Ever have that annoying relative or intrusive friend who somehow found their way into your home, and just won’t go away? Perhaps you were being nice in allowing them to stay for a bit until they got back on their feet, or maybe they invited themselves over and never left. Maybe your spouse invited them to stay temporarily, and that temporary arrangement ended up being permanent. Sometimes humans can be just as big a nuisance as insect pests, though unfortunately there is no exterminator to call to rid your home of pesky houseguests who have overstayed their welcome. You can, however, employ methods to make your unwanted visitor think that leaving of their own accord is a fine idea.
Make Their Life as Uncomfortable as Possible
Just because someone decided they’re now living with you doesn’t mean you have to cater to them. If they expect you to cook and clean up after them, stop doing those things. Make them buy their own food and cook their own meals. There are no laws stating you have to be nice to unwanted roommates, either – so cut out the nice act and make them feel uncomfortable. Make them ask for everything – never let them think they have free access to anything in your home. Let them know that you’re being put out by having them there. After all, they have no problem making you feel uncomfortable in your own home, so why should you act any different?
Stop Feeding Them
If your unwanted houseguest expects you to provide meals for them, stop. Simply stop cooking for them, or stop inviting them to join you and your family while you eat. Make them buy their own food and prepare it separately. After all, you are not obligated to feed someone just because they decided they now live in your home. Put your foot down and stop catering to them. They’ll start to get the hint – or at least they’ll get the hint that you are not their own personal chef.
Change the Locks on Your Door
If the person in question is not on your lease or mortgage and was never invited to live permanently with you, don’t be afraid to change the locks on your door. Of course, this only applies if you’ve given them a key. Rental laws in some states can be shady, so read up on those beforehand to make sure you’re not breaking any – if the person has been staying in your home for a certain amount of time or has received mail at your address, they could be considered a resident, whether they’ve paid rent or not. However, if you aren’t breaking any laws by doing so, by all means, change the locks on any outside doors and refuse to give the freeloader a key – if nothing else, they’ll be forced to knock before being allowed to enter into your home.
Stop Cleaning Up After Them
If you’ve been cleaning up after a freeloader – doing their dishes, their laundry, picking up their messes – stop. Just stop. This can be difficult, especially if they are a messy person and you are a neat freak, but the longer you continue to clean up after them, the longer you enable them. Force the moocher to be responsible for their own actions.
It can be hard to run off an unwanted roommate, but it’s not impossible. If you ever find yourself in the position where a friend or family member moves in temporarily and ends up overstaying their welcome, you can use these tricks to enact a little human “ pest control” to make them want to leave!