Author Topic: To share or not ... that is the question  (Read 36542 times)

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bopper

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Re: To share or not ... that is the question
« Reply #75 on: April 25, 2013, 11:24:46 AM »
We have an exchange student living with us and we found out quick that we have unwritten rules of our household and we had to be explicit with those rules. 

So you could say 'I never really noticed that we had unwritten rules about our household so I want to talk to you about some of them. I have written them so I could go over them with you.
Food:  Share condiments, otherwise each party gets there own food. Lodgers will have a cabinet and a shelf in the frig. dedicated to them.
Bathroom: No sharing of medication/toothpaste, shampoo, etc. Lodgers get a shelf in medicine cabinet.
Heat: The heat in the room shall be XX degrees.
Pets: no pets
Overnight guests: No overnight guests.
Cleaning:  All parties are to not leave dishes on the table and to not leave dishes in the sink.
...
Dishtowels:  The ones in the drawer are for dishes. The ones in the cabinet are rags and can be used for cleaning.
"

Re the blanket...get a cheap one (since there is coldness issues) for her and say that the hand knit one is special to you (an don't leave it on the sofa).

Re: the heat:  Tell her that you accepted less rent because she assured you that she would not use much electricity.  Heating prices have gone up and you yourself cannot afford it so you are conserving energy as well. If she wants to pay more to get unlimited electricity that is fine with you.

I agree that basically she is treating you like parents...they will pick up any slack.  You have to be a "mean mom" and ask her to clean up EVERYTIME.  I wonder if it woudl be good to also discuss expectations:  "Lodger, when I rented out a room to you, I meant for it to be mostly a room. Use of the kitchen is permitted, but it isn't a house sharing situation where you have equal status nor is it your parent's home where they clean up after you and you eat their food and use their toiletries.  You are an adult and I expect you to purchase your own items and keep to the contract you signed until the end of the contract time {here is where you are hinting that you are not renewing the contract}.

daen

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Re: To share or not ... that is the question
« Reply #76 on: April 25, 2013, 02:47:41 PM »
<snip>
On the other stuff - I can certainly see why you're annoyed by certain things, particularly the using up your stuff.  But I find it really odd that the thing that you complained about in your OP was her using your blanket when, really, she's done stuff that just seems much worse - e.g. not paying her rent on time.  It sort of suggests to me that, while she is not an angelic lodger or anything, you are also not well suited to having lodgers.

OP may not be well-suited to having lodgers, true. It's also possible that she has been dealing with enough irritations with this particular lodger that the use of the blanket pushed her over the edge and into posting. Further questions have brought other things to light.
 
(I have been known to begin by discussing a specific issue with a friend/advisor, and only realize later that what I thought was the issue is only the final straw, and the real issue is larger, deeper, and sometimes very different. YMMV, of course.)

Janice

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Re: To share or not ... that is the question
« Reply #77 on: April 25, 2013, 03:30:05 PM »
Not to stray into legal territory, but if you have a written contract with her, how much time is left on it? Does it lay out house rules specifically? If it's month to month, I'd give her 30 days notice (or whatever is required) and start actively looking for a new lodger if you need the $.

When communicating that she needs to move, I'd be clear and matter of fact. Ask her to sit down with you and have the contract in front of you. I might say something like:

"Lodger, when you moved in you agreed to X, Y and Z conditions. I've noticed recently that these are not being met, and that you have been taking A, B and C actions which are causing D E and F issues (heater costing additional money, overnight guests). Based on this, I feel that this arrangement is not working out, and I'm asking you to move out by X date."
 
And then be firm about any personal crisis or disaster that lodger comes up with to extend her stay. She needs to find another place to live, and that's it. Where she goes and the choices she made that landed her in a poor situation are not your responsibility. I wouldn't even negotiate for higher rent, if she says she's chronically broke.

reflection5

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Re: To share or not ... that is the question
« Reply #78 on: April 25, 2013, 04:02:23 PM »
Agree with Janice.

If you give her notice to leave, don't "negotiate" an extension for any reason.

These situations are usually not easy.  Of course, we don't know her personality/temperment, and I hope it goes okay. 

Cuddlepie

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Re: To share or not ... that is the question
« Reply #79 on: April 25, 2013, 09:24:37 PM »
OP here.

@ Sake.  Sounds like you really feel the cold and should you have been in lodger's shoes would not have taken the room or would agreed to pay the amount that would have covered any extra bills.

