I have googled my question to no avail, and hope someone might be able to help me here. If i'm in wrong part of forum, please accept my apologies and direct me to where I need to be.
I own a Home in Louisville Ky and Vacationing in Florida right now.
I'm not a Landlord, but I did invite a family from Church to come move in with me in hope that we could help and benefit each other. The deal was they didn't have to pay rent or utilities, later we asked them to pay water, because there are 4 of them, and just me, and that's a lot of bathing and washing clothes. In exchange for free rent/utilities/internet/streaming services, they would buy food, cook and help me take care of my dogs. My dogs are what I really needed help with.
There were no contracts written, this was not a rental situation. My Mother is the one that told me about them looking for a better place to live. They have 2 boys that are Autistic. Unless you want to hear the nightmare of all the problems while living there, I won't mention it here, but will gladly include it if for legal reasons or whatever it may be, that might help my situation.
Right off the bat they failed on Food and Cooking, it became a very big issue, that was never met, they did take care of my dogs, until I left to Florida for winter. I asked if they would watch them while I was gone, and they agreed. I have 3 dogs, and can't fit them all in my small car. I went to Florida to help my Mother work on her new winter get away. and have a bit of vacation time down here. I have cameras in my home and on the outside, so I checked on my dogs every other day. I noticed their kids were mistreating them, and at times physically harming them. They refused to correct the situation, so we had to drive back to Kentucky to pick up my dogs, But after some vile messages from them, we decided the best thing to do was give them 30 days to move, we had a witness with us, and had them sign a paper.
Came back to Florida, and I now keep a watchful eye on my cameras, and record everything I see. They have their kids damage things like the furniture, walls, and TV. They keep dishes everywhere in the living room, spilling it on the floor, and keep the house a complete mess. This never happened before we asked them to leave. They haven't been out looking for apartments, they haven't brought boxes in, done any packing, and were now past the middle of their 30 days. I'm concerned they have no intentions of leaving.
I called the local police for advice, and they told me that it doesn't matter if it's a rental or not, or just friends, I have to legally have a sheriff come out to evict them. I heard it can take months to do this, going through the court. I'm shocked to find out that someone who pays no utilities, no rent, and are friends, can do this.
What options do I have? I thought about shutting off the utilities on the day they are suppose to be gone, but was told by someone I could get in trouble for that because of the kids. I don't want to see any child suffer, but I don't want to pay mortgage and all the utilities, which everything is in my name, and have them freeload off me. Can I shut off the utilities that are in my name and I'm paying for? I fear I will have to make another trip to Ky to take care of this.
Can someone please offer me some advice on what to do.
Get an eviction attorney right away
In most if not all states it is illegal to shut off utilities. You need to hire an attorney and start eviction immediately.
Ask minister to help
Okay thank you for the response, I'll head down to Kentucky a few days before they agreed to leave and get things in motion.
I have a question about the Utilities though...
If I refuse to pay my bills they will shut them off, so would I be held responsible for that? I understand I would take a hit on my credit. But they have been there 3 months at the end of December, and they haven't paid on anything. I have paid water,gas and electric. They just let the bills sit there.
Thank you again
You need an attorney to answer these questions. Most states prohibit shutting off utilities. Not paying the bill may be considered shutting them off. GET THAT LAWYER NOW.
Originally posted by @Sam Shueh :
Ask minister to help
We have members of the church helping us, including an Elder, they have said they can only be a locksmith for us, but not the police. They were going to have the Locks changed for us.
Also they know this family very well and didn't go into detail but did say they wished we would have come to them before inviting them in. We are finding out from other people that know them that they are freeloaders and they constantly beg the Church for money to pay for their bills.
Very unfortunate thing, and a very important lesson learned.
Very well said. Suggest a video camera installed at your house watching who is coming or breaking into when not there.
Changing locks? Probably illegal as well. Many states prohibit that. This is EXACTLY why you need an attorney. If you take bad advice, you could be the one in legal jeopardy.
You definitely need a lawyer. Changing the locks can be a big problem for you. You can try cash for money. If they agree make sure to have them sign something that states what you want in exchange ( shape of property, date, etc). That might be less expensive than an eviction and less time to get them out.
Sorry I meant cash for keys.
Yes we were also told about changing the locks, the friends from church was only going to change the locks if they had moved out. Now it looks like they have no intentions to move out.
I will call a Lawyer tomorrow and go from there. I really appreciate all the help everyone is giving me. Thank you
@Steve Rountree , in your last post, you said "It looks like they have no intentions of moving out". Of course they don't. Why would they? They are getting everything for free from YOU. As every single member has said here, get an attorney, NOW. Document EVERYTHING, so that all things going forward will hold up in court.
So sorry this happened to you. At least you know not to let this EVER happen again, even if it is someone from church. It's called "Tough Love".
My 2 cents.
Get everything of value that you own out of the house as soon as possible , legal papers . expect damage , lots of it . Expect retailation . Expect worst case and then double it .
Get the best lawyer money can buy .
Boy does this sound familiar. My husband and I learned the hard way that "helping" friends can easily lead to a quagmire of bad feelings all around. It even came close to landing us in legal trouble. We did have the police come to our home and tell me I could not do laundry in my own home at 11:00 at night... What an eye-opener.
Don't change the locks and pay those utilities and get that lawyer. Then do exactly what the lawyer says and breathe deeply. Stay calm and chalk this up to a hard lesson learned.
@Steve Rountree I'm so sorry. That sounds really hard.
I would give the Church's priest to go there and have a talk to the, maybe to push their soft spot, at least they won't cause damage etc. while my eviction lawyer do his thing .
Talk to your church leadership and see if there is an attorney in your congregation who would be willing to help you. Also think about going to talk to somebody at your local sheriff office to see if there is something they can do to help you.
Look up Michelle Rawn if you don’t already have an attorney. I don’t think you’re supposed to post contact information here. But she has a lot of experience with evictions in Louisville and her costs are reasonable.
Good luck! I’m sorry you’re having to deal with this, especially at the holidays.
FAB Properties, LLC
To late now but had you taken matters into your own hands in the beginning you would have rid yourself of them without involving the police or lawyers. Unlikely they would have caused any issues if you had jumped on them early. Hind site being 20/20, lesson learned.
Nothing lower that a church leach. As they say no good deed ever goes unpunished.
Sounds like you are letting them walk over you. Be assertive and stand up for your needs. Tell them to leave. Best of luck!!
I’m just curious what happen if this is a situation between boyfriend and girlfriend?
Let say the boyfriend and girlfriend broke up, the boyfriend asks the girlfriend to leave his house, but the girlfriend refuse to leave his house, and continue live in the ex-boyfriend house for free?
They have no written lease agreement between them for certain. How to evict the girlfriend out of the house in this case?
No matter what the scenario is, our best path toward a speedy and least painful resolution, is to keep our focus on our ultimate goal. Our righteous indignation might give us a high of sorts but it does little toward achieving the goal. In the case of the scenario above, I would recommend that the boyfriend find out what the local laws are and what rights he does and doesn't have and then move forward accordingly.