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Head over heart conflict. What would you do?

(24 Posts)
Ceesnan Sat 18-Feb-12 11:23:51

I have lurked for sometime and been impressed by the advice given, so am hoping that you will be able to help me come to a decision. It's a long story but will try to keep it as short as possible. A few years ago my youngest step daughter and 2children needed to get away from the area where they were living and my eldestSDD said they could move into a house she and her SO had inherited. All was well until a few months ago when they had a huge falling out and youngestSDD decided she wanted to move again. She left
, giving just a weeks notice and the house is filthy with a lot of damage done. She has also run up bills and left without giving any of her creditors a forwarding address. Eldest SDD and partner have spent almost £2000 in repairing the damage and redecorating in order that they can re-let the house. I know her new address, and my problem is whether I should tell eldest SDD, so that they can try and recoup some of their expenditure or should I keep quiet?
All suggestions gratefully received, thanks

Greatnan Sat 18-Feb-12 11:32:01

She needs to learn that actions have consequences. In fairness to the other step-daughter, I would tell the the address. She could probably find it out anyway, if she did a bit of digging, so she need not reveal her source.
By the way, what does SO mean?

greenmossgiel Sat 18-Feb-12 11:32:16

Hello Ceesnan - welcome! I don't think I would tell your eldest stepdaughter. Can you talk to the younger one? Does she have other troubles that she may want to talk about? I can imagine that you feel very 'torn', but if there have been financial difficulties for the younger one that she keeps running away from, it might not help the situation to pass on her address to her older sister as yet - (the younger one may be in a vulnerable situation)? Are you able to discuss this with their father?

greenmossgiel Sat 18-Feb-12 11:34:12

I think SO means 'significant other', Greatnan.

em Sat 18-Feb-12 11:39:44

Can sympathise to some extent. DD2 rents her flat from partner of her older sister. She is behind with rent and I know both sides of story, but separately. I do not discuss the situation and am keeping very quiet at the moment but am tempted to lend the rent so she can pay up front and then repay me gradually.

Carol Sat 18-Feb-12 11:49:55

I suppose it depends on whether she was living there rent-free or not. If rent-free she should have maintained the property so all that money didn't need spending on it. If she was receiving housing benefit to pay to her sister and the rent was fair, it should cover wear and tear and perhaps a little damage - all a matter of degree. Did £2,000 really need spending or was some of that because it would naturally need redecorating before being let again? It may be that some but not all damage was incurred and the owners of the property are very upset with her so she's copping for the lot!

Greatnan Sat 18-Feb-12 11:50:52

It was not the failure to pay rent that shocked me, but the fact that the house was left filthy and damaged. What excuse was there for that? Was she ill, depressed, weighed down by child care? Would she have done the same if the house belonged to a stranger?

supernana Sat 18-Feb-12 11:55:09

Ceesnan What a dilemma! You are between a rock and a hard place and I do sympathise. To have caused £2000 worth of damage to the property of someone who was being kind and considerate, is callous. Problems need addressing. I think that I would be inclined to do as Greatnan suggests.

em Sat 18-Feb-12 12:09:05

I'd be surprised if she had housing benefit. A few years back DD1 looked as if she might be homeless. My mother and I discussed buying a flat for her where we could put up a reasonable deposit. DD was, on paper, entitled to HB but we very quickly discovered (and not unreasonably I think) that it is not payable where the house is owned by a relative.
I agree that rent payment is a problem, but there's no obvious reason why the house should be wrecked.

Ceesnan Sat 18-Feb-12 12:19:27

The rent was being paid from housing benefit and I think covered the mortgage with a little left over. Though they inherited the house they re-mortgaged it in order to pay off two other beneficiaries. The little they gained is their pension fund. Carol, I think you are right to suggest that not all the money they spent was to repair the damage, but what has annoyed them is a comment of "They have had hundreds of pounds out of me, let them pay for the cleaning out of that". It seems to me that it is almost like a moonlight flit - even the schools didn't know the children were leaving!
Their father is in despair as youngest girl just seems to rocket from one disaster to another. He has on several occasions given her money to pay off debts but she just doesn't seem to learn any lessons and at 31 is still relying on other people to bail her out. Add to that two failed marriages and a series of shiftless boyfriends and you get a pretty poor example for her two children.i really am at a loss as to what to do for the best.

Ceesnan Sat 18-Feb-12 12:22:33

em I think she got housing benefit as the house is in eldest SDD's partners name.

Carol Sat 18-Feb-12 12:23:03

Yes, that's right em but people find a way round it, especially if the owner (the SO) has an unconnected name. It may be that the house is not as wrecked as claimed - aggrieved parties often throw in wear and tear and carpets needing cleaning and call it damage, when it isn't. There may be a middle ground here - some compensation needed but perhaps not that much.

