Dave Ramsey says: What’s fair to everyone concerned?

Sep 26, 2023, 1:00 PM | Updated: 1:24 pm

tape being used to close box...

(Pexels File Photo)

(Pexels File Photo)

Dear Dave,

About a year ago, my husband and I offered an empty house we own to a young man at our church, who had lost his home and everything he owned in a fire. He has taken good care of the place, but has made no effort to pay rent. We don’t need the money, because we’re in good shape financially, and we were thinking about selling the other house, anyway. I’d like to simply write it off, and gift the home and title to this young man, but my husband feels he owes us something for putting a roof over his head all this time. What are your thoughts?


Dear Penny,

I think you and your husband have good hearts. I also think you handled this situation poorly.

From the sound of things, you put him there originally on a charity basis, and now your husband wants to change the deal. You didn’t set up any kind of rental agreement, but your husband feels you two are owed something? I’m sorry, but no. That’s on you.

At this point, you have some big decisions to make. Were you providing free housing to someone who was struggling, or were you providing a free house to someone who was struggling? I understand this young man experienced a terrible tragedy. But at the same time, I’m not hearing lots of evidence that he’s putting his life back together. If after this long the guy’s not back on his feet and out on his own, you may be enabling bad behavior on his part.

Now, if you want to gift him the house, that’s your decision. If you want to approach him with a rental agreement or sale proposal to which all parties are amicable, that’s okay, too. If neither of these ideas are in the cards, I’d make sure to sit down with this young man and have a gentle—but firm—talk. I’d let him know I had been happy to help him over the last several months, but that he needs to start moving forward with his life. I’d set a very reasonable and patient timeline for a move-out date, and let him know once that time is up, I’ll be selling the house.

That’s fair to everyone concerned.

— Dave


Dave Ramsey

toddler rolling dough...

Jade Warsaw

Want to have a nice Christmas on a budget? Try this out!

You can still have a meaningful holiday season while sticking to your budget and knocking out that debt, and here's how!

1 day ago

Stock image of a woman with credit cards using a computer....

Dave Ramsey

Dave Ramsey says: Mother-in-law needs help for credit card addiction

A well-planned intervention is needed for a free-spending mother-in-law with a serious credit card problem, Dave Ramsey says.

6 days ago

scissors cutting credit card...

Dave Ramsey

Dave Ramsey says: Be gentle, he’s moving in the right direction

This week, Dave Ramsey discusses what best to do when one spouse is ready to get rid of the credit cards, but the other isn't.

8 days ago

woman with her head resting on what appears to be textbooks at a table...

Dave Ramsey

Dave Ramsey says: To pay off the student loan debt as soon as possible or hold off?

For some, the decision to pay off the remaining balance of student loan debt by dipping into savings could benefit them.

13 days ago

rings on a pillow...

Dave Ramsey

Dave Ramsey says: Go into debt for a wedding? Nope!

If you have to go into debt to make a wedding happen, you’re spending way too much, so Dave Ramsey offers some advice.

22 days ago

bag under tree with gifts...

Rachel Cruze

Dave Ramsey says: Here are tips on practicing contentment this holiday season

Here are five tips for keeping your expectations realistic and your spending in check throughout the holidays this year.

27 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Follow @KTAR923...

Valley residents should be mindful of plumbing ahead of holidays

With Halloween in the rear-view and more holidays coming up, Day & Night recommends that Valley residents prepare accordingly.

Follow @KTAR923...

The 2023 Diamondbacks are a good example to count on the underdog

The Arizona Diamondbacks made the World Series as a surprise. That they made the playoffs at all, got past the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Wild Card round, swept the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS and won two road games in Philadelphia to close out a full seven-game NLCS went against every expectation. Now, […]

Follow @KTAR923...

West Hunsaker at Morris Hall supports Make-A-Wish Foundation in Arizona

KTAR's Community Spotlight this month focuses on Morris Hall and its commitment to supporting the Make-A-Wish Foundation in Arizona.

Dave Ramsey says: What’s fair to everyone concerned?