It’s happened once or twice to most people, more to some. I happen to be the ‘some‘. I have opened my doors to many people who are in need, offered my couch, my kitchen as well as laundry services and shower privileges. Most of those who have stayed within my home do so just for a short time a month or so then moving on.
There has been the occasional Professional Moocher who has passed through my doors with whom I’ve had to give the boot.
Let me explain the difference:
Having a House Guest
The average Joe/Jane comes into your home with nowhere else to go with the intentions of staying there long enough to get on their feet. They may or may not help out around the house, sharing chores. Each person is different. You may have set the rules very quickly even before they have brought in their Walmart bag of clothes.
Unless you ‘rule with an iron hand‘, your rules will quickly go out the window leaving you holding the bag of dirty laundry. I am not an iron hand ruler, I never have been, never will be. My thought is if you see something that needs to be done, do it. Don’t ask me what I want you to do, just do it.
I am the perfect house guest. If I stay at your home I cook, clean, watch your kids, do your laundry and give you money to help out with the bills and mind my own business, giving you privacy. I expect that others should do the same. It is rarely so, if it were people all over the world would be clamoring for guests in their home.
The Professional Moocher is one who comes in your home and has no intention of ever leaving. Making themselves at home right away. When you set the rules they half heartedly follow them. Rarely is money even exchanged, the mess that is left behind is beyond anything that you can imagine. When you try to talk to them, they come up with excuse after excuse as to why they haven’t left yet.
The laws vary from state to state, in the state that I live in, if you allow them to walk through the door with a bag of clothing, they can stay until you evict them in a court of law. If they have mail coming to your address they have established residence, and they have just as much right to live there as you do.
Thankfully I have never had to invoke the eviction process to rid myself of the moocher. Maybe I have shown my horns enough to cause them to think twice about causing me to do such a thing.
Over the years each guest has gotten worse, it could be a sign of the times, the ages of the guests possibly the way they are treated that keeps them staying. My name, Sweetsusieg should explain volumes, I'm just too sweet.
Guest #1 - She came to me with no where else to go, she did have a job but it didn’t pay well enough to get her own place. I offered her my couch and meals in exchange for $25 per week, I received 1 payment from her. Things were fine for a while, then her laundry got in my way. Dirty under things were all over my bathroom floor, she slept in her undies as well and most of the time was uncovered. My boys and husband enjoyed the view, I did not. I felt as though I was her maid. To decide if she was going to eat with us she would call and ask what I was making for dinner. If it didn’t meet with her approval she ate elsewhere. As soon as she got a decent boyfriend she could live with she left.
Guest #2 - He had been living in abandoned houses, but did have a job. He just needed a place to stay. I gave him his own room. In exchange for room and board he was to give me $50 per week, I never received a dime from him. He did cook from time to time. He showed me how to fish properly, with a Yo-Yo. He cleaned up his own messes, except the dirty ring around the tub. His room was kept fairly clean and he did his own laundry. He was a decent house guest, just never paid his rent.
Guest #3 - She came to my home with her 3 children and dog. Her husband was a crack addict and he had fallen off the wagon. She had a job as well. She wasn’t exactly the cleanest person around, in fact she was worse than a slob. He dog pooped all over her clothes and she didn’t bother to clean it up. The agreement was that she was to pay me $75.00 per week, for food. I would cook and prepare meals for her children as well as mine. With 7 kids and 3 adults in the house I had to quickly become organized.
She stayed with me for 2 weeks, when she left, all of her things were left in the bedroom for 8 weeks. Finally I could take it no more and let her know if she didn’t come and get her stuff it would be thrown out. We bagged it up and put it outside, dog poop and all. Eventually she came and got her stuff.
Guest #4 - He was the longest ‘hanger onner’. He was homeless and had only porches to sleep on. I needed some work done in my yard so I agreed to let him stay in exchange for gardening. He worked in my garden 1 day. He never complained about the food that was prepared. Ate everything in site, including leftovers. Occasionally he did the dishes or vacuumed. At first he slept in a tent in my yard. The tent was my sons, it was used with the understanding that if it was damaged it would be replaced.
This never happened, the tent was ruined. Now it is up to me to replace it. My daughter ended up falling in love with this young man. He eventually moved into the house when the weather got bad. The understanding was that if I caught them ‘doing the nasty’ he would have to leave immediately. I never caught them.
After about 6 months of him doing nothing with his life I gave him the boot. My daughter went with him. They lived in and out of doorways and on others couches. Eventually, after having the comforts for years my daughter came back home. He did not.
