This blog is my place to vent and share resources with other parents of children of trauma. I try to be open and honest about my feelings in order to help others know they are not alone. Therapeutic parenting of adopted teenagers with RAD and other severe mental illnesses and issues (plus "neurotypical" teens) , is not easy, and there are time when I say what I feel... at the moment. We're all human!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Boarder Agreement


This Agreement is between__Mary & Hubby TheMom_(LANDLORDS) and _Kitty TheMom__ (RESIDENT) for food served in the home, basic utilities (complete list to follow), and the rental of a room located at ___________ .
The monthly room and board is $__400__, payable on or before the __10th__ day of every month.
{Kitty's "Fair Share" is much more, but this is all Kitty's SSI check will cover and still leave her a little "walking around" money. Board = Living expenses (food, consumables, phone, cable...}

A security deposit of $__100__, paid on __________________ (date), shall secure compliance with the terms and conditions of this agreement and shall be refunded to RESIDENT within 21 days after the premises have been completely vacated less any amount necessary to pay LANDLORDS; a) cleaning costs, b) key replacement costs, c) cost for repair of damages to premises and/or common areas above ordinary wear and tear, and d) any other amount legally allowable under the terms of this agreement. A written accounting of said charges shall be presented to RESIDENT within _21_ days of move-out. If deposits do not cover such costs and damages, the RESIDENT shall immediately pay said additional costs for damages to LANDLORDS.
{We decided not to charge Kitty a security deposit.}

The premises shall be considered vacated only after all areas (including storage, unless previously agreed upon with the LANDLORDS) are clear of all RESIDENT'S belongings, and keys and other property furnished for RESIDENT'S use are returned to LANDLORDS. Should the RESIDENT hold over beyond the termination date or fail to vacate all possessions on or before the termination date, RESIDENT shall be liable for additional rent and damages which may include damages due to LANDLORDS' loss of prospective new renters.

A late fee of $_30_, (not to exceed _10_% of the monthly rent), shall be added and due for any payment of rent made after the __10th__ day of the month. Any dishonored check shall be treated as unpaid rent, and subject to an additional fee of $_25__.
{Kitty pays rent with an SSI check so this isn't applicable for her.}

RESIDENT shall maintain room and common areas in a safe, organized, clean and sanitary condition.

Other than in emergency situations (which include protection of all residents of the home's health and safety, suspected unlawful activity, and/or prevention of property damage) LANDLORDS will only enter room upon verbal consent of RESIDENT.

LANDLORDS may enter, inspect, and/or repair the premises at any time in case of emergency, suspected health and safety violations, or suspected abandonment. LANDLORDS shall give 24 hours advance notice and may enter for the purpose of showing the premises to caseworkers/ social workers, for smoke alarm inspections, and/or for normal inspections and repairs. LANDLORDS are permitted to make all alterations, repairs and maintenance that in LANDLORDS' judgment are necessary to perform.

RESIDENT acknowledges that LANDLORDS' insurance does not cover personal property damage caused by fire, theft, rain, war, acts of God, acts of others, and/or any other causes, nor shall the LANDLORDS be held liable for such losses.

Guest(s) staying overnight without the prior consent of LANDLORDS shall be considered a breach of this agreement.

7. PETS:
No animal, fowl, fish, reptile, and/or pet of any kind shall be kept on or about the premises, for any amount of time, without obtaining the prior written consent and meeting the requirements of the LANDLORDS. Such consent if granted, shall be revocable at LANDLORDS’ option upon giving RESIDENT a 10 day written notice or immediately -- a) if there is any abuse or neglect of the animal or b) the animal is, or becomes, aggressive, disruptive or destructive,  or c) any members of the household have, or develop, an issue with the animal (including allergies). In the event permission is granted to have a pet and/or animal of any kind, an additional deposit may be required.  RESIDENT shall be financially obligated to pay for food and maintenance (including veterinary services).  In addition, a Pet Agreement must also be signed.

No liquid filled furniture (ex. waterbed), or receptacle containing more than nine gallons of liquid (ex. aquarium), is permitted without prior written consent and meeting the requirements of the LANDLORDS. RESIDENT also agrees to carry insurance deemed appropriate by LANDLORDS to cover possible losses that may be caused by such items.

