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Adult Stepchildren Not Moving Out, What Do I Do????

davestallone's picture

Hello to everyone, I really need to get some ideas on handling a situation with adult stepchildren.
My wife has 2 kids from an earlier marriage, in their mid to late 20’s, one of whom has a 3yr. old toddler. They and their respective spouses had previously been living in another state for pretty much their entire lives.
A long time ago, they all decided to move here to Florida, as the opportunities were better in their fields of work. I own a couple of apartments nearby, and offered them to my step-kids to live in as temporary housing, so they could all get situated.
There is no written lease. I had simply requested that the kids cover my expenses (taxes, utilities, etc.) until they found jobs and decided that they wanted to stay in Florida. All 4 kids have since found full time employment in their respective fields, and are earning pretty good money.
The amount that they are paying in rent each month is at least half, or in some cases a third, of what these apartments go for. The whole idea was for them to save money until they can move into permanent housing.
My wife and I also babysit our grand son for free 5 days a week, so the one step daughter and husband can maintain a full time work schedule.
After 2 years of this, I believe that I've done enough to help my step kids. None of the other bio or step parents involved have done anything to help out. It's all been on my shoulders.
A big part of this problem is that my wife does not want her kids to move. I feel this is simply not beneficial for anyone involved. I have no way of creating a united front with my wife, and this entire situation has put our marriage at great risk.
So finally today, I gave them written notice that I'm selling the apartments in 6 months, and said it was time for them to move on.
This didn't go over very well. Get this excuse......they said that they could not possibly find the permanent home that they want in 6 months. Believe me, there are thousands of great real estate deals here in Florida. Some sellers are literally giving the houses away.
My wife is very angry too, accusing me of throwing the kids out in the street, wants a divorce, etc. It's at the point now where if this costs me my marriage, so be it. I'm standing my ground.
Bottom line, I know that if I had never said anything about this situation, it would have gone on forever. I'd really appreciate any thoughts, ideas, or suggestions. Am I doing the right thing?

davestallone's picture

Hey guys, thanks very much for your comments. Yes, I did post with regard to this situation last year.
7 more months had gone by with no change, and I simply just ran out of patience. Today was finally the day I said enough, and gave them 6 months written notice.
The reason for the verbal lease was to give the kids an easy exit in case things didn't work out with them getting jobs, moving to Florida, etc.
I realize now with 20/20, should have done a proper written lease, just like with anybody else.
This is the epitome of no good deed going unpunished. Please take it from my mistakes, get everything in writing on your terms, even with family.
Thanks again for your input, I sincerely appreciate it.

sterlingsilver's picture

i was just going to say - turn off the utilities. But what you did was best! Smile Good going and hopefully your wife will come around.

alwaysanxious's picture

Its not going to be easy, but you did the right thing. Don't doubt yourself. You see, when people don't get what they want, they start manipulating. Guilt is one of those tactics. Just keep your guard up and realize, its a manipulation. Everyone is going to have their tantrum. Just like a 2 year old, let them get it out of their system but you stand firm.

godess-clueless's picture

I just went through an ordeal similar to this. My son had been living in one of my homes and paying just enough to cover taxes and insurance. When I sold the house I was living in {next door} and moved out of state i let him continue living there with his daughter so she could remain in that school system. The job situation had not been good, I would need a place to stay when I came back to visit all the family living in that area. So the trade off of not making money on a house that was paid for did not matter to me.

Give an inch and they will take a mile every time proved true in this case. The expense had been divided into monthly "rent" easily payable , never got paid at all. When I would insist he give me the money when the bill for taxes and insurance came in the phone messages never got returned. I would call to tell him I was coming to town and would be staying for the week end---no answer.

The son had a fit that during one of my visits I dared to invite his siblings to the house and have christmas dinner there while he was out of town and without his permission. From that point on I was locked out of the house. What started out as me doing him the favor quickly became him feeling that he was entitled to move me out of my guest bedroom area, his right to move a temporary girlfriend and her children into the home. Repairs he should have been doing never got done. But he did manage to find plenty of time to go on trips with the next girlfriend.

Final straw was his posting on facebook to all his family that he was not happy to hear that there was a "party" at HIS home which was not authorized by him. After that I made several trips back to find myself locked out. I had no problem telling him it was time for him to move out since he had sent the daughter back to live with her mother, he was living in a different town with a girlfriend and using it as a place to stay when he did visit his child. Told him it was time for his siblings and i to reap some benefit from the many years of hard work paying off the house.