Things went smoothly for a while. She talked to him on the phone and visited from time to time. My daughter asked if he could come for a visit, and like an idiot I agreed. He ended up staying for another 6 months. This time my daughter ended up pregnant. He did get a job, as did my daughter. He never paid me any rent and did not feel that I even deserved gas money for toting him back and forth to work. He felt because he was eating at work that he wasn’t taking anything from the house. My daughter still has her job.
From time to time he has gotten the boot for doing stupid things such as drinking and getting violent. Always to return, for just a short time then end up not leaving. Staying for months on end.
Drinking and being violent is not tolerated at any time in my home. The very last time he was allowed to stay in my home he did a super no-no and I had to exert my authority. He is no longer allowed to stay here. He feels that I am being mean and not helping him. I’ve tried explaining to him that I am NOT his mother and am not his keeper. He is an adult and needs to take care of himself.
Since I have known him he has had 3 jobs and each one not lasting more than 4 weeks. He has lived at numerous people’s homes each one ending with him being booted because of his behavior. He usually chooses elderly people to live with because they are kind and less likely to kick him out so soon, and it is free for him. He doesn’t do his part to help out, he doesn’t follow the rules. He does what he wants, when he wants then claims to not understand when he gets kicked out. Why my daughter stays with him is beyond me, but that is her business.
One of the best tips that I can give when deciding to let someone live with you is ask yourself “Why can’t they live with family”? If they give numerous reasons it may be because they have burned all their bridges of family and are now working on the general public. Sob stories are a dime a dozen, think long and hard before letting yourself be used by a Professional Moocher.
10 Ways to get rid of the houseguest
So what do you do when you get that one person who finds the accommodations just perfect to their liking? How do you remove them if asking them to leave doesn’t work?
1. Make life absolutely miserable for them.
2. Forbid such things as showers, you may find they are sneaking them when you are sleeping though. Water is costly, particularly hot water.
3. Limit your food purchases. If there is no food in the home they will have to go elsewhere to find it. Make sure there is no alcohol in your home, if the person staying in your home drinks, they WILL find it.
4. Remove fun things such as TV or at the very least cable or Dish. Remove DVD players and games from your TV. If they have nothing to do they might go out for a walk during the day.
5. Set passwords on your computer that only you know. If you don’t do this they will get up in the middle of the night and down load all sort of nasties on your computer.
6. Disconnect your washing machine. If you have to go out to do your laundry, it may seem costly at first, but in the long run if they have no clean clothes they may leave.
7. Remove ALL soaps, shampoos, toothpaste and deodorant from your bathroom area. If they have nothing to use they may find a way to get their own.
8. Unplug your telephone and take it with you when you go. They will at the very least have to walk to the nearest store to use the phone.
9. If you have small children (pets work well here too), let them get into your guests things and make the most noise possible. Noisy and destructive children can even try the patience of the worst moochers.
10. If all else fails get your largest son (a friend or neighbor works too) to come over and physically remove them. Forget packing, tell them they will have their stuff delivered to the nearest homeless shelter or cardboard box if necessary.
Do Not be Nice
You cannot be nice to the Professional Moocher, they will abuse your hospitality and generosity. It will continue until you have either lost your mind, pulled your hair out or have moved yourself. They have made it their life’s work to put out as little as possible to get as much in return as they can. You may have been the first they’ve tried it on, but you will not be the last.
Sweetsusieg (author) from Michigan on April 09, 2017:
Penny - I know you love your sister and her children and I am assuming your living arrangements are acceptable. You are going to have to make what I would call "The Executive" decision - kick him to the curb. Tell him, "you've had a few nights to get your stuff together, now it's time to go."
You don't mention the city where you live but check your yellow pages for a men's homeless shelter, offer to drop him off there if he needs a ride. Check if you have a 211# in your area (it's an information number - you just dial 211). This might be the best thing you can do for him. They will either force him to 'man up' or he can go hunting for his own cardboard box under a bridge.
There are some people you can help, others just get used to continual handouts and refuse to help themselves. Unless you want to spend the rest of your life wiping another adults nose, you'll need to act now before he becomes to entrenched in your home and never leaves.
Your sister may be angry for a few days, she'll either get over it or move out. Either way he will be out of your home.
Best of luck to you, let me know how it goes or what you did!
