Over on Reddit, a woman is finding out that being landlord may be more trouble than it's worth — especially when your tenants are family, and that family doesn't pay. On Am I the A**hole, she wrote:
I (F38) am the primary breadwinner for my household. My husband (42) is semi retired due to an injury at work. He is a great husband and has taken over all the housework that needs to be done during the day. We share all the duties when I'm not working.
Recently his sister, her husband, and their two teen kids lost their home. We have a rental suite in our basement that we just use as a family area so we agreed to let them live there. Because I'm paranoid I had them sign a lease.
A few days ago my husband had an opportunity to do some consulting at his old work. He loves doing it because it gets him out of the house and he gets to see his old coworkers and friends. It was short notice so we hadn't arranged babysitting. We asked his sister to watch our youngest for the day so he could go work and she agreed. She then delegated the task to her 13 year old son. Then she had her nap.
The kid didn't want to disturb his mom during her nap so he banged on my door while I was working to change a diaper. Fair enough, if I were a 13 year old boy I might not feel comfortable changing a baby girl. I asked where his mom was and he said she was napping. I woke her up and told her that she had agreed to watch her niece and to do so.
I waited for my husband to get home and we discussed his family. We decided together that they needed to start paying the amount on the lease, leave, or start helping around the house. We took all the kids over to my MIL's house then we sat them down and had a talk. We gave them their options.
They said I was an a**hole for tricking them into signing a lease agreement and then not collecting it so I could evict them. I said that wasn't the only choice. I said that she was the one who chose to lay a responsibility on a child. I said that I was basically the one supporting her and if she couldn't help then she had to give me money or leave.
Some further information: Neither her nor her husband have jobs right now. They are buying groceries with his unemployment benefits. I set up the lease because of horror stories I have heard about people claiming to be tenants.
The comments had a fairly unanimous judgement.
'We decided together that they needed to start paying the amount on the lease, leave, or start helping around the house.'
There's absolutely nothing unreasonable about this. The fact that they are protesting this arrangement and demanding free lodging is a sign that you should just ask them to leave right now. NTA.
NTA. You aren't 'threatening', you are having healthy rules and boundaries. You are giving them an entirely reasonable choice: pay rent, contribute another ways, or have a different living situation. There's nothing wrong with that. And good for you for setting up that lease. That was an extremely smart move.
'They said I was an asshole for tricking them into signing a lease agreement and then not collecting it so I could evict them.' So they expected to live there for free indefinitely, without you ever having the possibility of evicting them? That's ridiculous.
However, is a lease that you don't collect the best option? Wouldn't you still have to pay tax on this income, even if you don't collect it in reality? Anyway, these people sound like entitled AHs and don't deserve your help. NTA.
NTA. Unless the SIL has health issues (physical or mental), having a nap when you are babysitting, and delegating the task of babysitting to a 13-year-old is wrong and weird. You didn't ask the 13-year-old to babysit, you asked her.
NTA. Good on you for having the foresight to have a lease agreement. The horror stories are real and way too many people take advantage of the kindness of their family and friends. They are two adults. Either they pay rent or they move out. You didn’t do anything wrong.
NTA, you didn't trick them into doing anything. Literally all you're asking is for them to hold up their end of the bargain. You're letting them get away with living there for free in exchange for occasionally babysitting and helping around the house, and they're making all this drama over nothing.
No sympathy for the rent-free.