Lalena75's picture

Your doing the right thing. When I was 19 my mother's bf did similar for me. Gave me a place 2 br and in reality it was a slum but he only charged me 1/2 what he could of got. I had 12 roommates (yes 12 I was young and stupid and only 2 of them actually helped with bills) one day my mom and bf came to evict me due to the amount of people I had living there (it's also the day I told my mom I was pregnant) but I promptly went I threw out everyone that wasn't paying bills, helped fix up the place, told them I would get it all in order but I wouldn't leave with a baby on the way.
They saw me take responsibility do what I said I would and 2 years later I moved out, 3 more and I got my own house. The difference here between fear of eviction and having a baby I grew the F' up and took responsibility since I was paying 1/2 the value I took on fixing the place up and doing the RIGHT thing by getting the moochers out, and my mom later told me that was really the point to the proposed eviction. 6 or so years after I bought my house I took my bioD to see where we had started from (I had been rolling pennys for mac and cheese broke taking care of so many adults all of course my now exH friends who had "no where to go") It was getting ready to be torn down and had been condemned by the city. Other than the huge holes in the walls the last tenants did as revenge for eviction it hadn't changed and my wrought iron chandler was still hanging (I got to get it before they tore it down) But it instilled in my bioD how far hard work and respect for the chances others give us can get you ( own my home my car have a job getting my college degree) I never went back to my parents homes when it got hard I just kept going, and there is NO reason you shouldn't expect the same from your steps.

duct_tape's picture

You have been thoroughly disrespected. And, here's a message for their mother..."stop enabling failure." She is really the individual who is responsible for this situation. She is more to blame than even those ignorant kids. It's her responsibility to ensure that HER kids step up and act like adults.

20YearsAsAStep-Mom's picture

Mom is enabling by siding with her kids but it is not her responsibility. These are grown adults - if they cannot pay the full rent - bye bye. I hope you can salvage your marriage and teach these adult steps some responsibility. The longer you let them use you the more empowered they feel. Your actions to evict are LONG OVERDUE. Good luck and best wishes.

Jsmom's picture

Put it on the market today. Plenty of time for them to find a place. Realty in FL is so affordable now. I would be more concerned about the loss you are going to take selling. But, it may be worth it to get them off their ass and become responsible.

ybarra357's picture

"My wife is very angry too, accusing me of throwing the kids out in the street, wants a divorce, etc. It's at the point now where if this costs me my marriage, so be it. I'm standing my ground."

I'm sorry that it came down to this. I too, was faced with a similar situation. I pretty much stood up for myself regarding DH and SK's KNOWING that in doing so could really end my marriage. Wasn't a good feeling.

Delilah's picture

Dave - I just wanted to say what a generous thing you did for your skids, thats so supportive to give them a financial opportunity for such a long period of time! I wish I had a stepparent like you!

As a stepchild you shouldnt expect you stick your hand out and get free things from your stepparents, obviously its lovely getting gifts and help is appreciated but its not a given.

The fact is you HAVE given them a financial break, you offered them this and told them how long you would do it for and you wanted to do it to contribute to their savings pot for their own long term home. They accepted your help on the really generous proviso it was for 2 years. It sounds like this has expired many months ago - I recall you posting this previously and you mention that post was 7 months ago - soooo you have extended this for them to again help them out. That was really nice of you, as is the 6 months long notice to leave. So I work that out to be slightly over 3 years they have lived at your apartments?

Your wife is being ridiculous. I think she should have the same view that you and her have given the skid adults a huge opportunity to save, an opportunity not many people get and particularly in this economic climate. Evidentally your skids have not saved during this time, perhaps they simply thought that these apartments were going to be available at this price indefinately, however they accepted your help on the proviso of the deadline, which HAS been extended already.

You have done your bit and more. Dont feel guilty or unfair, your notice period is way more than generous and its not your responsiblity if they did not take you seriously and or want to mooch off of you. Not happening. If your wife is selfish enough to threaten you and throw accusations, then there is not much you can do. Ignore her. Let her carry on but I would stick to your guns as your skids now have 6 months to save, plenty of time as you know so no excuses they are all being drama queens!

Superdad454's picture

If I were you I would have given them a formal notice of increase of rent to the going rate for what they were living in. All formal and legal as a landlord, which is what you are. You are after all legally liable for the property, if they decided to cook meth in the garage, it would be YOUR property/ass, on the line right?

You have given them 6 MONTHS to find a new place. The fact that they are trying to say that isn't enough time to find "the right perm house" is not your issue. Tough darts, move into another TEMP LOCATION and keep looking, waaah waaah.

They are just pissed that the gravy train is pulling off and they will have to support themselves like everyone else and have less money to buy toys or party with. You are NOT "throwing them out onto the street", with 6 months ANY person could find other living arrangements. Your wife is wrong, she is buying the BS they are selling and the bottom line is you told everyone involved that this was TEMP, and you are simply following the original guidelines.

At most, maybe offer them a formal lease with monthly payments at the going rate and the standard eviction rules if they can't, or choose not to pay.

edwina7's picture

Hell yes, you are doing the right thing! They are mooching off of you too long. I get the feeling that they would let you keep this arrangement forever if you didn't sell the housing.
Too bad you have to resort to selling, but if this is the only way to unload these deadbeat grown kids then so be it.
Your wife is acting like a spoiled brat as well by the way.
Your skids will be mad for a while but you are doing what is best for them in the long run and that is teaching them to be self reliant.