When and if RESIDENT is assigned a parking area/space on LANDLORDS’ property, the parking area/space shall be used exclusively for parking of passenger automobiles and/or other approved vehicles. (An additional rental fee for the parking space may be applied). Said space shall not be used for the washing, painting, or repair of vehicles without express permission of LANDLORDS. No other parking space shall be used by RESIDENT or RESIDENT'S guest(s) without express permission of LANDLORDS. RESIDENT is responsible for oil leaks and other vehicle discharges for which RESIDENT shall be charged for cleaning if deemed necessary by LANDLORDS.

10. HOA:
RESIDENT agrees to comply with all rules and regulations set forth by the neighborhood Home Owner’s Association.

11. NOISE: 
RESIDENT agrees not to cause or allow any noise or activity on the premises which might disturb the peace and quiet of another RESIDENT and/or neighbor. Said noise and/or activity shall be a breach of this agreement.

LANDLORDS will report any illegal activities – including physical and verbal abuse of other residents and landlords. Illegal activities may result in immediate termination of this agreement.

If the premises become totally or partially destroyed during the term of this Agreement so that RESIDENT'S use is seriously impaired, LANDLORDS or RESIDENT may terminate this Agreement immediately.

RESIDENT acknowledges personally examining the premises, including all furnishings, fixtures, furniture, plumbing, heating, electrical facilities, all items listed on the attached Property Condition checklist, and that said items are all clean and in satisfactory condition except as may be indicated on the Property Condition checklist. RESIDENT agrees to keep the premises and all items in good order and good condition, and to immediately pay for costs to repair and/or replace any portion of the above damaged by RESIDENT, his guests and/or invitees, except as provided by law.
At the termination of this Agreement, all of above items in this provision shall be returned to LANDLORDS in clean and good condition except for reasonable wear and tear (dirt, holes, tears, burns, and stains of any size or amount, do not constitute reasonable wear and tear).  The premises shall be free of all personal property and trash not belonging to LANDLORDS.

RESIDENT shall not paint, wallpaper, alter or redecorate, change or install locks, install antenna or other equipment, screws, fastening devices, large nails, or adhesive materials, place signs, displays, or other exhibits, on or in any portion of the premises without the written consent of the LANDLORDS except as may be provided by law.

RESIDENT shall deposit all garbage and waste in a clean and sanitary manner into the proper receptacles and shall cooperate in keeping the garbage area neat and clean. RESIDENT shall be responsible for disposing of items of such size and nature as are not normally acceptable by the garbage hauler.

RESIDENT shall be responsible for paying for pest control if RESIDENT’s lack of property maintenance can reasonably be assumed to be the cause of said pests.

RESIDENT shall be responsible for keeping the kitchen and bathroom drains free of things that may tend to cause clogging of the drains. RESIDENT shall pay for the cleaning and repair of any plumbing fixture that may need to be cleared of stoppage and for the expense of damage caused by stopping of waste pipes or overflow from bathtubs, wash basins, toilets, or sinks.

RESIDENT shall comply with all House Rules as stated on separate addendum, but which are deemed part of this rental agreement, and a violation of any of the house rules is considered a breach of this agreement.

Nothing contained in this Agreement shall be construed as waiving any of the LANDLORDS’ or RESIDENT'S rights under the law. If any part of this Agreement shall be in conflict with the law, that part shall be void to the extent that it is in conflict, but shall not invalidate this Agreement nor shall it affect the validity or enforceability of any other provision of this Agreement.

LANDLORDS’ acceptance of rent with knowledge of any default by RESIDENT or waiver by LANDLORDS of any breach of any term of this Agreement shall not constitute a waiver of subsequent breaches. Failure to require compliance or to exercise any right shall not be constituted as a waiver by LANDLORDS of said term, condition, and/or right, and shall not affect the validity or enforceability of any provision of this Agreement.

If any legal action or proceedings be brought by either party of this Agreement, the prevailing party shall be reimbursed for all reasonable attorney's/mediator’s fees and costs in addition to other damages awarded.