Lodger and I do not have a written agreement.  Lodgers can be asked to move without notice, but I would say it would be hard to have the law on your side, if you did not give reasonable notice unless the circumstances warranted such a drastic measure.  Tenants have rights but lodgers under the law have none.  Fair or not for lodgers, that is law where I live.
Lodger is in her early 20ís.  In the last couple of days, since starting this thread, I have come to the conclusion that the acronym FIGJAM describes her pretty well.  She is not evil, just young and full of herself  ::)  .    Lodger doesn't come across that she is deliberately misleading me ..... I just need to remember to take what she says with a grain of salt.  And following the advice given by many posters, that any communication from me is clear and unambiguous.

Rather than Lodger thinking that she has equal status (thanks Bopper for those words) but the upper hand.  I believe she thinks 1) that I am too soft-hearted to ask her to move and 2) that because I really need the extra income, she has the upper hand and Iím not in the position to ask her to move out, therefore she doesnít consider that some things that she does may be annoying enough for me to do so, as she doesnít think that I can or that I would. 
A little further info Ė not really relevant but may help you understand my situation.  At the moment Iím not working full time, but am earning enough to almost cover my living expenses. My mother has been diagnosed with dementia so I want fly interstate (2000kms) to visit her every few months.)

I appreciate all the advice and thoughts from everyone here on e-hell.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2013, 11:24:36 PM by Cuddlepie »

katycoo

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Re: To share or not ... that is the question
« Reply #80 on: April 27, 2013, 02:13:31 AM »
Edited due to above post from OP:  I would now put all that stuff discussed into writing.  NO make it a contract per se, just a record of what she's told you about as a reference point for your both.

Just quickly on this point:
Quote
She gets up at 8am or later and itís been around 15 degrees (or 60 Fahrenheit)  the day usually warms up quickly Ė itís not winter yet. 
In the UK, 15 degrees C is below the recommended legal temprature for offices (16 degrees) - for me that would be absolutely freezing.  Having the heating set at 10 degrees C overnight in the winter would have me preparing to move out - just way too cold.  So, while you may be used to it, I do think it's worth bearing in mind that others may well find that unbearably cold.

My office is 22 and sometimes its cold for me!  But the OP didn't say she SET the temp to 10, but that IF the ambient temperature dropped as low as 10, the heating would kick in.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2013, 02:15:32 AM by katycoo »

reflection5

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Re: To share or not ... that is the question
« Reply #81 on: April 27, 2013, 12:03:56 PM »
Quote
I believe she thinks 1) that I am too ‘nice’ to ask her to move and 2) that because I really need the extra income, she has the upper hand and I’m not in the position to ask her to move out, therefore she doesn’t consider that some things that she does may be annoying enough for me to do so, as she doesn’t think that I can or that I would. 

OP, seems you’re putting a lot of energy into analyzing what you feel she thinks, and who may or may not have the upper hand.  Not saying there’s necessarily anything terribly wrong with that, but you may want to ask yourself if it’s really worth it (vs trying to find someone you'd be happier and more comfortable with) and establishing rules and expectations at the beginning.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2013, 12:13:54 PM by reflection5 »

Tea Drinker

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Re: To share or not ... that is the question
« Reply #82 on: April 27, 2013, 12:56:32 PM »
Where i used to live, they're required to heat to 68 F (20 C) during the day if the outside temperature falls below 55 (call it 12C), and to 55 at night if it goes below 40 F (5 C). While that's reasonable for most people, some of us will need to wear sweaters, especially if we are out of bed after 10 pm (when the lower numbers apply). I have recently moved, and I now control the heat in my new apartment, and pay for it myself; next winter I am going to be warm. (I will also be able to control the heat in each room separately, so not pay to heat the library/spare bedroom as much when there's nobody in there, while still having the living room or bedroom nice and warm.

It's not unreasonable to have to wear a sweater sometimes, especially if that's the tradeoff for spending less for housing.
Any advice that requires the use of a time machine may safely be ignored.

NyaChan

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Re: To share or not ... that is the question
« Reply #83 on: April 27, 2013, 01:23:38 PM »
Quote
I believe she thinks 1) that I am too Ďniceí to ask her to move and 2) that because I really need the extra income, she has the upper hand and Iím not in the position to ask her to move out, therefore she doesnít consider that some things that she does may be annoying enough for me to do so, as she doesnít think that I can or that I would. 

