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Landlord tells MIL to mind her own business; 'she hasn't talked to me since.' AITA?

Landlord tells MIL to mind her own business; 'she hasn't talked to me since.' AITA?


"AITA for telling my mother in law to mind her own business?"

My wife (32F) and I (33F) have been married for five years. We’re both from Florida but moved to another state a year ago. We jointly own a house back in Florida, which we turned into a rental property and rents out to Hubert, a retiree who is in his 80s and is a very good tenant.

Hubert has no family or people taking care of him, he can move himself around and live on his own okay, but is pretty frail so whenever my wife and I travel back to Florida, which is pretty frequent, we usually check in on him, bring him meals, fix whatever he needs around the house, etc.

My mother-in-law has been over to our house in Florida many times when we still lived there. She has been hinting recently that since she is retiring soon, she wants to move into the house and rent from us, which both my wife and I think is a bad idea because MIL is saying she’ll pay rent now but we both know that’s not going to stick for long before she started living there rent free because we are faaaaaamily.

MIL has also mentioned to other people in the family that once Hubert isn’t renting the house anymore, which won’t be very long because of how frail he is, she plans on arranging with my wife and I to move in.

Last week MIL saw Hubert very briefly while we stopped by the house so I can fix something for him. MIL commented in the car ride back that Hubert’s looking more frail, it’s too dangerous for him to be living on his own and that I need to prepare for when he moves out "if something happens."

That comment rubs me the wrong way because I know exactly where she is going with this, so I told her to mind her own business and Hubert can die in the house if he wants to, I am not asking him to move out, and it’s really none of her concern. MIL then said God wouldn’t want me speaking to an elder in that manner, and I responded that God wouldn’t want her banking on the elderly to die.

That made her really mad and she hasn't talked to me since. My wife is on my side and has spoken up for me to her mother multiple times before in the past, but for this specific situation, we both have pre-discussed and agreed I would take a bit more of the heat and the lead in saying no we are entertaining MIL wanting Hubert to move out. Was I an a^%le for my response?

Here's what top commenters had to say about this one:

Apart-Ad-6518 said:

NTA. You're being kind & caring to Hubert who has made a home of your rental & he may well want to live out his days there if he can/doesn't need to go into residential care. You're wise to not to let your MIL move in & mooch in the future either. Kudos to your wife for backing you.

RichSignal7022 said:

NTA. Your comment was spot on. Here's hoping Hubert lives until he's 100.

mifflewhat said:

NTA. Tell your mom you don't intend to rent to her no matter what happens to Hubert, so she can leave the poor man alone. She'll be angry, but she's going to be angry either way, and if you deal with it now you'll probably spare yourself a lot of future drama.

BeautifulPhantom1 said:

NTA, renting to family is always a bad idea. That she's rabidly watching an elderly gentleman deteriorate, waiting for her chance to pounce, is disgusting and shows a lot about the kind of person she is.

TYJerry said:

NTA. It seems like your MIL is intrusive and entitled. You and your wife have a coping strategy in place and it worked as you agreed. Invoking God in this scene is hilarious.

isr-astroturf-laser said:

NTA. Your MIL is an a$*le for treating someone's life and death as nothing more than either an inconvenience or a boost. She's a hypocrite for telling you not to talk to an elder "in that manner."

Also, as you noted, none of her business - you don't want her living there, end of story. And thank you for being good to Hubert. Elders are too often infantilized and discarded in our "civilization."

KronkLaSworda said:

NTA Make it known to her that you two aren't going to rent the home to her, even if Hubert keels over tomorrow. You've put that off long enough.

Everyone was on OP's side for this one. What's your advice for this family?

Sources: Reddit
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