Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

New Tenant Disrupting the Home

On August 1, 2020, a 29-year old female was rented a room by my landlord. I had cautioned him to not rent to a person who has Schizophrenia. She was desperate for a place to live, so, he helped her out.

Now the landlord and I are learning about her unusual behaviors. She becomes obstinate, passive-aggressive, belligerent, and defiant.

Her conversations do not make sense. She has great difficulty listening. She has some unique beliefs about God. She will bring up her love for God without a true understanding of Biblical scripture. She believes that evil can enter a person.

She will, intentionally, not clean up areas or move items to new locations. She buys tons of groceries!

She becomes accusatory. She lies.

The landlord would like to have her move out. Is there any way for her to be evicted? Mind you, she is not violent; shows no intention of physically harming herself or anybody else; she just becomes loud and angry if given directive, even if stated in a polite manner.

I, the other tenant, do not understand what she tries to say to me making it most difficult to have a “normal” conversation.

Any ideas about how she could be evicted? Her behaviors are stressing the landlord and I. We are not trained to work with someone who is Schizophrenic.

Thank you for your possible assistance!

Jessie

Most of this hinges on legalities: not your feelings, anyone else’s feelings, discomforts, her religious views, etc. I have a better than layman’s view of the law, because I know many lawyers, paralegals and legal secretaries, but the one thing I know from this is: if you have legal questions— consult with a lawyer. Caregivers can help to sympathize, console, and share experiences and how to approach people with SMI or negotiate with them, but ultimately legal help is what you need to evict someone.

If the landlord doesn’t have a signed lease, it can be much tougher. This is why I advise families, unmarried couples etc. to have their adult children with SMI sign leases even if staying in a home rent free. You need additional legal leverage to get them to leave if they are disruptive, destructive or don’t fulfill agreements.

If there is a signed lease, seek obvious violations there. There may be a public health issues you can exploit by behaviors such as lack of hygienic upkeep, but this an be a double-edged sword as it may get a whole building condemned or lead to frequent building inspections long after the tenant is gone. Barring these, involuntary commitment, criminal legal complaints and restraining orders may eventually indirectly lead to lease clauses to be violated, but these are significant escalations that could make things worse before they get better. The tenant may have support from family or other caregivers, another approach would be to negotiate with them. Again, ultimately eviction is a legal procedure— seek legal help.

Disclaimer: While I am a part-time caregiver of my brother and father with SMI, I was diagnosed with SZA over thirty years ago. I’m an advocate of appropriate drug treatments for SMI, but I feel they are incomplete treatments and additional CBT, supportive talk and psychosocial therapies are helpful where feasible. Any drug advice is from personal experience or research and not a substitute for qualified Psychiatric care.

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I’m reading between the lines that this is a private home with rooms being rented out and a shared refrigerator – thus, the hassle about her buying groceries.

Is this living situation an intentional community – e.g. religious-based?

@Maggotbrane laid out the legalities basis for an eviction. If that doesn’t work, then you might have to move out. What about buying a small refrigerator for your room if you decide to stick it out.

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Thank you for the information!

Not an intentional community or religious based. No room in my room for a small fridge in my room. Thanks for the suggestion.