They Came To Stay II

We previously covered the surprising side effect of legal reforms to protect tenants against landlords: homeowners in Florida discovering that a friend or relative invited as a guest gets to leave only when they want to leave without expensive litigation to evict them (Feb. 19). This had tragic results in Montgomery County, Maryland last week. 71-year-old Joyce Hadl charitably allowed a homeless woman, Susan L. Sachs, to stay with her rent-free in exchange for work around the house. According to a friend of Hadl’s, when Sachs started exhibiting signs of mental illness, “walking around the house and calling Hadl insulting names”, Hadl became alarmed and tried to get her to leave, but police called to the home concluded that they could not legally remove her. Hadl has since disappeared, and Sachs is now under police custody, having been charged with her first-degree murder. (David Snyder and Amit R. Paley, “New Arrests in Disappearance”, Washington Post, Aug. 26).

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