Carol Sat 18-Feb-12 12:23:52

We replied at the same time Ceesnan!

bagitha Sat 18-Feb-12 12:36:13

ceesnan, it rather sounds as if the younger SD is a bit of a disaster area. Maybe her sister just needs to accept that and write off the redecorating expense. If she gets a new tennant with a proper contract, she should recoup the money in due course. I'm not condoning any carelessness or debt, but sometimes dealing with people like that is more trouble than it's worth. This is just my gut feeling.

grrrranny Sat 18-Feb-12 12:38:19

Ceesnan How do you know the address of the younger? Did she give it to you? If so, did she expect that you would not pass it on?

This chaotic lifestyle is so like that of my own DD - money from all sources just gobbled up in drink and drugs until everyone stopped giving and we could only hope children survived intact. Getting rid of the waste of breath partner helped but it was only when DD came to that realisation herself - she wouldn't listen to anyone else - that she did get rid. On balance I think you shouldn't pass on the address as long as elder SDD never finds out you knew it or that would cause another rift. £2000 is a lot but should be recouped when house let out again and it sounds like there is no chance of getting any money out of younger. A truly horrible situation for you though.

grrrranny Sat 18-Feb-12 12:40:55

Oh you had just said the same bagitha

Carol Sat 18-Feb-12 12:48:36

Agree with you bags. It's never a great idea to let or lend to family, and the other daughter did have an idea of what she was letting herself in for. A hard lesson. I would say take a bit of a back seat while it dies down a little, and at some point perhaps the house owners could identify what was wear and tear, naturally reoccurring decoration before re-let, and what they would call damage, what did they expect to have to pay to make the house fit for re-let?

The erring daughter needs to apologise and explain for the moonlight flit, and find a way to make it up to her sister if she can - she hasn't any money but she could demonstrate her willingness to learn from what has happened.

Ceesnan Sat 18-Feb-12 14:49:42

Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to reply. I could be wrong but I feel that half the reason for younger SDD's behaviour is that she has never had to take responsibility for her actions - from what I can gather she has always been given whatever she has wanted in the past as both her parents felt guilty about their marriage ending in divorce. She was 4 when this happened and both sides tried to compensate with material things.
She did badly at school and left with no GCSEs at 16 and had her first child 10 months later. 13months after that she had her 2nd daughter and has been on benefits ever since. My DH and I know her address as we have been to see her to talk to her and try and get her to at least make an offer of a small sum weekly. This was met with blunt refusal as was the request asto explain why there was a huge rip in the lounge carpet and where had all the vertical blinds gone.
Other SDD has already said she knows she won't get anything and is putting it down to experience I think, but her SO is almost baying for blood which is why I am in two minds as to whether to pass on the address.

bagitha Sat 18-Feb-12 15:19:42

If the SO is "baying for blood" then you definitely shouldn't give younger SD's address to her sister or to him. It would only lead to trouble.

tanith Sat 18-Feb-12 15:25:06

I agree with bagitha it can only lead to more bad feeling between you all. I'd keep out of it and let them deal with it how they feel best.

glammanana Sat 18-Feb-12 15:25:44

Ceesnan How let down must your SDD1 be feeling about the way she and her SO have been treated after they went out of their way to help her when she was in a difficult situation and at 31 she should be able to confront her problems directly and not walk away from them in an ideal world,but have you thought that maybe she is frightened of someone or something,has she got herself in such difficulites that she can see no way out other than run away from them,also I would be worried about her children as they will be about 13/14 ? yrs old and if they had to move schools they will be experiencing their own problems,its a hard one to decide on but I would put the ball in your DHs court and get him to inform his DD1 of DD2s address as this could esculate into a real family split and that would be very sad for everyone concerned.Good luck

Carol Sat 18-Feb-12 15:36:02

I think the only thing about giving the address at a time of reassurance that it won't all kick off, is that when the aggrieved party gets wound up about something else, they will be off like a shot to have a go at her and things will worsen. If your daughter asks you directly for her address, then perhaps you shoud give it to her with reservation, and say you expect that information to be dealt with responsibly - after all, they are complaining of the other daughter's lack of responsibility. I certainly wouldn't offer it, though - it might give an implicit signal that you condone them going round to have a go, and the erring daughter will be annoyed with you for offering it.

petallus Sun 19-Feb-12 23:45:22

Ceesnan it's not your responsibility to do anything really, in my opinion. Just stay out of it and give yourself a break from all the anxiety. I certainly would not reveal SDD's address.

petallus Sun 19-Feb-12 23:49:18

Further thoughts, this kind of situation is not uncommon between landlord and tenant. Usually the landlord tries to hold on to the deposit to help pay for repairs they think may be necessary. I don't like the sound of 'baying for blood'.