Q. My sister lost her job two years ago and she moved in with me and my family. She only works part-time and she doesn’t pay anything for the house. I’m ready to have her move out, but I’m not sure how I can do this. Help!
A. It’s kind of you to have helped your sister for so long, but wow — two years is a long time.
It’s understandable that you are ready for her to move on, and yet, because she’s family, this can be a touchy situation.
You should give her a timeline so that she has a reasonable amount of time to get her act in order and make a plan to leave, said Jerry Lynch, a certified financial planner with JFL Total Wealth Management in Boonton, New Jersey.
He suggests two months.
“The job market is pretty good so if she hasn’t gotten a job in two years, she is not looking,” Lynch said.
He said you need to set up a reasonable expectation of what you expect from her and what she should expect from you.
You said she is working part-time, so that means she has at least some income. She can use this for her own apartment, or at the very least, to pay rent to you.
“Sounds like she is playing you,” Lynch said. “That being said, because this is more a family not financial issue, it is always a difficult issue.”
[Editor’s note: If you find yourself in a similar situation, either you’re living with a relative or you have a relative living with you because of financial issues, remember that it doesn’t just require cash to get a new place and utilities. It also may require a good credit score, as apartment rentals have become more competitive with landlords pulling potential tenants’ credit reports and you need a decent credit score to qualify for a mortgage as well. You can check two of your credit scores for free every month on Credit.com and you can get copies of your credit reports for free once a year at AnnualCreditReport.com.]
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Image: Izabela Habur