while I'm sympathetic with his plight, I obviously can't do anything like that.  Because I'm running a business, not a charity.  And property comes with substantial expenses.
    • Tactic #2.  Okay, so now he can move out.  But there is no way he can do it in 30 days.  He needs at least 90 days.  I had a lot of construction to do get the unit rent-ready.  But that was also true for the other unit.  So, to help him out, I told him if he could see a way to pay $400/month for the next three months...maybe with the help of his sister (she had said something like that at one point)...I could give him the time he wanted.
    • Apparently that was a mistake!  He blew up at me that there is no way he can afford that.  He only makes $600/month.  Then his friend thinks I'm trying to take advantage of him and spouts that I have to give a 30-day notice for any changes to the rent (which, again, was zero).  FFS!  I point out to her that this is exactly what the 30-Day Notice is that I've already given him.  And it's my preference anyway!  HE was the one who wanted to negotiate staying longer and I was trying to help.  So, sorry I even mentioned it!, then he just needs to be out in 30 days, smh.  FYI, the market rate (though, fixed up) for that unit is more than double at $850/month.
    • He tells me there is still no way he can move out in 30 days.  It's carrot and stick time.  I point out that I'm giving him $350 to just do what he is legally required to do.  And that I don't have to do that.  I'm doing it to make the transition smoother for both of us.  But, if he doesn't leave in 30 days, he doesn't get the money and I'll evict him.  True.  It will buy him some extra time, but only 2-3 weeks.  And then he will have an eviction on his record.  His friend was nodding along with me and told him I was right.  She was appreciative I was going to give him some money. 
    • Then he and his friend bring up how it was just so "unfair" because he didn't even know the house was for sale, until he got my notice that it had already been sold.  That house had been for sale, for months.  He knew it.  and I knew he knew it.  The friend added something like, "Yeah!  Why would you have bought this house without even looking at it!"  I put on my best play-acting, "puzzled" face and said, "Oh, but I did.  This is the third time I've met (name).  (Name), no offense, but I'm actually really confused as to how you didn't know this house was for sale.  I was here for the initial showing and then I was here a second time with my inspector.  My husband, your sister's agent, and my bank's appraiser were here a third time.  You were here all of those times."  The look his friend shot him was priceless!  He had bold-faced lied to her and she knew it.
    • Then his last Hail Mary.  He told me the sale of the house wasn't valid because his sister had tricked him into signing away his rights.  It took all my strength not to LMAO, though I couldn't help a smile escaping.  I have to admit, most of my conversation with him was a chore, but now I couldn't wait to hear the story.  Parents had died.  This property was left to the 4 adult children.  Two year earlier, one of the sisters had the other people sign away their rights.  She had visited him in the hospital a few hours after he'd had surgery and gave him that document to sign.  But he was "still drugged after his surgery!".  He "didn't know what he was signing!"  With the best straight face I could muster, I suggested he speak to an attorney if he felt he was entitled to some of the proceeds from the sale of the house.  But the sale was a done deal.  The house had a clear title and I couldn't have gotten the loan for it, otherwise.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • 11 years!!??!! Sell the house. Move into a studio.
  • S+S I love your stories. But you left out the rest - did he end up leaving at 30 days or did you have to evict? What shape was the unit in after he left? Did he cause any damage or issues
  • kvruns said:
    S+S I love your stories. But you left out the rest - did he end up leaving at 30 days or did you have to evict? What shape was the unit in after he left? Did he cause any damage or issues
    Yes! We need to know the ending!!
  • @kvruns and @charlotte989875, omg, I am terrible, lol.  I was focusing on the conversation and left out the ending, lol.  Which is also a good example of people will often find a way to make it work, when they have to.

    Yes, he did leave in 30 days!  He actually found a room to rent from an acquaintance of the friend who'd been part of our discussion.  One of the other stipulations of his $350 was the place had to be in the same condition it was in, when I bought it.  Because, obviously he had never paid his sister a security deposit (SD), so no SD was turned over to me.  As an aside, that's typically how it works when there is an inherited tenant.  The SD gets turned over to the new owner at closing and the new owner is then responsible to disperse any remainder back to the tenant whenever they leave.

