This post is not your typical real estate how-to. Let’s start with a quote:
“I am out of the rental-property business, thank goodness. The worst were the people who paid the first and last months’ rent, then moved in and never paid another dime. After repeated calls and personal visits I had to pay $100 to the constable to get them out.
After the constable told them to get out, they shattered the solid-core front door, poured paraffin down all the drains, rewired the electric wiring to short out the whole system (so the fireman told me), threw beer bottles and broke all the windows and screens out, and sold all furniture and appliances and some carpet ripped off the floor. What carpet they did not steal, they poured bleach on; and they dumped battery acid on the tile flooring. They put knife holes in all the Sheetrock and left me with original spray paintings. The water had been cut off for months, and they were using 3-pound butter tubs for their toilet, which they left me with. Their dogs left presents inside the house, also.”
This quote is from a landlord who posted on a forum for http://realestate.msn.com. If this were you, would you call the constable?
What if the tenants in question were…your CHILDREN? Gets a little stickier, eh?
Because your child has the same rights as any tenant, there is a process you as a landlord must go through in order to evict them if they are unwilling to move out or communicate constructively. Obviously, this isn’t a pretty process, especially if the child is uncooperative. If you are a parent preparing to evict your child, here are some suggestions on dealing with the emotional side of the situation.
Take a deep breath.
First of all, if you have reached such discomfort that you are even considering evicting your child then do this right now: Close your eyes. Sit up straight. Plant your feet on the ground. Take a deep breath. Then take another deep breath. And maybe a few more.
You probably needed those.
Remember you do not control anyone, and this is no one’s fault.
Even after winning the Parent of the Year Award or 18 consecutive years, the truth is that you do not control your child’s behavior.They become their own person with their own personality. If you never won the parent of the Year Award, then let me remind you that no one is perfect. Everyone makes mistakes, and sometimes our mistakes affect others. However the way to make up for mistakes is not to let people walk all over you, including your child. No matter what you did or didn’t do, you do not deserve to be walked on and disrespected.
Allowing consequences is a good thing. (For everyone)
It’s going to be good for you.
Do you know what it means to set healthy boundaries? It means saying no at appropriate times, and it means taking care of yourself. You cannot financially support your child forever; if you could, you probably would not be considering this option. Putting yourself in financial stress will not help you OR your child. And in fact, this can be harmful to both of you.
It’s going to be good for the tenant (your child or family member).
If your child is occupying a rental property without respecting you, the property and the agreement, then he or she may have to experience some discomfort before becoming motivated to change. Its easy to say this about a friend or a friend’s kid, but much more difficult for you to see it in your own family member.
Think about this: most of us were late for school at one time or another. In college, however, I had a professor that gave out some important test information at the beginning of most classes. If you weren’t there, you missed it. One classmate who was repeatedly late was suddenly much more punctual after seeing his first test score. He was motivated to change because of the consequence.
The same is true for most people: I am not motivated to change until I feel discomfort.
So…setting boundaries will help you, but it will also help your tenant.
You probably already knew all of that, but we just wanted to remind you.
Of course you should do whatever feels right for you. If the situation is tolerable and you think it will improve, we are not trying to encourage you to kick your family out! But if you are a frustrated landlord, especially if you have been mistreated or disrespected, you should not feel guilty about taking care of yourself and your home.