You are hereby notified that a nonpayment, late payment or breach of any of the terms of this rental agreement may be submitted/ reported to a credit and/or tenant reporting agency, and may create a negative credit record on your credit report.

With 30 days written notice to Tenant, LANDLORDS may raise the rent, alter the terms of the agreement, or terminate the tenancy; 30 days written notice will be given to terminate the tenancy if RESIDENT has resided on the premises for at least one (1) year from acceptance of this agreement. Conversely, the RESIDENT MUST give LANDLORDS 30 days written notice of intent to quit the premises.

If RESIDENT breaches this agreement, consequences can include financial restitution (fines, late fees, cost of repair/replacement to property…); training and emotional structure and support by LANDLORDS, therapist, and/or other mental health professionals in developing RESIDENT’s ability to meet adult responsibilities; legal consequences … up to and including eviction of RESIDENT from premises.  LANDLORDS and RESIDENT have the option to use professional mediation services or a mutually agreed upon mediator.

LANDLORDS agree to provide the following:
Electricity/ Gas
Phone (landline)
Trash Removal/ Water / Recycling
Food served in the home/ Consumables (not including eating out)
HOA fees/ property taxes

Not included:  Health Insurance, Case management services, Transportation, WiFi/ Network.

LANDLORDS and RESIDENT agree to honor the following House Rules and any additional written Rules attached.

By initialing as provided, RESIDENT acknowledges the receipt of the following documents (copies of which are attached hereto) and are incorporated herein by reference:
______ House Rules           ______ Inventory & Condition Report
______ Furniture Inventory & Condition Report   ______ Repair / Replacement Agreement
______ Maintenance Request Form         ______ Inventory of Personal Property
______ Other: _____________________
______ I understand that I am entering into a legally binding agreement with LANDLORDS. I also understand that I, as an individual, am responsible to the landlords, the utility companies, and other tenants of the home.
No oral agreements have been entered into, and all modifications or notices shall be in writing to be valid.
The undersigned have read the foregoing Agreement prior to execution and acknowledge receipt of a copy.

Dated this ____ day of ________________, of the year __________
Tenant Signature:

LANDLORDS’ Signatures:
___________________ Date

"Fair Share" Worksheet according to Social Security Administration
1. Rent or mortgage payment (including any amount for
insurance that is part of the mortgage payment and required
by the mortgager) $_____
{We now own our home outright so no mortgage. I went to and looked up our address. It gives a suggested rental amount. I took this number and went to and entered the square footage of Kitty's room, plus closet type, private bath, and windows to get a fair amount for her rent. That amount was $305 so that's what I put in the rental agreement I gave to the SSA for Kitty's SSI, and what I charge her (since that's all she can afford). According to Splitwise, her actual rent should be closer to $700)
2.  Property taxes (if not already included in the mortgage)
3. Electricity (monthly average) $_______
4. Gas (monthly average) $_______
5. Any other heating fuel (monthly average for coal, oil,
propane, wood, etc.) $______
6. Water (monthly average) $_______
7. Sewer cost (if any and if not included in water bill)
8. Garbage removal cost (if any) $________
9. Food (does not include eating out) $________
10.  Consumables (includes soap, paper products,
personal/hygiene articles, over the counter medications,
etc.) $________

 Monthly Total $____

Divide monthly total $_______ by # __5__ of people in
 = $ _650_ your “fair share” amount.

{I learned the hard way that this "fair share" number needs to be less than the max amount the recipient could receive in SSI benefits ($750 in 2018). Because of the size of our home and mortgage, Kitty's "fair share" totaled way more than $750. Therefore, particularly in the case of a child living with parents, SSI  assumes that someone else is subsidizing the child's living expenses and reduces the benefit amount they pay by up to 1/3. So Kitty only receives $500. 

Now that we own our home, we will take the lowest of the annual average for each Utility. For example, the electric bill in March instead of August (when our AC is working at its hardest to keep up with the Texas heat!).

