Letter from “Doug Carlton” Re: The Trouble With Caretakers

One thing that I wanted to mention about your caretaker/renter post: In many states, if you charge any form of rent, then that person is a renter and has all the legal rights of such under the law. For any of your readers that are considering such an arrangement, I’d recommend they check with a lawyer that knows the rental law of their retreat’s area before going such a route. Laws differ greatly from state to state. One possible route is to provide a separate residence for the caretaker (like a small cabin, whatever) with defined boundaries, then an employment agreement to take care of the rest of the property. Even if no rent is being charged, the exchange of housing for labor may constitute rent, again depending on the state. Another thing is there has to be a plan on what to do with the caretaker post-TEOTWAWKI. Are they going to be gone, there, or what? What are they planning? That their entire clan should stay there? That maybe if you show up, you don’t need to be there? Even if they are a relative, this should be thought out well in advance. – “Doug Carlton”

[JWR’s note: Some of the readers of my novel will remember the Doug Carlton character. Yes, it is the pseudonym of a real-life individual that I have known since college. He is a former U.S. Army aviator, now working in the transportation industry on the East Coast. Well, at least it’s a “Red” State.]