General Question

squirbel's avatar

Will I be kicked out?

Asked by squirbel (4174points) July 19th, 2014

I have a birth aunt who I recently found, after searching.

Needless to say, she feels guilt of all sorts. At any rate, I lost my job last year, and used my savings to pay rent up until now. Now I am dry.

This aunt offered me a place free of charge, a condo she owns. So I moved in.

Last week, I became lucid and broke out of a delusion I had been experiencing for two months. My birth mother was schizophrenic, and since I was lucid I started researching. I was convinced I was schizo.

So I called her, and asked her for help – where do I go, who do I see? She did not help much, only tried to convince me I wasn’t crazy. I ignored her words cos I knew I was (I thought an ex was talking to me telepathically). I also learned from talking to her that she was paranoid schizo. Two exhibitors in the family – that sealed the deal for me.

July 10th – she calls and tells me to get out of her house. She believes I am lying so I can live for free. She offered the place for free, so this is the first I heard of this. Of course I want to offer whatever I can to help, but with 0 dollars and 0 income – it’s a little tough to do things that are wanted.

July 11 – I have slipped back into the delusion. I wait to meet him – no show. No show cos he’s not real. I become super lucid. I do not want to live as a homeless, schizophrenic woman – living off of the government. I try to commit suicide by attempting to cut the femoral artery near the pulse. I faint. I call 911. They take me to crisis center.

Anyway – I’m out now with bipolar diagnosis. On medication. Suicidal thoughts gone. But she still wants me out. My phone is dead. But I can receive her messages via google voice. I can talk to her via text.

I live in lansing michigan.

Is there some loophole she fell into by letting me stay there for free? Or should I get out and be homeless?

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33 Answers

cazzie's avatar

Wait until she organises papers and makes it official, meantime, look for some assistance.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Oh @squirbel…. What a raw deal….
May I give you a purely platonic hug? You need it.

You wrote “Is there some loophole she fell into by letting me stay there for free?” By that do you mean: “Did my aunt screw herself by being nice and helping me for a while?”

I have some questions for you. Did you keep the place in pristine condition? Do you maintain the property and keep the landscaping nice? ‘Why the turnaround? Was it time? Does she want to rent it out?
You don’t have to answer these questions for me or anyone else – just yourself.

Please, please, please talk to the people at DHS. But first….Can you walk to the community library? The librarian there will help you and point you in the right direction. She is very much like our own @janbb: helpful, caring and concerned.
Please go.

hearkat's avatar

Sending lots of love and hugs, @squirbel. I don’t know much about tenant/landlord laws in Michigan, but if there is no signed agreement between you, I suspect there isn’t much that you can do. might help, and the facility where you received treatment should also have some resources for you. Did your discharge paperwork include a list?

snowberry's avatar

You’ve been living there long enough that it’s your permanent residence, right? I suggest you stay there until you either find another place to stay (get really active finding a job and another place to stay), or until the sheriff serves you papers and you get evicted. If your aunt starts now, it might be 3 months or so. That might buy you some time. Don’t lose focus on this one sweetie.

GloPro's avatar

@hearkat An oral agreement is legally binding. However, with there being no money exchanging hands and it being a relative there may be no tenant rights.
@squirbel Please do not be afraid to ask for help. Your situation is tough. Good luck.

hearkat's avatar

@GloPro – On what do you base your claim that an oral agreement is legally binding? And are you certain that’s the case in MI? Besides, it then becomes a matter of one person’s word against the other. Given what our dear squirbel has gone through, the Aunt’s legal team could challenge the reliability of her claims.

I think it’s in her best interest for her to find another residence as soon as possible, because dealing with the stress of a legal battle is not a good stabilizer for someone newly diagnosed with bipolar, and it would burn a bridge with the Aunt – which might not be the best thing right now. The Aunt may just be nervous because of the unstable condition squirbel was in. Once she stabilizes, perhaps the Aunt might be more supportive again. Of course there are many variables we don’t know.

GloPro's avatar

I base it on hiring a lawyer and taking a landlord to court. And winning. I did a ton of research several years ago.

Proof of an oral agreement is implied if she is living in the house for a determined amount of time – in Colorado it was 30 days. At that point it is a month-to-month oral agreement and 30 days notice to vacate must be provided any tenant. It is not his word against hers. It doesn’t work that way.

As mentioned, however, due to the familial relationship and no money being exchanged there may be no tenant protection.

I agree that she should find a new place to live. 30 days to do so sounds better than ASAP though, doesn’t it? It’s good to force enforcement of legal rights where you can sometimes.

Dan_Lyons's avatar

The real kicker is…Does she have a key to the place?

Possession of a key is proof of any oral agreement.

squirbel's avatar

I do have 3 keys. All made for me by her.

I am looking for work, to sustain myself and a new place.

My bipolar was onset by my medication for multiple sclerosis – I already had the genetic predisposition toward mental illness, but it had not expressed until two months ago. Taking Avonex.

