Tuesday, May 8, 2012

I had to live with a relative too as an adult…

My story tonight about the mom who had to get a formal eviction to force her son to move out of her home, had me thinking about my time living with a relative.

Thankfully, it was so much better.

I didn’t live with my mom or dad, but my grandfather.  When I moved to Denver, I didn’t know where I wanted to buy a house so my grandfather invited me to move in with him while I searched neighborhoods. My grandmother had passed away several years before.

I thought it was a generous offer. In fact, we had fun together. We sat around the kitchen table watching the late news most nights. (He’d share how the world had changed in his 90 years.)

He never required me to pay rent but I paid many of the bills at his house. Our arrangement wasn’t written down but I’ve since learned experts highly recommend it.

I stayed more than just a few months, partly at some family members’ urging as my grandfather got older. I went from me needing a place to live to him enjoying having someone to make sure he was okay at night.

Living with a relative can be a great experience. 

It can also be the opposite as it was for a mother I interviewed. When she decided her son was no longer welcome in her home, he refused to move out. She ultimately had to evict him by getting a judge’s order.

I left on my own, but continued coming over to stay the night every once in a while.

Experts suggest parents and adult children make a written agreement before an adult son or daughter ever moves in that notes how long the kid will live there and whether rent will be paid.

They also suggest making it detailed so it covers overnight guests, time watching television or using the family computer.

I guess the bottom line is that the more information that is written down, the better. It’s advice I didn’t follow, but after working on this story I would next time – even when it’s family.

My story airs Tuesday night (tonight) at 9 and 10 p.m. on channel 9.