Penny Bannon on April 09, 2017:
My sister and I have lived together for almost 10 years after her deadbeat husband through her and her three kids to the curb. Recently while I was out town he started staying at our house on the couch. Stating to my sister that he just needs a little time to get on his feet. The day I came home he apparently found somewhere else to stay for the night but informed us he would be back tomorrow. What do I do? He's been a PM since I've known him. My sister falls for his never ending sob story. I want him out....help
Sweetsusieg (author) from Michigan on July 21, 2014:
Make it official - with a certified letter, keep all records. Give him 30 days from date of receipt of letter to come and collect his property or you will be forced to dispose of it. I'm sure the thought of charging for storage has been on your mind - that would be too hard to collect.
So type up the letter, cut and dried and to the point - send it certified and keep a copy of the letter as well as the receipt of who signed for it. Keep it for at least 7 years.
Unless of course there is another family member of his who will take it. Box it up and drop it with them (if they are willing to take it).
I wish you the best of luck - arguing with his new host is pointless. Time will certainly show her the error of her ways and his issues. She may or may not apologise, if she doesn't don't sweat it, she will be feeling enough pain with his destruction. If she continues to harass you, there are a couple of steps you can take, the first being changing your number. You can make the 'official' request for her to no longer contact you, as a bar owner she has to protect her liquor license and MUST comply.
The official request should be typed up with the specific request that she no longer attempt to contact you and any further attempt will be considered harassment. Send it via certified mail and keep all communication and receipts.
Again - Best of Luck to you.
perturbed on July 20, 2014:
We just expelled our relative class 6 moocher and all the drama, aggression, and trauma he put us through. Apparently he has convinced his new host that he was the victim and she began harassing us from another state. She just bought a bar. I give that business 6 months before he drinks it into the ground or gets caught by the fed, selling drugs out of it. We put up with so much and his shit is still in our garage. How do we make him come for it so we can be rid of this user for ever?
Sweetsusieg (author) from Michigan on October 06, 2013:
I will say the PM can spin a lovely tale. It doesn't take long to figure it out though. The first clue - come Monday morning when they sleep in rather than hitting the pavement.
Lefty Lady on October 06, 2013:
The BEST TIP in dealing with the professional moocher is to NOT allow them to move in with you to begin with. Granted, there may be some people who you don't realize are PM until they are already living in your home. But in some cases...you are fully aware that this person is a PM. They have a rep of always taking advantage of others, never paying back loans, always asking for handouts, and staying with one person or another (free of charge). Why then when this PM comes calling on YOU do you then let them in? Oh they "think" they are sooo smart. They remind me of this movie "The Lost Boys". In the movie these people who were really vampires couldn't get into your home unless the were invited by the owner. That's what these PM's know. So they will say things like, "I just want to stay with you until I get on my feet." Most PM's must not have feet, because they NEVER seem to get ON them. Another "lie" is the line " I want to come and VISIT with you". HA!! The VISIT never ends. My PM cousin TRIED to pull that one on me. I say tried because I KNEW that she was already a PM and a manipulative person. Why would I let her come to my home...even for a visit. I KNEW she had a hidden agenda...to MOVE IN with my husband and I. And I was right! When the "visit" sham didn't work, she called backed crying for me to come get her, that she couldn't take it anymore where she was currently living. Her current home was with her parents. This woman is 52 years old unemployed, and doesn't even show and interest in working. So you see..just avoid all the mess, JUST SAY NO!
Sweetsusieg (author) from Michigan on April 11, 2012:
I think the best help I can give is to say 'no' to those who would be moochers. Let them figure it out on their own.
Yes, this is for certain, family will use you until you are all used up. They see no reason for you to not help them all the time. They can come up with 1/2 dozen reasons you should give them money, stuff, cars.. etc.. and they will keep asking until you either put your foot down and say 'no' or you run out of money, stuff, cars etc... and they have to look elsewhere.
email@example.com from upstate, NY on April 11, 2012:
Great stories! I can relate to your stories to some degree, I've tied to help people over the years and often, all I've done is enable them to continue their immature and destructive lifestyles!
The toughest moocher's are most commonly your own family members and their the hardest to give the boot to! My strategy has been to extremely careful not to promise anything and be very picky who I allow in the house!
Sweetsusieg (author) from Michigan on March 19, 2012:
So glad you enjoyed it~
Farhat from Delhi on March 19, 2012:
mooch off and have a glow !...got the secret of the shine on your face dear! a very interesting & valuable hub thankyou Sweetsusieg !
