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DEAR CHRISTINE – Was I wrong to give family notice?

luigimarshall, [email protected]

DEAR CHRISTINE – Was I wrong to give family notice?

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Dear Christine,I was raised by my aunt because my mother, who is her sister, had six other children to provide for. I was the eldest and was born when my mum was just 17. 
My aunt formally adopted me and later on I went away with her to attend school and I lived overseas for quite a few years.
After my aunt died, as her sole heir, I inherited her property here. I allowed my mother, three of my siblings and their four children to live in the house as they needed a home. I allowed them to live in the house without paying any rent provided that they maintained it – that is, paint it and fix anything that needed to be done. 
But, Christine, after just six years in the house they have it looking like a pig sty. I returned from overseas to find the place unpainted since they moved in. Some of the sideboards and floor boards are missing. All the furniture I left for them they smashed up and threw into the yard. And the property in general looks like a dump, with bush all around.
I asked my mother why and she told me she had no money to fix anything. So I gave them all notice to leave. Now they are sending people to beg me not to. 
As an independent person, what do you think about my actions? Was I too harsh, or should they have been more responsible, given that they were living rent-free?
– JG
Dear JG,
Provided that the house was in acceptable condition when you turned it over to them, you are within your rights to take the action that you have. 
You don’t say if you had a written agreement with your mum, but you should have had one drawn up outlining her responsibilities as a tenant and the consequences of failure to fulfil these. That way your action now would not seem unreasonable. 
It must be very difficult for you to take this action, and though I would normally advise you to kick them out, given all that is happening in Barbados with high rents and increased costs, I’m wondering if you can reach some agreement with your mum to repair much of the damage done to the house, and within a specified time.
That way she would know that you’re serious and would be unlikely to be that lenient in the future. 
– Christine