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What to do about my housemate's mental health?

BeeBee64 posted 1/1/2018 18:28 PM

My "extended house-guest" Gloria (not real name) moved into my basement guest room last spring. She was "between jobs" and could not afford to live in even the horrible places she was boarding.

She has been emotionally disengaged since she got here. She said it's because she's been through so much adversity and failure.

She talks to herself when she is in other rooms. It's like she's chewing somebody out who done her wrong. A lot of "F" bombs and "You, b***h!"

Since she got back from a holiday trip (to family, I believe), she's gotten worse. I can hear her muttering and "f-and -b bombing," then she goes into inarticulate sounds of rage.

Supposedly she's working on a lawsuit against a former employee, has a court-appointed lawyer helping her, but gives no details, only says she does not want to talk about it. She did say her hearing is coming up at the end of this month.

I'm concerned about her, I'm concerned about me, I'm concerned about my house. I'd like her to get help, but I'd also like her to go. She contributes a token amount to household expenses, but it is not worth all this.

I have no contact info for her family or friends. The county has a lot of services, including mental health, but also a lot of rules about who can get free care. I'll try them in the morning.

I'm a little worried that the county might decide she is a tenant, which would mean I'm an unlicensed landlord renting a room that would not pass code. That's a world of trouble and it would convey rights to her that would make it difficult to dislodge her.


Marz posted 1/1/2018 19:04 PM

She's not a tennant she isn't paying rent.

Helping with groceries, etc isn't rent

poisonette posted 1/1/2018 19:21 PM

Marz is right. No rent = no tenant. Most states do not consider rent-free assistance to friends and family as being a landlord. Dislodging her could take longer than if she were truly homeless but she's also not locked into staying there either.

Call the agencies for mental health in your area explain that you're worried about her. They can best advise you as to what can be done with the resources they have available.

BeeBee64 posted 1/1/2018 20:11 PM

The arrangement looks very rent-like. She asked how much, and I demurred, saying she could kick in what she could afford. I never mentioned an amount. She starting leaving me a $300 check on the first of every month. LOOKS like rent.

WhatsRight posted 1/1/2018 20:34 PM

If her belongings are in your home, and she lives there, you will have to go through a process to evict. And if there is no contract, it could be a mess. Seek some legal advice.

I went through this with one of my kids.

[This message edited by WhatsRight at 3:23 AM, January 3rd (Wednesday)]

Minnesota posted 1/1/2018 22:04 PM

I'm going through something similar, but not the same. My nut job roommate pays an agreed upon rent, so that's different. I was told that even a verbal agreement qualifies her as a tenant at will. And to get her out, I have to give her 30 days and then can start the eviction process is she doesn't move out.

I hope your situation goes easier. Maybe if you tell her that it's just not working out and you need the space, she'll move out without the hassle of kicking her out through the process.

I don't know what the laws are in your state. Google searches and a phone conversation with a lawyer helped me know what I had to do.

Good luck. I'd be interested to hear how this goes.

Lovedyoumore posted 1/1/2018 23:46 PM

Rent or non, in some places 48 hours and a toothbrush equate to residence that requires an eviction process.

Be very careful who you let into your home.

I'd work the mental health route and get her to remove everything she has at your home if she goes into treatment. Store nothing of hers in your home.

BeeBee64 posted 1/2/2018 10:33 AM

Yikes! Just what I need in addition to everything else.

Thanks, all!

twisted posted 1/2/2018 14:19 PM

Tell her it's time for her to move on and make other arrangements. Give her a week.
You don't need to give her reasons or excuses.
Be firm, it's time she gets her life back together and she doesn't seem to be doing it while there.

EvenKeel posted 1/3/2018 07:43 AM

How did you meet Gloria? Doesn't really sound like she was a friend prior since you have no information about her family/friends?

She has been there since last Spring so that is a good bit of time for her to "get it together". Since she has not, I suspect she has no plans to change the current situation so it is up to you to enforce it.

I would look into what is legally required for notification (ie 30 days, etc) and do it all officially. Not just verbal incase it does turn ugly you have documentation.

I expect her to make it difficult on you. She is already involved in one legal case so I recommend you go by the books so you are not stuck with her longer than necessary because of some legal loophole.

Since she got back from a holiday trip (to family, I believe
The good news is you know she has people or family since she did go to visit for Christmas that she can turn too.

I would also not get in the role of being her mental/health advocate. You can provide her with a list of services and places but I would not get involved of coordinating, etc.

Lets us know how it goes.

BeeBee64 posted 1/3/2018 12:06 PM

Thanks for replies!

Even Keel, I got to know her through the yoga class she teaches. She’s really excellent, incorporating yoga with physical therapy. It’s a class for older folks/folks recovering from injuries/beginners. My ex got to know her first. Ex and the other older women in the class took Gloria under their wing, though Gloria didn’t like the attention much. They helped her network for work, for example, and the last time she was “between-positions,” which was about 5 years ago, my ex offered her our guest room. That only lasted a few weeks. Gloria was glad to get away from my ex, who was obviously treating her like a daughter-replacement.

I expected it to go like that (without me treating her like a daughter-replacement) last spring. She did indicate that she was in a more desperate situation. the last place she lived was a grim boarding house.

She’s always been very private. She’s shared that her family is in a nearby state, but not what town.

She says she hates this city, but moving back home symbolizes failure. She SAYS she wants to stay here while her case is ongoing, so she doesn’t have to commute back and forth (3-4 hour drive each way).

Her hearing is at the end of Jan, so maybe the thing to do is let it ride until then. Meanwhile, I can try to engage her in long-range planning and set a leaving date. I can just be honest and say I want the house to myself and that I’ll be doing some disruptive repairs and repainting soon.

BeeBee64 posted 1/6/2018 14:13 PM

Following up: I had a talk with “Gloria” about ending the housing arrangement. We agreed on an end date of April 1.

The cause, which is truthful but did not touch on my concerns about her mental instability, is that I need to start house repairs, painting, etc. Ironically, I’m preparing it to rent while I’m away for a year or two. I’ll be turning it over to a rental management company.

I decided not to cash her check this month, or in the future. She’s depleting her savings to pay me, and I don’t really need it. And if she raises any kind of legal challenge to me evicting her, I can say she’s not paying rent.

She talked at me for about 30 minutes about her woes. It was a bit hard to follow. She’s really emotional about it. Apparently she feels she’s been given a series of raw deals for about 20 years, particularly re: employment. Her lawsuit has something to do with her being laid off unfairly. She’s boiling with resentment against anyone who she feels is less qualified/credentialed than her, but is doing well financially. This seems to include her family. It is the basis for her cutting off from them and friends who enjoy a comfortable life-style but don’t understand her poverty-stricken condition - and won’t help her out (i.e. housing and job networking).

She manages to be semi-rational and not hostile to me, which is something, I guess. I can only hope she remains so for the next three months.

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