Be careful of that medicine.

hearkat's avatar

I’m not trying to be overly negative, but having keys just means the owner gave permission to access the property – perhaps to check on it occasionally, not necessarily to live in it. When it’s one person’s word against the other, one side can change their story if they feel it will get them the outcome they want. I just want to present all possibilities.

@squirbel – It is frightening to think that a medication for one condition can trigger such a dramatic mental change, but I have had some indications of that in my own experiences. Now that I am also battling with an autoimmune condition, I will be extra-careful to watch for mental changes when trying new medications. Thanks for the warning. I hope you find a better living arrangement and a job soon!

GloPro's avatar

@hearkat The law favors tenant’s rights. It isn’t one person’s word against another. It simply doesn’t work that way. Implied consent is an oral contract. If @squirbel can prove she has been there for more than 30 days she has rights. I haven’t bothered to look up the proof as of yet because this isn’t my case and I’ve been extremely busy this week, but I may have some time today. Unless you have facts to back up being overly negative I’m not sure why you are adamant that it is one person’s word against another. In fact, even if you own a house and squatters simply break in and start living there without your permission it isn’t always easy to get them out. I have a friend that has gone through that scenario this year as well, in California. It took her almost 6 months to remove a tenant who wasn’t paying rent, whose lease had expired, and had hired a court appointed lawyer. It’s kind of nauseating if you are the landlord, but most likely will benefit @squirbel in giving her time to look for another place.

Do you have landlord experience to back up your negativity, or are you basing your feedback on speculative thoughts?

In addition, I would hesitate to change my story and lie under oath if I were a landlord and there was any chance someone could prove they had been living there with my knowledge.

hearkat's avatar

@GloPro: Yes, I am speculating, because I am worried for her. I’ve only ever had signed leases and amicable landlord/tenant arrangements, so I only have secondhand knowledge of the difficult experiences of others I know.

I know that tenant rights are pretty strong in my state, but I also know that state laws can vary greatly on many facets of law, so I wouldn’t assume that what my friends or family members have experienced in my state and neighboring states can have any relevance to what she might face in another state where I have no prior information – whether first- or secondhand.

I agree that if she has proof that she lived there for over a month, it will support her argument, but my point was that having keys alone is not that proof. I’d imagine that if she was having mail sent there, like bank or credit card statements, that could verify that she was residing at that address for a period of time; but no one has mentioned anything other than keys.

Let’s try to come up with helpful ideas, rather than discussing what we don’t know about tenant rights in MI. I’ve seen that you’re a very resourceful person in other posts, so I bet you’ll find useful information if you’re able to look further into it as you said. It’s one of the reasons why you are tops on my list of newer Jellies.

In the meantime, does anyone have other ideas how else might she be able to prove residency if challenged? Or other resources to help her find a job or other living arrangements?

CugelTheClueless's avatar

OP: maybe Community Mental Health can help. See especially the links for Crisis Services and Adult Mental Health.

Maybe some sort of halfway house/group home/residential treatment facility would meet your needs. I applied for a job at a place like that once. The residents were free to come and go, but there were staff there to make sure they were getting their meds and who could respond in the event of a crisis.

GloPro's avatar

Michigan Lease Laws Easy to read and comprehend guide to Michigan lease laws. Within the first two papragraphs it states oral agreements are month-to-month leases by law, and both sides must abide by such regulation.

Tenants and Landlords: a Practical Guide This document was written by the state legislature of Michigan and is what all lease terms and laws are based on for the state of Michigan.

State Bar of Michigan Tenant-Landlord Legal Aid A free website full of useful legal info regarding tenant-landlord rights and agreements, as well as references for legal aid and advice.

This one does point out that oral agreements may only have a duration of one year or less before being converted to a written agreement.

Hope this helps. You definitely have rights. Although I am not fond of the term “some loophole she fell into” by allowing you to stay there for free, you do not have to be out immediately. She’s family that has been nice to you, and generous, and I would not lose sight of that. Be polite, firm, and let her know you will be out within 30 days. If need be, email her a copy of the Practical Guide, which will lay out both sides rights and obligations.

susanc's avatar

Do find a new place asap and make sure the aunt understands that this is in the works. (She’s scared too.) You don’t really want to be there any more, @squirbel, right? Then use your good sense (you have lots) and move on. Fighting your new-found aunt is a distraction you don’t need.
When you’re out of this tangle you’ll feel better. You can repair that relationship later if you want to.
I respect you for all the courage and intelligence you’re showing us. Keep us posted.

Dan_Lyons's avatar

@hearkat If there were some disoute between the two and the police were called in; upon seeing that she has a key to the place the police would be forced to allow her to remain, even if the owner of the place wants her removed.
Not saying this is fun conditions under which to live, but possession of those keys is in fact our OP’s key to remain there.

GloPro's avatar

I want to be clear: I am not advocating forcing your hand. I am wanting to make sure you are aware of your rights, as your needs should be your priority, not your aunt or your relationship with her. You are in a tough spot.

As you stated you have no money and no source of income and are bouncing back and forth between various states of lucidity, having a place to stay while you sort those things out is better than moving out immediately and choosing to be homeless or in a shelter.