(Paid by parents for family members in school full-time)
Medical Insurance $______ Vision $______ / Dental $______
Cable/Phone (landline) $_______
Cell phone service $________
WiFi/ Network $______
Eating out as a family $________
Clothing/ shoes as needed $_______

Rental Agreement Given to Social Security Administration
Room Rental Agreement
Kitty TheMom, henceforth known as “Tenant,” and Mary, Hubby, and Grandmother TheMom, henceforth known as “Landlord,” agree to the following as conditions for the Tenant renting a room in the Landlord’s house at 123 Mayhem, Chaos, TX 12345.
1. The Basics
Tenant agrees to rent a bedroom in Landlord’s house, beginning on 10/1/2017.
Tenant will be signing a month-to-month lease.
Tenant will owe $305 security deposit on this date, prior to moving in.
2. Rent
Tenant will subsequently pay $305 in rent every month, due on 5th day of the month.
Any rent paid past the 5th of the month will be assessed a late fee of $10.
 Consistent late payments of rent may result in the termination of this lease, and eviction of Tenant.
3. Utilities
Tenant will be responsible for a percent of the household utilities, including {list of the utilities}. The breakdown is as follows:
Tenant’s Percentage
Property Tax
4. Rules
Tenant is expected to abide by house rules, which include the following:
  1. HOME MAINTENANCE: Tenant shall maintain room and common areas in a safe, organized, clean and sanitary condition.
  2. GUESTS:  Guest(s) staying overnight without the prior consent of Landlord shall be considered a breach of this agreement.
  3. PETS: No pets of any kind shall be kept on or about the premises, for any amount of time, without obtaining the prior written consent and meeting the requirements of the Landlord.
  4. CIVILITY: Tenant is expected to be behave respectfully toward other residents and their property.
Tenant will be responsible for cleaning
  1. Shared bathroom
  2. Dishes, kitchen appliances and countertops
5. Disputes
Tenant and Landlord agree to attempt to settle any disputes between them on their own.
If Tenant and Landlord are unable to reach an agreement with regard to any dispute, Tenant will agree to leave within 30 days.
Tenant and Landlord agree that this lease is subject to the laws and regulations of the state of Texas.
__Kitty TheMom____________                ____________________________
Tenant Name                                               Tenant Signature
Date: 9/26/2017
___Mary TheMom____________               ____________________________
Landlord Name                                             Landlord Signature
Date: 9/26/2017 

Other Posts about the Boarder Agreement
Why We Had Kitty Sign the Boarder Agreement
Response to Comments
Last Response to Comments


r. said...

Seriously? $650/month?!

marythemom said...

r - I know! Crazy, right?! Where we live though, a small one bedroom apartment is about $750 and that wouldn't include utilities, food, or any of the luxuries Kitty believes are essential - like WiFi and cable TV.

The other part is that Kitty would receive ~$750/month from SSI, plus money from working. If she paid less in rent, then she would quickly accrue too much in savings and assets, and therefore would lose her SSI and Medicaid.

Until her SSI starts, our plan was to stick with her paying only $100/month in rent so she could get used to the idea of paying bills. This is probably too little considering her current income, but she needs some money to pay co-pays on her medications (which is almost $200/mo while she's covered under our private insurance, since she doesn't have Medicaid).

Anonymous said...

Except she's not renting an apartment. She's renting a ROOM. This is muddled mayhem, you've at least got that right!

marythemom said...

Except she's not renting a room, she's renting use of the entire house (except private bedrooms). She uses (and trashes) the kitchen, family room, laundry room, our vehicles, the game room, the backyard, all 4 bathrooms and various other rooms in the house. We eat out 2-3 times a week. I make home cooked, healthy meals the rest of the time. There is always a fully stocked refrigerator and pantry that she has full access to. We pay for her private health insurance and her over the counter medications out of pocket. We pay for most of her clothes, her choice of personal hygiene products, laundry detergent and cleaning supplies (which she doesn't use). We provide cable and pay for her cell phone service (although she is expected to pay for the very expensive iPhone SHE chose to purchase)... She has three minor chores (feeding the dogs at night, cleaning the cat litter, and taking the recycling from the kitchen to the garage)-- most of which she only does on an irregular basis... with multiple prompts.

She doesn't pay $650 right now, and won't until/if she gets SSI. She pays $100 right now, and that is so she learns about paying rent and her bills. I think we're being incredibly reasonable, but she always has a choice. She can choose to live somewhere else.