Sweetsusieg (author) from Michigan on March 12, 2012:
Well, I guess I'm just nice and try to help people if I can. I don't like being taken advantage of, sometimes it happens and sometimes it doesn't. This happened over a period of years, not just in one or two. I have begun to say 'no' in the last few months, it is taking a bit for those who know me to get used to but it is working.
Jordan on March 11, 2012:
Why do you let people walk all over you? It's not hard to say " no, I can't afford to have anyone else live with us." There would not have even been guest 1 if it were me. I'd never let a damn bum live in my home. That's just stupid.
Sweetsusieg (author) from Michigan on January 26, 2012:
LOL - Welllll... I did write an article about 'House Rules for Adult Children'... Umm I am guilty of letting them mooch off of me as well. My biggest complaint is having to clean up after EVERYONE.
Kim Cantrell from Deep In The Pages of a Book on January 26, 2012:
This is funny, and useful. :) I'm more of a fan of the "get the heck outta my house" than the steps you offer - but that's why you've got "sweet" in your name and nobody would ever use it when referring to me. lol
Would you give the same advice to someone whose own child is the professional moocher? I don't have one, but I've got a friend who has 4 - and one of their spouses! It's enough to drive me crazy just knowing about! lol
Great hub, voted Useful, Funny, Interesting, and UP! :)
Sweetsusieg (author) from Michigan on December 16, 2011:
I have to agree with you!! The moocher seems to love using the "My car is broke' card... So you end up paying a fortune to have it fixed with the hopes that it will help them find a job. They end up giving rides to friends borrowing money for gas etc... It's all a downward spiral. It's really hard to tell the difference from the professional moocher who wants a hand out and the person who just needs a hand up. I'd hate to not be there for that person, but I'm going broke in the process..
optech on December 15, 2011:
The professional moocher who happens to live in my home at the present time, while my wife has used the police to throw me out, so her son and all his poor hard luck stories can stay there. This has gone on for years. It is the same hard luck stories each time he wants to come home: He intends on getting a job, but we need to get his car back on the road, get him new clothes for the job,etc.........! After he gets settled in, the jobs stop, and his old habits start. He lays all day and plays games all night, or go visiting with friends for days at a time. If he's not mooching off us, he is mooching somewhere else. I put my foot down and now my wife started using the law to get me out of the way so she can help him get on his feet. He has finally succeeded in getting me out of the way so he can mooch off his mom forever. Yes that's right we are facing divorce and you people are right - A moocher does not care about anyone or anything but themselves.
So if ever you get in a relationship with a family member of a mooch and start seeing signs of this parasitic activity evolving, my advice is to: Run like hell!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sweetsusieg (author) from Michigan on September 18, 2011:
Yep, people are finding difficult accommodations at my home these days. I've about had as much fun as I can take when it comes to guests. My kids want to come and stay from time to time, as much as I love them, when they start complaining about anything.... well I show them the door and tell them if they walk through it and find their own place to live they won't have to put up with my house. That and I PROMISE to come visit them!! LOL
frogyfish from Central United States of America on September 18, 2011:
I had to punch several buttons on this one. Great hub! Too bad that I am also 'your perfect house guest' and though my name isn't Sweetie, I hear ya callin'! Except I have also learned to be not-so-nice without being too nasty. And of course I have NOT had quite the experience you did --Thankfully!! Cheers!!
Sweetsusieg (author) from Michigan on September 16, 2011:
Oh man, I hate that!! Even in my own driveway... Someone take the spot I have claimed for myself, Grrrr. Is it at your home? Because if it's your property and they refuse to stop putting their car there, well legally you can have it moved.
If it's a public parking spot there isn't really a whole lot you can do. You can try to get there earlier than they do. Do this for several days in a row, they may get the idea.
What ever you do, yelling 'TAWANDA!!" and smashing into the rear end of their car may not be the wisest of choices!
Unhappy on September 15, 2011:
How do I get rid of a free loader in my parking spot?
Sweetsusieg (author) from Michigan on April 23, 2011:
LOL, Yep!! Cold water is good for the soul!! Just a little splash now and then.
globehouse on April 23, 2011:
It's good helping others when others try to help themselves...but bridge-burners want to stick your hand in the fire again & again.
The best way to deal with bridge-burners is to throw cold-water on them ; hopefully they'll Wake-up.
Then...throw cold-water on ourselves...
& read them the 'riot-act'.
rontlog from England on December 06, 2010:
Great hub! I can't believe you keep taking people in -5 so far :)
My husband is a bit of a soft touch and likes to help people.
