Dear Dianna: Brother overstays his welcome

Dear Dianna,

Am I being impatient? They (my brother and his family) are having their home entirely renovated and it’s taking a long time because the workers there aren’t doing a good job. It’s been more than two months already.

In the beginning, he said it would take them only two weeks and I had no problem letting my brother stay with me for that much time. But weeks has turned into months. It’s going be three months.

My brother doesn’t work, and his wife works but she left her job some time ago. They’re both kind of useless. They sleep in all day, lay around, and eat all the food.

His wife does do a lot of work around the house. She babysits my one-year-old daughter, changes her, and cleans the house. She helps my wife a lot, but it doesn’t make up for them staying here for more than two months. I work and pay my own bills and we can’t afford more than three of us.

They also eat a lot of food – his wife drank all the soda that I had bought, and he eats a lot. I can’t keep taking care of them and my wife is more annoyed than I am.

Am I being impatient with them? Or do I have the right to be slightly annoyed? I can’t just kick them out in the streets. I don’t know what to do.


Brother Overstays

Dear Brother Overstays,

Dear Dianna

No, you are not being impatient at all. On the contrary, you have been a patient and generous host, and anyone would be slightly annoyed!

It has been more than six weeks since they were supposed to move, and that is more than enough time to host them, especially since neither of them work and are home all day, not to mention the grocery and other bills.

You have to let them know that they can stay until the first of the month, you and your wife can tell them together, speak the truth, that it was supposed to be two weeks and you can no longer afford to keep them there, that you appreciate the help with the baby, but the living situation is no longer tenable.

If they offer money to stay longer, politely decline – you do not want them in a rental situation or you might have a harder time getting them out.

If they ask why they can’t stay perhaps your wife can have some vague answer prepared about her family visiting soon.

They are adults and will figure out what to do; it’s not your problem.

They can stay in their own home while it’s being renovated, surely one room should be livable by now; they can stay in a tent or trailer in their own yard; they can stay in a hotel or rent a cottage; or stay with someone else – they have a lot of options. If they don’t have any money that isn’t your problem; you didn’t ask them to spend all of their money on renovations while not working.

Stick to your guns, be polite, and if they don’t leave by the first give them a helping hand by bringing their belongings to their house for them. Also, until then, hide your pop.