    The unit was also in the same condition when he left, so he did get his $350 bribe :).  In a separate agreement that he and I made later on, I also bought his used appliances and paid for those on the day he left.  I offered him a fair market price for each item separately, which then gave him the option to take any appliances with him at move-out, since he wasn't sure what he might need at that earlier point.  I thought that was a great win-win for both of us.  I needed used appliances anyway and this made it even easier for me.  And he did end up needing the money much more because he didn't need any of the appliances.

    The condition of the unit was pretty deplorable, but I had bought it that way and it wasn't his fault.  It was missing the drywall on the bottom half of the back kitchen wall.  So there were also no lower cabinets or even a kitchen sink.  There was also no flooring in the two bedrooms.  It was just the concrete slab.  It also needed all new paint and some wall repair, but that's just par for the course and already rolled into my rehab numbers.

    The biggest thing I'd been worried about from him is there was a car engine on the living room floor and I didn't want him to leave that or any large furniture behind.  Yep.  That engine was a surprise at my first showing, lol.  Apparently it was some project he was working on for re-sale.  Thankfully, he didn't leave anything behind.


    There was also an arcade-sized Pac-Man game in the vacant unit's kitchen.  There had been all kinds of stuff left in that unit.  But the big Pac-Man game was the wackiest.  Especially since it was in the kitchen, lol.  A different sister (not the seller) came out of the woodwork and begged me to let her have it back.  Apparently she had moved to TX years ago, but wanted a cousin to come pick it up and store it at his house, until she could make arrangements to bring it back to her house.  Seriously?  This game...with all its electronics and wires...had been sitting in an abandoned unit with no ac or heat for over a decade.  But, whatever.  Maybe she hoped against hope it would still work.  If she wanted it, I was glad to have someone else haul it out of there for me.

    I told her we'd started major rehab work in that unit, but we'd hold it for her and her cousin for a week.  But, after that, I'd make no promises we'd still have it because we needed it out of the house.  I also gave her my H's number and told her the cousin also needed to come by when someone was there because the doors are kept locked.  She thanked me and agreed to those terms, but then had the audacity to make a snarky comment to me.  Something like, "You can't keep or get rid of it!  That's mine."  To which I informed her, "Actually, no.  It legally became my property when it was left in the vacant portion of a property I purchased.  I am graciously allowing you to have it, since you want it.  But time is of the essence."  

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • Did she take the pac-man game? Cmon S+S, you keep leaving me hanging

    My vote is on she didn't get it 
  • ShesSoColdShesSoCold bend over and I'll show ya
    Moderator 5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its
    I think those old arcade games, even non-working ones, are big money for collectors, especially Pacman. 

    I would have wanted that thing too. 
    Image result for someecard betting someone half your shit youll love them forever
  • kvruns said:
    Did she take the pac-man game? Cmon S+S, you keep leaving me hanging

    My vote is on she didn't get it 

    Actually, her cousin did come by and take it, within that next week.  Even that was a bit of a funny story.  My H set up a day and time with him and the cousin passed that along to her.  He was a no show, which was no inconvenience to us because my H was there working on the house anyway.  But the cousin lied and told her that we were the ones not there, smh.  So she calls me back mad about that.  I checked with my H while I'm on the phone.  Yep, he was there all day.  Hadn't even left for lunch or Home Depot.  Nope, the guy couldn't have missed him, the door was open.  Keep in mind, the cousin had my H's cell number.  There was no call or text to him either on that day ;).  I told the woman that also.  I reiterated that my H was there almost every weekday, for most of the day.  There's a lot of flexibility for the cousin to come get it whenever he wants, but just call/text first to make sure someone is there.  The cousin called my H a day or two later and, this time, showed up when he said he would and took it away.

    @ShesSoCold, I looked into it and this particular version wasn't valuable at all.  Even in good, working condition it was only worth about $200-$300.  I was surprised.  It wasn't an original Pac-Man, though.  It certainly wasn't new, but it was a lot newer than an original one.

    FWIW, I still would have let her have it, since she wanted it.  Even if it was valuable.  But knowing it wasn't, made it more appealing to me for someone else to just come take that big, heavy thing. 

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
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