As a result, a few years ago, I agreed to let a work colleague / friend of my husbands come to stay for what was supposed to be a month at the most - it turned into six months. She had previously been living with a boyfriend but they had split up and she had nowhere to go.
As it turned out, we discovered she was a very vulnerable young person (who had been in care) with a lot of serious issues and problems that neither of us had known about beforehand or had experience in.
It put an awful strain on our marriage.
With regards to her staying with her family, this was not an option. They wouldn't even let her stay overnight over Christmas.
I met her family a few times and could tell by the way her Dad treated her brother and sister that he was very controlling and abusive.
However, he was not the original cause of her problems, which were pretty awful.
In a situation like this, it is better to contact the local authorities and get them to help, which we did after 6 months. Because she was so vulnerable, they found a flat for her. With encouragement from my husband, she has now gone on to University and will graduate next year.
I do like to help people but that was too much to cope with. So never again.
If someone is that vulnerable, there is professional help and accomodation out there.
Sweetsusieg (author) from Michigan on November 16, 2010:
It is not fun at all. Nope, don't want to do it ever again! Would rather pull out my own fingernails.
Dave Mathews from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA on November 16, 2010:
Thank God I have never had to face this as yet.
Sweetsusieg (author) from Michigan on November 14, 2010:
drbj - I wish that I was able to do that. I should have been named Mat.. for the doormat I've become. When my children were little my husband taught them to call me 'the NO lady'... oh I long for those days again!!
sammyfiction - For me it's hard saying no and it must be written on my forehead, because everyone is always asking me for something. My daughter asks me for something and if I say no and apologize she gets mad at me for doing so... Yet, she gets mad at me for saying no.. Go figure.
Thank you both for stopping by and commenting!
Sammy from Australia on November 14, 2010:
Great hub :) I have never had a moocher, thank God. I would be the rude one though and say no. Haha, my partner would say otherwise.
Thanks for sharing! :) SF
drbj and sherry from south Florida on November 13, 2010:
Being too sweet to moochers, susie, may help them but it does absolutely nothing for you. Your rules are sensible but they punish you, too. "While you are making life absolutely miserable for them," you are also suffering.
Just say No firmly in the first place.
Sweetsusieg (author) from Michigan on November 12, 2010:
That's a good thing to do, point them in the right direction! Glad to hear that you got your act together, it was hard wasn't it? Kids today don't realize that if they have parents and a roof over their heads how good it really is.
My doors are temporarily closed. At least for a while, until I recover from my last visitor. He either doesn't realize or doesn't care how expensive having a house guest really is.
Thanks for stopping by and commenting!
John Young from Florence, South Carolina on November 12, 2010:
I've had the pleasure of several such people. They all stole things, etc. I don't invite anybody to be a guest anymore. I've had to live in a homeless shelter before. I got my act together and ended up as the manager there for 7 years. If I can do it, so can they. I point them in the general direction of the shelter and say, "it's thataway".
Sweetsusieg (author) from Michigan on November 12, 2010:
LOL, yeah I am too sweet. I know this about myself yet I can't seem to change. The idea that I wasn't doing this young man any favors by letting him use me was the final reason he cannot ever come back. He needs to learn to help himself and I cannot teach him this.
Thanks for stopping by and commenting!! Still hoping to make it to have that roadside dance before winter sets in too deeply in Minnesota!!
Linda Rogers from Minnesota on November 12, 2010:
Dear Dear Sweetsusieg-I do see why this is your profile name. You have really put up with a lot. Just remember that you or I are not doing these moochers any favors by letting them stay. I would Never go to the trouble to do all the things in your list to get rid of them. I would just kick them to the curb-but I am not as sweet as susie. Great hub my friend. Rated UP and USEFUL.
Sweetsusieg (author) from Michigan on November 12, 2010:
Yes it is. I have learned the hard way, as have you. It always made me feel good to be able to help those in need. I should have put the one in there who made (no let me change that, helped) me lose my apartment.... Yeah, that was so not cool...
I think people will use you if you let them, well in my case that seems to be the norm. LOL
Thanks for stopping by!!
Lori J Latimer from Central Oregon on November 12, 2010:
Excellent Hub Sweetsusieg! This sharing of wisdom is a service to many people. For some reason, as a mother and woman - I used to think it was a compliment to have someone "need my help". Like you said, the last guy I dated, needed to borrow $600.00 for just a few days. I didn't stop to think, why doesn't he ask his regular friends or family...duh $600.00 is expensive for a lesson.