A Life or Death Battery Change Dear Annie: My mother is 95 years old and in OK shape. She has been diagnosed with dementia, and her physician recommended a full-time caregiver because Mom is confused most of the time. She still lives in her home, refusing to leave, and my two …Read more. Don't Turn a Temporary Molehill Into a Permanent Mountain Dear Annie: I have two teenage children from a previous marriage. For the past 12 years, they have lived with their mother 90 miles away, and I have visitation every other weekend and alternate holidays, etc. I have always exercised visitation …Read more. There Will Be Blame Dear Annie: My 18-year-old cousin, "Rick," has been seeing a friend of mine for some time. Now I am in an awkward position. My friend "Joanie" told Rick she liked him, but he told her he didn't feel the same way about her. They were together for a …Read more. All About That Tap Dear Annie: I am a 14-year-old boy. I'm on the swim team, and I take tap dancing lessons. But when I told my mom that I'd like to continue with both, she told me tap was a waste of time and that I would never go anywhere with it. Only when one of my …Read more.more articles
The Temptation To Evict
Dear Annie: I have tenants who are behind in their rent. I've let it slide because I've been preoccupied with some personal problems. But my problems have been resolved, and now I'd like the back rent. Under the terms of the lease, I could evict right away, and I am tempted. But I worry that if this family is evicted, they will be living in the cold.
The biggest issue for me is that these tenants have been smoking, leaving cigarette butts all over the yard. They have been told that their child has a reduced lung capacity, and no one should be smoking anywhere near the boy. Presumably, they only smoke outside, but that includes the covered porch area by the front door, which means the child is exposed to second- and third-hand smoke all the time. (Indoor smoking would be a violation of the lease.)
I've already asked the tenants to clean up the cigarette butts and the clutter around the front of the apartment and garage. They've done a little, but not much. I am tempted to call Child Protective Services about the exposure to cigarette smoke.
I realize I can simply wait for the rent, I could evict them and probably never get what is owed, I could use the threat of calling CPS as a lever to get payment, or I could do all of the above. What do you think? — Never Should Have Been a Landlord
Dear Never: The child is a separate issue. If you believe he is at risk, you should make a report to the authorities and let them investigate. In most places, even though you have the right to evict, you need to have the police, local sheriff or other enforcement agency physically remove the family from the premises. This takes time. Notify the family in writing how much they owe in back rent, and that you will begin eviction proceedings if they do not start making payments.
Dear Annie: My sweetheart and I just rekindled a long-ago attraction. It's a long-distance relationship, so our visits are fun, but they are increasingly intense as we ponder our future.
"Bob" and I have been single and celibate for more than 12 years. He has not had a significant long-term relationship since his divorce 12 years ago. He remains friends with his ex, the mother of his children. They even play bridge together with another couple — I don't know whether that's a factor in our situation. Bob has erectile dysfunction issues. I try not to pressure him, but our make-out sessions arouse me — and then they don't go any further.
Bob feels we should let nature takes its course, meaning sex will happen when it happens, but at our age, I know things can be more complicated. I love him, and I know he loves me, but it makes me sad to envision a sexless future. Advice? — Postmenopausal and Still Frisky
Dear Frisky: If Bob has ED issues, nature might never take the course you want. Please ask him to discuss this with his doctor. There are various treatments for ED, and Bob may be willing to try one. There are also other ways to satisfy one's partner. But ultimately, you must decide how important an active sex life is to your future happiness, because the situation may not improve.
Dear Annie: I read the letter from "Indy," the lonely retired teacher who was scraping together part-time jobs and had no social life. You recommended some places where she could volunteer: hospitals, libraries, veterans associations, etc.
May I suggest volunteering at the local community theater? It is social, and you get to see the shows for free. We always need folks who have stagecraft experience, but we also need ushers, audition monitors, kid wranglers and all types of helping hands. — S.S. in Indianapolis
Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to email@example.com, or write to: Annie's Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. To find out more about Annie's Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
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