Random Tidbits and Further Proof

all literary skill aside ... this is purely a request for advice rather than much of a "story" ... HELP!  lol

right before i was injured (2 weeks prior to) i purchased a home.  it was just a small fixer upper and was to be the first of five that year.  i was planning to open a rental company.

after my medical problems i ended up spending all my liquid assets on medical bills and had to live in that little house.  it took several years and lots of help from friends but i got it fixed up enabling me to move on to my next real estate purchase.

i located the new home i was going to purchase (the one i currently reside in) but it was in need of several renovations and updates before we moved in.  in the following two months i spent every waking moment packing, cleaning, mudding, patching, sanding, painting, pulling up carpet, refinishing wood floors, etc.  it really should have taken 3 months but for the sake of my dear mother i moved before the house was ready.

when i shared with her that i'd located another home, was planning to move and rent the other she promptly jumped all over it.  18 mos prior to that she ran into some financial problems and her condo was foreclosed on.  she moved in with her brother and his roommate and had done nothing but gripe and complain about how loud they were for 18 mos.  she also blamed her financial problems on the emotional distress she suffered due to my health and my brother moving out of state.  she wouldn't own up to what she'd done and where it put her/the results.

i wanted to make sure she could afford it.  she gave me all her numbers/debt to income and i calculated the ratios.  she was going to be just fine with plenty to spare each month.

when we discussed rent money she was hesitant and didn't like the numbers i was giving her which were WELL below the averages ($100 lower) for the area.  it finally ended up that she was renting the place for my cost alone - nothing at all in my pocket to cover repairs, damages, clean up etc.  i didn't charge her for a deposit either because i trusted her to keep the place up.

the rental agreement, due to her paying expenses only, is that should anything go wrong with the home she will be responsible for a percentage of the repair bill not to exceed $1200 a year (the difference in rent per year that i offered initially at a discounted rate.)  she didn't care for that clause and there were words over it - her telling me i was terrible to request such, let alone put it in writing making her agree to it. 

she is also to maintain the lawn just as any other renter or home owner would.  wouldn't you know she was upset with me for taking my lawn mower with me to my new home?!?!?!  she thought i should leave it there for her since she was responsible for the yard maintenance.  but it didn't stop there.  in this area when you rent a home it comes with all major appliances with exception to the refrigerator.  she knew this!  she had been looking for places for 12 months.  she was aware what type of rental came with what.  she was quite surprised when she realized i wasn't leaving my refrigerator behind for her.  she went into a crying frenzy about how was she going to afford a refrigerator, etc. etc.

when it came time for her to pay her rent she informed me she'd be paying 1/2 every other week.  this put a monkey wrench in the entire deal and i had to recalculate numbers because rather than 12 payments there would be 26 (52 divided by 2 is every other week...)  after recalculating the numbers the rent amount came out different by about $5/mo.  granted i should have not worried with it but my bank/mortgage co was going to charge me extra to re-setup the loan in this manner and my payments were going to increase by the same amount.  it seemed only right to pass the expense to her since i was making no profit from this agreement.  had i been making anything on the transaction i wouldn't have had to have my loan reconfigured but i am still on disability and i don't have the extra every month especially with my new mortgage (2nd home.)

i cannot begin to tell you how terribly she reacted when i told her rent had gone up $5/mo due to her payment option needed.  now keep in mind, she's not destitute, she has a job - a GOOD job, her car payment is less than half mine, and ended 6 mos into her rental agreement (paid off.)  i lived there on less than half her salary (disability) and i made it just fine - actually was able to afford many extras.  she turned into the psycho hose beast from H3LL that i recall from my childhood.  it makes me shutter just to recall this.  she acted as if this $5/mo was going to put her in the poor house, bankruptcy court, etc.  the truth is, if a renter requests something of the like it is customary for the landlord to charge a 'service fee' so it wasn't out of the ordinary.  also, when i ran her numbers including all possible bills, monthly expenses and some to savings, she would have an extra $400/mo to do whatever with - she was only out $100 more each month for her and her dog to live on their own, in a house, with a fenced in yard, and not have to put up with her brother and his loud roommate.  to me her fit was beyond ridiculous.  i let it slide but i shouldn't have.  i should have asked her to find another place right then and there!

initially when she moved in she called me EVERYday and several times a day.  i couldn't understand this behavior because i barely spoke to her twice a month before ... it was puzzling to say the least and none of her conversation was about the house, it was all stupid babbling stuff that made no difference in my world.  after about 3 months of this i finally asked her if she'd lost all her friends because she never found it THIS important to speak to me before.  and as i imagined she would, she reacted quite negatively to my question.  granted my question was not innocent.  i had hoped to upset her enough that she'd leave me al one a bit.

