Help this tenant evict a bum house-mate.
June 9, 2006 2:09 PM   Subscribe

For the past ~3-4 years, I've been a caretaker for a seventy-seven-year-old (hellishly irritable) diabetic and his invalid wife. Despite some friction when I first arrived, I've grown to love them - especially the old man - almost as much as if they were my own parents.

I first met **** ****** two years ago, and my dislike for him was instant. He had an odd manner, talked loudly and incessantly, and tended to monopolize any conversation in which he partook.

Shortly after, he mentioned to me (much to my frustration) that his wife was in the process of divorcing him, and he might be moving into an outlying shed on my landlord's property "until he could get another apartment."

Two years later, **** still occupies the shed. He's used my landlord's property illegally as a dump and a lot for unregistered cars that he intends to fix and sell, leading to an ongoing dispute with the local health department. He's been in jail multiple times for vehicle-related infractions (such as switching license plates) and failure to pay child support. Sometimes my landlord will bail him out; other times, he'll use the threat of imminent jailtime to convince my landlord to partially cover his child support obligations.

I believe my landlord genuinely cares for ****, and perhaps even harbors an illogical belief that his association with this ne'er-do-well may yet become profitable.

My landlord's friends and family seem unwilling to do anything substantive - perhaps (though I hate to think it of them) out of fear that they will subsequently be disinherited. Since I have little more than affection invested in the old man, I'd like to extricate him from this situation. If I can be assured of a favorable outcome, I wouldn't mind sacrificing my residence here in the effort.

**** is currently in jail again for license plate-switching. He's recently been afflicted with a medical condition that I hope will make intervention on my part unnecessary. Assuming otherwise, what are some steps I can take to make sure he *stays* gone?
posted by The Confessor to Human Relations (18 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Is your landlord related somehow to *****? I don't get it.
posted by k8t at 2:11 PM on June 9, 2006

And is ***** the 77-year-old that you take care?
posted by k8t at 2:12 PM on June 9, 2006

I apologize if I wasn't clear enough.

**** (all asterisks refer to the same individual) is of no relation to the landlord.
posted by The Confessor at 2:16 PM on June 9, 2006

Wait, is the landlord the 77-year-old that you love as if he were your own father? And you want to get **** evicted so he stops ruining your fatherly landlord's life? Confusing story.
posted by Khalad at 2:18 PM on June 9, 2006

You are the caretaker for your landlord?
posted by hatsix at 2:18 PM on June 9, 2006

p.s. next time, try saying "Two years ago, a man (Lets call him 'John') moved onto my landlord/ward's property (Let's call him 'Larry')"

it's much easier to follow stories when we have names for people... just make up names, rather than do the asterisk thing
posted by hatsix at 2:21 PM on June 9, 2006

Yes, I am my landlord's caretaker.

Apologies if the story is confusing. It didn't appear so to me, but my proximity to the situation probably affected my view.
posted by The Confessor at 2:23 PM on June 9, 2006


Okay, so you're living at a home and taking care of some old people.

There happens to be some sort of bum in your neighborhood (that you met how?). This bum got kicked out by his wife and started living in the old people's shed. (Did you invite him or did he just show up one day?)

The old people aren't keen on kicking the bum out. The family and friends of the old people (yourself included) aren't keen on telling the old people to kick the bum out.

You want the hive's help in figuring out ways to keep the bum out without hurting the bum's feelings or the old peoples' feelings.

posted by k8t at 2:33 PM on June 9, 2006

This comes off as very unclear. I think you are saying that serve as a rental property caretaker for the 70-yr-old man with the invalid wife who you subsequently refer to as your landlord. Landlord + wife are akin parents to you.

Furthermore, two years ago you met "dude," the shady customer with the questionable car deals who your landlord lets live in in shed. You want dude to get evicted and hopefully out of landlord's life altogether. I also can't tell of there is a family relationship between landlord and dude.

If he is occupying the shed illegally (i.e. it is not fit as a residence) you could point this out to landlord and say you're not comfortable with it and see if you can make him choose between you and dude. If not there isn't much you can do that won't get your landlord in trouble. If it is a legal dwelling there is nothing much you can do. You aren't in the position to evict this guy, minor legal intervention would obviously just fit into his ordinary lifestyle. And other than minor legal issues - the dumping and storage of possibly fishy cars - there's nothing illegal in what dude is doing to landlord, he's just being a basic deadbeat sponging mooch.

