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Couple's holiday ruined when strangers claim 'squatters' rights' in their home. + Update

Couple's holiday ruined when strangers claim 'squatters' rights' in their home. + Update

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"Absolutely fuming right now. I'm supposed to fly home for Christmas in a couple of days, and the family staying at my house are now saying they aren't leaving as they have nowhere to go."

DivinitySousVide

At the start of October a good friend of mine asked if I'd be willing to let some friends of his wife stay at my house for a month or so while I wasn't there (I split time between the USA and Ireland). I had only met these people once at a party a few years ago.

This friend doesn't ask for favours very often and there was a family in need so I was happy to help. They were supposed to be gone by December 3rd, but whatever they had lined up never happened. They're now saying they have nowhere to go and won't be leaving.

I've arranged to stay with a family member for a couple of weeks over Christmas, but it I'm fuming. You try to do the right thing and you get shafted. My friend is mortified and extremely apologetic, but I understand it's not his fault. I've already put in a call to my solicitor so I don't need advice, just ranting.

Update: I heard back from from the solicitor and in short I'm ruined. He said while I am legally entitled to physically remove them from the property if needed, doing so a day or two before Christmas is a really bad idea. The optics won't be good for me if video's etc get posted online, especially of the Gardai get involved.

He basically said it will boil down to whatever Gardai show up, and what they decide on the day. If I physically remove them from the property I'm almost guaranteed that some form of legal action will be taken against me, and while it likely won't go anywhere, I'll be paying thousands in legal fees to get it sorted.

His advice for now is to see what happens when my friends talk to them tomorrow, and if necessary offer them a few thousand in cash to leave peacefully. I will try and post another update tomorrow, but I can't respond anymore today as the stress is becoming too much.

Here were the top rated comments from readers after the OP's initial post:

superrm81

I’d show up and go straight home, make them uncomfortable, it’s your house!

blowins

Don't let this grow legs. I'd nearly camp out, get a couple of mates, wait til they leave and take it in charge. Change locks, remove their belongings. The works. It's your house, if you leave it too long they'll never leave and you won't be able to do it.

Special-Being7541

You still have keys and access to the house?? I’d be making this the most awkward Xmas they have ever had!!!

Zealousideal-Cod7349

I know your not looking for advice but id be making this my friends problem.

The OP responded here:

DivinitySousVide

My friend and his wife are going to go and talk to them tomorrow. They aren't answering the phone when they try to call their "friends" who are at my place.

ItsAJayDay

Feels like one of those posts where a follow up is very much anticipated.

The OP returned the very next day with an update.

"Update: Absolutely fuming right now. I'm supposed to fly home for Christmas in a couple of days, and the family staying at my house are now saying they aren't leaving as they have nowhere to go."

DivinitySousVide

A few updates from my post yesterday:

They are going to leave the house and stay in an airbnb or hotel for few days, because both parents work in Dublin. And stay with a family member over Christmas who don't live in Dublin.

My friend and his wife had a talk to them, and they are going to leave by tomorrow at noon, and she's going to assist them with moving to make sure they leave. Basically when they couldn't find a place to live they panicked and stuck their heads in the sand, and they were stressed about being homeless for Christmas.

They are extremely apologetic for the stress and for all the troubles they've caused. The seem to be genuinely good people who just didn't know what to do and got overwhelmed. To answer some or the questions people asked yesterday:

No they weren't paying any rent or utility bills. That was purposeful on my part to avoid the type of situation I'm now in. Basically they're guests, and non paying guests. This is a small part of why this whole situation was so upsetting. I not only gave them a place to live, but also paid all the utilities for the 2 months they've been there.

There was no lease and nothing signed. I didn't even meet them face to face, I have had one video call with them about where to find things in the house, other than that all communication with qthem has been via text and email. While many will call me stupid for this they have known my friends wife for over 20 years.

They are a family with 3 kids under 10. I know a lot of people were recommending using some muscle and threats to get them out, but I not comfortable with doing that when there's children involved If there wasn't any children I would have had people remove them yesterday.

I also want to enjoy Christmas and have my kids enjoy it. For that reason moving into the house where there's lots of tension etc and attempts to piss them off was never an option for me.

The solicitor did tell me I could legally remove them but also warned me that it might not go well. His advice to consider paying them to leave was suggested because it might be cheaper and easier than any legal fees I might have to pay, and it could resolve the situation immediately.

As for those who think I should fall out with my friends over this, No. It's not their fault, and they never dreamed that this fiasco would occur. They are beyond embarrassed that this whole situation came about all because they asked for a favour.

I only asked my sister about staying with her as a backup, I was panicked yesterday and wanted to ensure we had a place to stay if worst came to worst. I've changed my own flight home to arrive a day earlier than planned to make sure they are gone, and the house is in good order before my wife and kids arrive.

The saddest part here is that if the family had talked to me about this properly, and hadn't caused all this hassle I most likely would have let them stay over the holidays. There's a huge second living room in the house that has a toilet and shower attached.

It's about 55 square meters, and i would have let them stay there and use the kitchen or laundry as needed. I don't have the patience or good will to extend that offer anymore in light of everything that's happened.

Here were the top rated comments from readers after the OP's latest update:

likeadinosaur

Jesus mate, hats off to you. you handled that well and are a credit to the human race.

aarrow_12

You did the right thing I'd say. You tried to help someone out, they unfortunately took advantage of that due to sheer desperation it seems like. I can't say what they did was right, but you can understand a family panicking and more or less sticking their head in the sand.

At the same time, you're dead right not to let them back. Unfortunately, they've burnt that bridge, and you can't guarantee this won't happen again. I'd also say your mate has done the best they can here. They asked for help for their friend, and you provided. It went wrong and they seem to be trying to make that right.

Amazing-Passage7576

There was a small update on the update post. They left and the house was fairly clean.

So all's well that ends well.

Father-Son-HolyToast

The real villains of this story are corporations like Black Rock, or in the case of Ireland specifically, Round Hill Capital, which are intentionally destroying the ability of normal people to live in homes, all so that some imaginary numbers on their ledgers will go up.

peter095837

I'm delighted to hear that things were at least solved without having too much insane mad drama happening. OP sounds like a really wonderful person and it's kind of OP to offer the family help.

For the family, I understand their situation and I do feel bad for the kids and what they are going through. I know what they did is not right but at the same time, they did it because of desperation due to the seriousness of the situation. It's overall just unfortunate.

So, do you think the OP made the right call here? Should they have been more kind, in light of the holiday spirit?

Sources: Reddit,Reddit
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