Q: I made a big mistake when I purchased my home. I need your best advice about cleaning up my mess.
I closed on my house last September. The first mistake I made was purchasing the house from a friend of about 30 years! Part of what I agreed to verbally was to help her pack the contents of her home and either move them to a storage unit, give them to the charities of her choice, throw them out, or keep them.
It’s been seven months since closing, and because she is dissatisfied with the way I have helped with the move so far, she barely speaks to me. Her belongings are in my basement and in a storage facility for which I pay $45 per month. In fact, I’ve spent more than $1,400 on wardrobe boxes, plastic covers for furniture, rental trucks, gas and equipment and the monthly storage fees. She is aware of the expenses on my part but accepts no responsibility.
I want to end this and get her stuff out of my house. I also want to stop paying the storage fees. What can I do?
A: As Ann Landers likes to say, no one can take advantage of you without your permission. You said you had an agreement with her regarding moving the stuff and have in fact paid for some of the storage. An attorney could advise you of what your rights are, but it would seem to me that you could send a letter to your seller informing her that you will no longer pay for the fees at the storage facility.
With respect to items in your basement, you can tell her writing to remove them by a certain date or you will give them away to charity.
This sounds tough, but it seems to me you’ve been taken advantage of for nearly 7 months, and this could go on for the rest of your life. Develop some backbone and move on.
As for buying the home from a friend, it can work out well, or not at all. I’m sorry that the latter is true in your case.