a couple months went by and she refused to speak to me - sweet peace!  it was her way of guilting me which i wasn't allowing.  she came back around and acted as if nothing happened.

every two weeks do you think she delivers the rent to me or deposits it in my bank?  you'd be incorrect if that's what you think.  i realize that's the normal setup for a landlord/tenant rental payment transaction but NO!  i have to go pick it up if i want it!!!  and each time i pick it up i get to hear about how poor she is yet she has me smell her newest candle, etc.  and we aren't talking $8-10 candles ... no no no!  we're talking $25-60 candles!

we had some horrific ice storms in early 2007.  so bad that it was declared a national disaster - unprecedented!  i had to rent several pieces of equipment and pay a few men to clean up the yards at both my house and the rental home.  i made sure her yard was cleaned up first.  

due to that storm i also had to get an electrian out to the rental to replace the power main - it had been damaged by falling tree limbs.  she had already been without electricity for nearly 2 weeks - the whole city was in blackout due to the ice.  i was able to get the repairman out there within 2 days of the electricity coming back up which was MAJOR because they were ALL booked for the same reasons - plumbers and electricians were having to wait on the supply companies to get more shipments because they were running out of parts each day.  BIG REPAIRS FOR ALL in this area.  not to mention the electric company shut her power right back off due to the fire hazard of a damaged main.

i spent $600 out of pocket for repairs and clean up on the rental house alone.  i spent $300 at my house.  being on disability you don't have a grand a month extra ... well i don't.  when i proposed she split the rental property bill with me as per the rental property contract she became enraged!  i thought i was still being nice - too nice.  i could have asked her for the entire amount of $600 and she'd still be responsible for another $600 for the remaining months of that calendar year.  but i was only asking for $300 of it.  she was broke.  she didn't pay a dime - not one single red cent!

approximately 6 weeks ago i went to pick up the rent check.  i walked around the house to the backyard to get my hedge clippers from the patio that she'd been using to trim trees back from the driveway (where she promptly left the pile of brush in front of the house on the sidewalk.)  the grass was up to my knees and had not been cut yet this season.  i told her she had to have it done pronto due to the bug factor and that the city would soon be on me.  of course, she gave me the 'woe is me' sob story about being broke and she brought up the lawn mower and refrigerator again.  at this point any other landlord would have asked her to leave.

here we are 6 weeks from discovery and 6 requests later.  the grass is up to my hips now.  she had scheduled someone to come last week (her brother) and when i called this past sunday nite to check if it happened she told me that it's just been raining too much.  the truth of the matter is that since march the most we've had is 3 days consecutive without rain and this has happened about every other week.  it truly has rained more than usual.  for the first time this season last week was the first week it did not rain - not one day that week!  yet she lied to me about it raining.  i live in the same town ... i'm not sure what she's thinking especially since she knows i can 'feel' the weather in my bones since my accident.  that being said, i would have known/felt it had it rained within 100 miles.  it did NOT rain all week last week.  i don't recall it having rained once - not once!

i politely told her that it should have been done as there was no rain last week wherein she interrupted me with, "*constant*, i'm not going to fight with you!"  (her classic response to everything.)  to which i replied, "*her first name*, as your landlord - not your daughter ... NO you will NOT fight with me about this and it WILL be done THIS weekend.  if you cannot comply with this you will need to let me know immediately."  her response was again classic - she hung up on me.

i had concerns about doing business with family.  and i voiced those concerns prior to getting into this with her.  she went on and on about how it was going to be just fine, etc.  at this point she's been in my rental for nearly 8 months now.  i could rent that house and make $200/mo profit each month EASILY!  am i wrong to want her to move out?  i am considering asking her to be out by the end of september.  i'm not even sure how to approach it though.  any ideas?  how would you feel in this situation and what would you do?

AbbyNormal AbbyNormal
31-35, F
8 Responses Jul 14, 2007

A legal eviction notice, maybe $75. Have the sheriff escort her out. You definitely don't need to be present. When she's gone, change the locks. Have someone else remove her belongings. Most importantly, when she shows up on your doorstep, act surprised like you don't know what she's talking about. Tell her you'll look into it when you have the time. Better yet move.

