My new consultancy service was launched last week and the first person has given permission for me to write up their case study here.
Simply book a time slot and briefly tell me the problem and I will call you for one hour to discuss whatever issue you may have.
Extremely Taken For Granted
I will call the first person 'Sam'. And this is Sam's story.
Sam owns three houses. The plan was to let them out and build up enough income and savings to buy more houses and to set up a property business buying and selling property. The problem is that Sam's family have been living in the houses instead! So there is little or no rent coming in and Sam is paying three mortgages as well as rent on the family home. This has been going on for over ten years which means that Sam has paid out hundreds of thousands of pounds, literally in mortgages with very little return.
To top it all, Sam has been unemployed for the past three years and has now built up a large credit card debt just to pay for everything. The family do not offer to help with anything and do not offer to pay their share of the money and do not even question how Sam pays thousands of pounds each month in property bills alone.
I asked what Sam has done to try to get the family to pay their share. Sam said: given deadlines for them to move out, threatened to stop paying the mortgages, given ultimatums but nothing ever happens.
I asked what happens when the deadlines come?
Sam said: Everything goes quiet for a bit and then it all carries on like before.
Is there a Solution To This Problem?
It is so difficult when family members take you for granted like this. At the beginning, Sam was wanting to show that Sam could cope with the extra payments. Trying not to reveal a vulnerable side, especially to family members has cost Sam greatly in financial terms.
Then, as the years roll by, and everyone settles in to the new way of life, the roles are reinforced by repetition. the dependants become more needy and it becomes harder and harder to find a way to get them to move. Now, they maybe do not even think about how much money it is costing because they just take it completely for granted that it will be taken care of.
Giving weak deadlines and not sticking to them or following through with the threats meant that all credibility was lost and everyone knows that they are empty threats. But also, how could Sam stop paying the mortgages on the property since that would be self-destructive and would result in all the property being lost as well.
I wondered how Sam would feel about now laying all the cards on the table and sitting down with the family members and showing them exactly how much money was going down the drain each month. they might be shocked into action. But once again, Sam said that it would be difficult to show a weakness like that.
We discussed whether Sam could stop paying an extra, expensive rent each month and start to live in one of the other houses as well. That sounded like a possibility which would save some money.
Or tell the family that one of the houses was being sold and actually follow through by registering with an estate agent. There is enough room in the remaining houses for everyone to have rooms. The sale could let Sam start fresh and pay off those debts.
It is clear where Sam stands legally, but family matters always prove a lot more delicate if harmony is to be maintained, but it is completely unfair if one person has to carry everyone else like that, especially if that person is not able to cope themselves.
Sam is going to try some of the suggestions we discussed and book another call next month. I sincerely wish Sam luck.