You don't say what your interaction with the landlord about this guy has been. He's the only person who can really alter his relationship with dude. Landlord's wife is an invalid, but does she have influence with him? Maybe you can get her on your side. Trying to influence them will probably end up being your only reasonable course. But honestly: people like dude tend to excel at maintaining the parasitic relationships that keep their crummy little rafts afloat. If he's stayed attached to landlord for 2 years, chances are you'll find it hard to get a wedge between him and the landlord.
posted by nanojath at 2:34 PM on June 9, 2006

And, assuming that what I just wrote is correct, I think that you should step up (if the bum comes back), call the police and report that there is a tresspasser on your property and you are the caretaker of the old peoples' house (who cares that they are your landlords.)

If the bum comes back, continue calling the police.

It should be pretty simple. The bum is exploiting your old people and that is really unfortunate. Since you care for the old people "like your parents" and you are employed by them, you should look out for their best interests.

UNLESS the old people really don't mind the bum on their property, in which case, MYOB.
posted by k8t at 2:36 PM on June 9, 2006

Could you hide something unbearably odorous around the shack, or otherwise make it unpleasant to live in?

This suggestion may violate ethics, consult your conscience.
posted by sonofsamiam at 2:44 PM on June 9, 2006

Alternatively, local codes may prohibit someone from using the shack as housing. The details would really depend on your area.
posted by sonofsamiam at 2:48 PM on June 9, 2006

How does freeloader know diabetic in the first place?

How does diabetic feel about freeloader using his property as a dump? Is he annoyed at all?

Is it possible that diabetic might himself get implicated/wind up in trouble w/the cops unless freeloader stays gone?

How does invalid wife feel about freeloader?
posted by desuetude at 3:29 PM on June 9, 2006

Well for starters you should talk with your old people friends.
Having known and cared for a few oldies myself, I know that they do things some times for very strange (to me) reasons.

For example, maybe they feel about the bum guy the way that you feel about them. Until that stuff is clear don't do anything.
So talk to your people about it.
posted by snsranch at 4:58 PM on June 9, 2006

The Confessor, for what it's worth, the jump between your first and second paragraphs is what got me confused. It looked very much like ******* was the hellishly irritable diabetic landlord, which I gather isn't the case. It'd help if you clarified the relationship between your landlord and the troublemaker. You might actually want to try again from the beginning, and use names like Landlord and Troublemaker.

No biggie, you just went a bit too fast; slow down and start over and you'll probably get more useful advice.
posted by mediareport at 6:36 PM on June 9, 2006

Okay, so to sum up: you dislike Guy, but the landlords have chosen to let Guy live on their property as well as bum money and favors from them. You're not family; and the people who are their family and friends are respecting their decision although possibly not any more crazy about it than you are.

It's the couple's life, and their property. Your affection for them, and the closeness of your working relationship has perhaps clouded that fact. If they have chosen to set no boundaries on the relationship with the Guy, why are you considering doing it for them? It seems very presumptuous for you to interfere.

If you believe they may no longer be competent to manage their own finances, that's something to bring to their family's attention (or possibly some kind of social services agency?) immediately.

If you know Guy's doing something else illegal that the cops haven't twigged to yet, make an anon report.

But otherwise, to the extent that you just don't like the dude -- get over it or else move. But butt out. Anything else can only hurt your relationship with two people you care deeply for.

Sometimes my landlord will bail him out; other times, he'll use the threat of imminent jailtime to convince my landlord to partially cover his child support obligations.

This is the big red alert. They clearly have their reasons, just ones which they have evidently not shared with you.

As a friend, express your concern for their well-being, and offer to give them assistance if they want it. But as both their friend and employee, DO NOT take any action against this guy unless they specifically ask you to. Among other things, you could accidentally worsen things.
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 8:22 PM on June 9, 2006

Pull down the shed. When the parasite has moved on, rebuild it.
posted by jamjam at 11:21 PM on June 9, 2006

Could you hide something unbearably odorous around the shack, or otherwise make it unpleasant to live in?

Pull down the shed.

If the man is a tenant, and you're his landlord's employee, it's probably illegal eviction. Otherwise, maybe harassment. Either way, don't be surprised if doing such things makes your life worse than it makes his. It also risks making the dude a more pitiful martyr in the old man's eyes.
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 1:03 AM on June 10, 2006

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