Living at home and Privacy

Katherine - posted on 11/01/2010 ( 18 moms have responded )

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Ok so I have a friend who through no fault of her own had to move back home with her 2 kids. Her relationship with her mother is rocky to say the least. She is very controlling, tries to take over parenting the children, allows no privacy etc...

Recently her mother went into her room without her permission to "help" her clean some things up when she specifically asked her NOT to. They argued, mom said this is her house, she can do what she wants. Daughter said actually no she can't that's trespassing on HER property, even a landlord needs permission and that is her private room. Of course a huge fight ensued. Mother said,"well you don't pay rent," daughter says,"we agreed before I moved in that's how it would be."

What do you think? Legally can she do anything ? This mother is something else I will tell you. The daughter is NOT ungrateful, but everytime mom helps out the daughter hears about it for weeks. Mom dangles it above her head.

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Ez - posted on 11/01/2010

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I agree with Heather. It's the mum's house, so while it may not be polite for her to go into the daughter's room to clean, she's well within her rights to. The whole 'my house, my rules' scenario. If your friend is unhappy with the arrangement, she needs to move out. Otherwise, she needs to accept her mother's attitude and make it work for as long as she needs her mother's assistance.

Heather - posted on 11/01/2010

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The mom might be overbearing, but honestly, the daughter is having a hard enough time that she HAS to move back home and mom was kind enough to let her(without her paying rent btw). So, she's getting free child care, free housing, free laundry, etc., and while she may not be ungrateful, she certainly has no problem complaining about the help. What is she keeping in her room that's so important for her mom not to see? I understand privacy, but unless mom was going into her room and going through drawers or rummaging through private diaries, what privacy is she invading? Honestly, if the daughter wants privacy and wants to be the only person "raising" her kids, she needs to get out of her mom's house.

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Cyndel - posted on 11/02/2010

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It is a difficult situation. But unless she starts paying rent of some sort or kind, then she has no barganing chip. She should try to pay something, she may have to give up something like renting movies, go to the library, or hulu online. etc. not fun but if it gets her a barganing chip to get her mom to give her some privacy then it would be worth it.
Also I would suggets she do what ever she can, within legal and safe limits, to get her own place. Find another single mom to share expenses in a house or apartment. good luck

Katherine - posted on 11/02/2010

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My friend lost her job 2 years ago when she went on maternity leave. She hasn't been able to get one since. Because of extenuating circumstances with the husband she had no choice but to move back home. Trust me she wants OUT. There are just no options. Unless she went to a woman's shelter or something. It's a very difficult situation from all angles.

Tah - posted on 11/02/2010

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The mother may be wrong by social norm standards..lol...but it is her house. Maybe the mother said no rent so that she could control things...she needs to move out if she has a problem with it..I wouldn't care if i had to rent an efficiency, add a couch bed and hang cheap curtains or clean bed sheets for privacy..it would be mine and sometimes it is worth the piece of mind you get. When my sisters would move back home..my parents had rules, curfew, go to church on sunday..if you were 40, the rules still applied...my sister used to sneak out the back when she moved back in (saving money while in nursing school for a house).....she said she knew she had to go as she was climbing over a gate a 33, yeah..i'll say. lol

Bonnie - posted on 11/02/2010

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It is the mother's home and although there was an agreement that the daughter does not have to pay rent, the daughter is living under the mother's roof. I think the daughter should either start paying rent in order for her to get personal space or find somewhere else to live. Honestly, the daughter seems like she is taking advantage of the fact that her mother is taking her in and not having her pay rent.

Mary - posted on 11/02/2010

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It sounds like the mother is a real piece of work, BUT...it is her home, and therefore her rules. Your friend had to know what she was getting herself into when she moved back home. She had to know that she was relinquishing a lot of control and power when she accepted her mother's generosity of a rent-free place to live with her children. If she doesn't like her mother's behavior or actions, her only real choice is to move out. If that is not financially possible, than I really think she has no other choice but to suck it up until she CAN move out.

I doubt she has much grounds legally. It is her mother's home. She is not paying rent. Whether or not they had a verbal agreement is pretty pointless. I doubt any court would be willing to listen to her any more than they would a teenager complaining about their mother snooping in their room. I also believe that even trying to pursue anything official would utterly destroy whatever relationship she had with her mom, and her mother would kick her out on her ass.

Her best bet is to try and have a reasonable and rational discussion with her mother, and try to establish some boundaries and ground rules. She needs to remain calm, unemotional, and above all, NOT accusatory. While we all may agree that the mother's behavior is less than stellar, the bottom line is that she doesn't have to change it if she doesn't want to. Her house, her rules. If your friend want the same rights as that of a tenent/landlord relationship, she needs to draw up a contract AND pay rent. Otherwise, she needs to accept that her current "rights" have reverted back to what they were in her childhood.

Stifler's - posted on 11/02/2010

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She's not paying rent. I wouldn't want my kids living at home with their kids either. Legally if she's not paying rent she's a guest.

[deleted account]

They had a verbal but these things need to be in writing to get anywhere.The mother should just back down as she knows what she is doing is wrong.

Sharon - posted on 11/01/2010

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They had an oral contract.

The daughter would move back home without paying rent.

Its the grandmothers' fault for not setting any other stipulations.

If the daughter contributes in any way - that can be declared a form of barter & therefore she pays "rent".

Desiree - posted on 11/01/2010

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I don't know the laws in the States regarding this so I can't comment there.

but it sounds as though someone doesn't want to reliquish control. some mother don't know when to stop and in some cases they are of dependant natures in other words they need to feel needed. the only problem is that they don't understand how much they take from their children and drain them emotionally.

Leah - posted on 11/01/2010

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Wow, that sucks! I don't think there is anything 'legal' your friend can do but get her and her kids out of there! That environment cannot be good for any of them. Perhaps thretening her mom with the idea of moving out would be enough. If her mom really loves her grand babies, she MIGHT back off. Depends on the situation.

Rosie - posted on 11/01/2010

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as much as i think the mother can shove it up her ass, it is her house, her daughter isnt renting, and she has no legal grounds to do anything.
sounds like they need to talk about how things are, and if it doesn't work she needs to move out.

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I don't know about the legalities of it but what Kelly said sounds reasonable. If it were me? I'd be doing everything in my power to GET OUT OF THERE!

[deleted account]

If they do not have a contract, there is nothing the daughter can do. It is legally the mother's home, and the daughter and her children are guests, not tenants. If the daughter was paying rent, or if they agreed upon a contract where privacy is granted (even without rent), then the daughter would have something to stand on in court. (A verbal contract is valid, but will rarely stand in court b/c it will be her word against her mom's, so tell her to write it down, and have the signing witnessed).

[deleted account]

Mom sounds overbearing. Legally, I have no clue but I don't see why she would care what her grown daughters room looks like.

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