Get help with potentially getting on disability or government assistance first. Look for a job or a source of income second. Of equal importance is getting help for your health issues.

The law is on your side as far as not having to move immediately. It is in your best interest to find a new home, but is not priority and not immediately pressing, as your other issues are. Just make it known you intend to move, within the legal timeline, and then concentrate on things of more immediate importance.

Those suggesting you move immediately to avoid conflict are not taking your finances into the equation. Please understand that moving out with no money when you don’t have to would not be in your best interest. Take care of as many other issues as possible first.

Dan_Lyons's avatar

Pay close attention to what @GloPro is saying. She is correct.

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
squirbel's avatar

Thanks all.

I value my peace above all – I have avoided disputes or quelled them as soon as they arose at all times in my life.

As such – I do want to leave. My birth mother says my aunt is evil and all sorts of other things. She nearly had my mother killed when she was younger, would never babysit me [they were two sisters in a foreign state], tried to kill her parents twice, has a warrant in new jersey for cocaine distribution, was involved in drugs in michigan, and kicked my mother out of a place when she was new in michigan. My mother moved to michigan to help her with her kids.

So – it is pretty obvious that I want to get the eff away from her. I have always been a good tenant, never late, never evicted. This is a strange situation – but then again, I have never received help from family either.

Thank you all for your assistance, and helping me gain clarity in a time of weak mental status. Thank you very much.

squirbel's avatar

speaking to the cocaine distribution warrant, is it likely to still be alive? I so want to rat her out. After I leave.

GloPro's avatar

Vindictive, much? Why would you want to rat her out unless it’s a personal vendetta? Remember your karma.

squirbel's avatar

That is true. I am not naturally vindictive – but it was because of her I tried to commit suicide. I’m moving on, but I want her to know how much she hurt me somehow. I’ve been walked on all my life.

GloPro's avatar

Just as it is with ex-boyfriends, the best revenge is to walk away and NOT carry hate in your heart. Forgiveness for the sake of your life, not for theirs. It isn’t easy, but in the end being able to look back and be proud of yourself and your actions makes you a stronger person. Revenge is for the weak. Live your life NOT to hurt others, regardless of being hurt, and you will be free.

squirbel's avatar

Just to update everyone – I withdrew all of my retirement monies [retarded, yes I know, don’t scold me] and I let her know that as soon as I was released from the crisis center I started looking for work. I don’t have any interviews, but I’m not telling her that. She still has not responded – I informed her of all of this on Saturday.

I am going to offer her a little money at the end of the month [100$] to help out. Once I get a job, I can increase the amount I give.

I hope she finds this acceptable as this location is very suitable for me because of the walking distance.

Would you?

Esedess's avatar

Suitable for walking distance to what?

squirbel's avatar

I don’t know how to give old people money. .__.

My bank is in another state and it’s not like I can withdraw monies… hmmm…atm…I never use those.

Walking distance to whatever jobs I can get [penny jobs like service industry], grocery store, pharmacy. My regular Multiple Sclerosis meds get shipped to my door, but my newest meds would be filled at the walgreens. Also to internet spots – 3 close by.

My diet consists of rice and beans, and veggies when I have a little extra.

Esedess's avatar

Got it.

You give old people money just the way you would anyone else. Walk up and hand it to em. If they won’t see you, mail it, or slip it under their door.

You can get a cashier’s check from most gas stations or grocery stores. You tell them the amount, who it’s for, swipe the card, and then they give you a check. The money comes out of your account at the moment the cashier’s check is generated.
Or just use the ATM. It won’t bite. Any ATM will work with your account regardless of what company it belongs to. The notion of “my bank is in another state” doesn’t really apply anymore. I’ve used my Bank of America card to withdraw money from Wells Fargo ATM’s and I’ve used my San Diego County Credit Union card to withdraw money from an ATM on at street corner in Las Vegas (for a small fee).

squirbel's avatar

I hate fees though. xD

Allergic to them, actually. They charge fees for the computer doing work. Retarded.

Esedess's avatar

lol.. I hate fees, standing in line, gas prices, most new movies, and the detestable way my mattress slumps drastically in not quite the middle… Meh~ that’s part of life. Best to just close your eyes muscle it down. A certain level of sarcastic apathy is helpful too.
In the end, the fees are $2—$3, and if in a year you still find yourself missing it, go dig around in a couch for 10mins or steal 1 can of soda to level the loss. Just be sure to smile while you do it. =D

snowberry's avatar

Go open an account in a bank (but I prefer credit unions- their fees are fewer, and generally they’re easier to work with) near you. Transfer money from your old bank to your new account. Keep your old account open if you like.

squirbel's avatar

Nope. I have researched all of the local banks and credit unions – I hate them all. Not doing it. Their web interfaces are atrocious.

I’m fine – I will go the route of debiting a check or money order. Much cleaner, less hassle.

But yeah Рnew account? No way jos̩.

My entire adult life I have written two checks. All banking has been online.

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