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Unwanted House Guest

Lawerence wrote:

My problem began 3 months ago when someone I know (not real friends, mind you) came into bad times, and I found out he went from losing his place, to staying with a friend, to sleeping in his van. I said to him, "don't sleep in the van! It is too cold. I have a spare bed."

Well, he took me up on this, and I thought he would stay a couple weeks and get on his feet, or find another friend to stay with. But it has been 3 months, and he is not working, or looking for work.

He just sits in my tiny living room morning noon and night watching tv. I work, and he does not do anything around the house to help out. I eventualy asked him to walk my dog. But we have had a lot of snow, and he doesn't even shovel. (it is the only time he goes off to work, plowing) I am very bad at confrontation.

I know you will say "just tell him to get out" But how can I do this? I have sat here many nights trying to get those words out of my mouth! I am getting to the point that I am just mad all the time. I know it is my own stupid fault, but I was just trying to do something nice!!! Help!

Dear Lawrence

Whatever you decide to do, it's going to involve talking to him. The only question is where to start.

How you do that rather depends on him, you'll have to choose your words carefully, and pick your moment.

But make the conversation about him and his plans; be positive, and interested in what he plans long term. Be thinking about how you can help him to meet his goals, however weird they may be.

You could consider making up some friend or relative who needs the room - but I'd avoid that if you can; if he sees through it, or it gets messed up in any way, you may have him for life.

It would be perfectly reasonable to make the arrangement more formal - tell him you need to get him on a rent book (which the law requires in many places), and at at least you may get fairer rent, and a way of evicting him - but there will be hostility to go with that.

Sorry, but the advice before you were so generous would have been "Don't", or at least make a formal agreement about rent and how long he'd be there.

Whatever you do, control your temper, be reasonable, and the law is on your side.

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