Anonymous said...

But the Boarder Agreement is $650 for the room, use of common areas, utilities, food in pantry (that's not marked and only in designated areas), meals in home. Kitty could totally rent a similar space in a home, prepare her own Spaghettio's, come out way ahead financially and not be subjected to a novella of conservative rules.
I totally hope you expose her to the choices of AC/JC, or group home living, so she can make her own path in life.

Your prescriptive legalese and litany of rules is so over the top, I don't even think you can see how ridiculous it truly is. Poor Kitty doesn't stand a chance in understanding it.

You've bought into this FAIR club and all too deeply.

How well has FAIR club worked for Kitty and Bear? What are the results of years of the FAIR CLUB ACT?

Anonymous said...

The agreement says the $650 covers:
OWNERS agree to provide the following:
• Electricity/ Gas
• Phone (landline)
• Trash Removal/ Water / Recycling
• Food served in the home/ Consumables (not including eating out)
• Internet Service/Cable/TV
• HOA fees/ property taxes

Not included: Health Insurance, Case management services, Transportation, WiFi/ Network.

I don't know what city you're in, but I just surveyed a few rentals in Texas (Houston, Dallas/Ft Worth, and Austin), and it looks like there's a ton of rooms for rent: private room, shared common space, includes utilities, for around $400/mo. Plus, no Fair Club, forced therapy, and basic tenant's rights! Run, Kitty!

marythemom said...

The FAIR Club does not work well for kids like Kitty and Bear. It was designed to help our unique combination of neurotypical kids and kids of trauma. Sort of level the playing field so the NT kids didn't feel like their siblings were "getting away" with something, and Kitty and Bear got consequences appropriate to their needs.

Eventually, we adapted it so that Kitty and Bear lived the FAIR Club all the time. They need the structure and support all the time, and Kitty did not need to feel she was being "punished" by being put in the FAIR Club. I don't care if you believe me or not about Kitty and Bear needing more structure than NT kids. We/they learned the hard way that they do.

I've answered your questions about less expensive living options in other comments/ posts, but short version - yes, there are less expensive options, but they are not in areas Kitty feels are safe and would require public transportation, which scares Kitty. Also Kitty would need a lot of support to be able to live "independently." She cannot understand legal documents, she does not understand money (and runs through it like water), cannot pay her bills unless they coincidentally happen on a day when she just got paid (assuming she remembers to pay them), she has issues with cleanliness and hygiene, and is not able to consistently care for her medical issues - particularly medication.

There is a reason Kitty is eligible for Legal Guardianship, and a lot of it greatly effects her ability to live independently. If you really want Kitty to run, I hope you plan for her to run to you, and you can support her.

Anonymous said...

I just want to clarify that there are more than one anonymous commenters. I am the one who urged Kitty to run because you are fleecing her for her social security money. Not that she is allowed to read the horrendous and intrusive things you write about her. Why would you let her do that? Anyway,this is my first comment on this particular post.
$650 a month is a lot of money and you know it.
It is amazing to me that you have touted your unFAIR club for years while still admitting it does not work for Kitty or Bear. AND YOU ARE STILL DOING IT!
Mind blown.
And let me get this straight...according to your own words Kitty doesn't like you so it must be because she has brain damage? Really? It's not because you treat her like a prisoner and have for years. It's not because you impose horrendously unfair rules and play favorites. She doesn't like you so she's brain damaged?!!
Well, Kitty is smart enough to see you treat your bio children better than her. Kitty is smart enough to see through unFAIR Club.
Brain damage.
And you wonder why Kitty is running back to her biofamily?
You failed this child.

Anonymous said...

Yet another Anonymous... says... More power to her if she can live successfully somewhere else and cheaper! That would sure simplify your life considerably! The unlistable assistance you provide is invaluable.

As the mom of kids who are also too impacted to respond to the many years of methods we have exhausted... I sure wish people would be supportive unless they have walked a mile...

no venom, just wishing.

Anonymous said...

I understand and agree with your philosophy and costs. As a parent of a similar young person, I see the necessity. Obviously all the anonymous people haven't kids with these limitations.