I have been thinking about this for a *long* time and still have no concrete thoughts on the matter. <br />
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This is the shape of my preliminary thoughts:<br />
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(1) The issue is very complicated. I think you need to delineate and prioritise things. There are two main dimensions here - your relationship with your mother which has 'soft' parameters and your situation with the property, which has 'hard' parameters. One approach to dealing with multidimensional problems is to map out which outcomes are simply not acceptable, and which outcomes are the most desirable. <br />
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(2) I have been trying to work out some way of better understanding 'emotional reasoning'. I have just come up with an interesting idea, so see what you think of it. It might help to construct an emotional mapping for your mother's perspective on the matter. This is like doing "pros and cons' from someone else's perspective, but instead of using rational "pros and cons", substitute emotional reactions and *their* interpretation of different scenarios/suggestions/framings, in an attempt to find out what lines of approach will most likely yield the outcome that you want.<br />
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How is this different from manipulating people? It is a subtle thing, I think. It's the difference between convincing someone to see that your viewpoint is meritorious with logic and using logic to trick someone into agreeing with you.<br />
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The exact details of the emotional mapping ('how would she feel if such and such was presented to her") are necessarily *soft* and up to you and how well you know your mother.<br />
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The other thing I can think of is coming up with emotional leverage points.

any recommendations on how to make my mom feel like a hero and either pay REAL rent or get out of my house so i can rent it to someone else who will pay REAL rent? i don't want to embarrass her. not at all. but i know my mother and i KNOW she's going to continue on this path - allowing someone to take care of her - until they (i) finally put an end to it. this is her pattern. she's a victim and has never been able to take care of herself if someone else would help ... and she DOES make you feel that you MUST help or she'll surely go hungry! ugh... it's twisted to say the least.

I do wish you luck. I believe you are right about leaning to the analytical, fact-based side. Dealing with an emotion-based person must be hard - no common vocabulary. I think you can give her an opportunity to be a hero if you show her a path out that doesn't leave her feeling like she's been robbed of her pride. I know that if I were renting from my 24-year old daughter, I'd feel mighty sheepish and embarrassed. If I had trouble with the rent and she threatened to boot me out on the street, I'd feel humiliated. It must be odd for you, having the power in this situation. I wonder about her, that she let it come to this. I have faith that you'll figure out a solution - you're smart. Trouble is - like a lot of smart people, you think too much!

each and every one of you is correct. <br />
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El, my mother and i have done this dance since i can remember - 10-12'ish. i have always been the parent and she the child. unfortunately this has invariably caused problems in our relationship when she wanted to impose her 'law' and 'rights as parental unit.' not to mention she's emotionally based and i'm not ... AT ALL! (sure i get angry and am prone to fits from time to time, however, i base decisions on proven facts - unlike my mother.)<br />
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this morning i went to collect rent from her. as usual i got to hear of all her growing health concerns as well as her financial trauma. i'm fairly certain she inserts her financial problems into each interaction with me so as to keep me 'feeling sorry for her' ...<br />
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as i drove home i contemplated how exactly i'm going to do what i need to. i think the best way to go is to renew her rental agreement with a rate increase - one that will bring it to standard/average (showing no assistance or leniancy for her 'problems'...)<br />
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i believe doing so will prompt her to move. of course, she will throw a fit. she always does. but i believe she will move of her own accord and i won't have to engage in legal matters with family. at least this is my hope! <br />
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wish me luck! this will happen in less than 4 months time. 12/1

Constant: Your EP friends are all lining up next to you, shoulder to shoulder, and that's good. Not only SHOULD you evict her, you MUST evict her, for your benefit and hers as well. I'm afraid you two have evolved a complex dance, and it will be hard to disentangle. You are infantilizing her and she is exploiting it shamelessly. You are cast as the "strict parent," and frankly, with your health concerns, don't you already have enough to do? Time for mom to grow up.

No mother should ever treat her child in such a way. She is disrespecting you so terribly. I would suggest taking her to court and having her evicted, but I tend to be somewhat cold and callous. Try just asking her to leave first. If she refuses, then take her to court, and while your at it, get the money that she owes you and make her pay court costs.

Wow! I'm amazed that she's your mother- she sounds like an irresponsible younger sibling! Yes, I'd tell her she needs to be out by the end of September if she doesn't get her act together, to stop buying expensive decor and stop making poor excuses and lying to you because she's too stubborn and irresponsible to do simple upkeep and pay for necessities that SHE has to be responsible for- you're not obligated to give her your refrigerator or lawnmower, and as her landlord you are not obligated to put up with this!