OP, seems youíre putting a lot of energy into analyzing what you feel she thinks, and who may or may not have the upper hand.  Not saying thereís necessarily anything terribly wrong with that, but you may want to ask yourself if itís really worth it (vs trying to find someone you'd be happier and more comfortable with) and establishing rules and expectations at the beginning.

Doesn't really take all that much energy IMO, plus in this case, it would be helpful for the OP to do it so that she can anticipate future problems and decide whether it is worth it for her to put up with it.  I think if OP had considered this information sooner, she might have been able to circumvent some of the problems she's had.

TootsNYC

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Re: To share or not ... that is the question
« Reply #84 on: April 27, 2013, 02:23:47 PM »
Quote
I believe she thinks 1) that I am too Ďniceí to ask her to move and 2) that because I really need the extra income, she has the upper hand and Iím not in the position to ask her to move out, therefore she doesnít consider that some things that she does may be annoying enough for me to do so, as she doesnít think that I can or that I would. 

OP, seems youíre putting a lot of energy into analyzing what you feel she thinks, and who may or may not have the upper hand.

Doesn't really take all that much energy IMO, plus in this case, it would be helpful for the OP to do it so that she can anticipate future problems and decide whether it is worth it for her to put up with it.  I think if OP had considered this information sooner, she might have been able to circumvent some of the problems she's had.

The thing is, "what she thinks the roommate feels" is not *information*--it's speculation.

My therapist told me that most of what we think isn't actually right, and that it's even less accurate when you're guessing about other people.

But I agree w/ reflection5--it may be worth it to simply end this arrangement and find another one that doesn't make the OP even NEED to put energy into analyzing what she believes the other person thinks.

And, again, this is proof of why it's a bad idea to put yourself in the position of "helping out" someone with whom you have a business relationship.

NyaChan

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Re: To share or not ... that is the question
« Reply #85 on: April 27, 2013, 02:27:21 PM »
Quote
I believe she thinks 1) that I am too Ďniceí to ask her to move and 2) that because I really need the extra income, she has the upper hand and Iím not in the position to ask her to move out, therefore she doesnít consider that some things that she does may be annoying enough for me to do so, as she doesnít think that I can or that I would. 

OP, seems youíre putting a lot of energy into analyzing what you feel she thinks, and who may or may not have the upper hand.

Doesn't really take all that much energy IMO, plus in this case, it would be helpful for the OP to do it so that she can anticipate future problems and decide whether it is worth it for her to put up with it.  I think if OP had considered this information sooner, she might have been able to circumvent some of the problems she's had.

The thing is, "what she thinks the roommate feels" is not *information*--it's speculation.

My therapist told me that most of what we think isn't actually right, and that it's even less accurate when you're guessing about other people.

But I agree w/ reflection5--it may be worth it to simply end this arrangement and find another one that doesn't make the OP even NEED to put energy into analyzing what she believes the other person thinks.

And, again, this is proof of why it's a bad idea to put yourself in the position of "helping out" someone with whom you have a business relationship.

My take on it comes from looking at the interactions almost like a negotiation - it is important to keep in mind that the person you (general) are dealing with has their own interests and goals just as you do.  Thinking about what those interests and goals might be can help in interpreting their actions and words, as well as figuring out an arrangement that might suit both persons needs/wants. Or, in this case, determine that there is no mutually enjoyable arrangement to be had.

reflection5

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Re: To share or not ... that is the question
« Reply #86 on: April 27, 2013, 05:38:02 PM »
Quote
Doesn't really take all that much energy IMO,

Sometimes people put a lot of time and energy into speculating about what another person might be thinking and feeling, sometimes they donít.  Speculations are just that - speculative. They can be on target or way off-base.  Whether itís 15 seconds or a few hours a day, if one is not comfortable with a living arrangement such as is the case here, it might be better to channel that time and energy into finding a solution. - such as a different housemate or reassessment of finances so that having a roomer isn't necessary.


Cuddlepie

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Re: To share or not ... that is the question
« Reply #87 on: April 27, 2013, 07:50:16 PM »
The good thing (or possibly a bad thing) is posting for advice, receiving advice and then reflecting on that advice.  In reality, if I was not replying to posters, Lodger's overall behaviour would not have been thought about in such depth as it has been.  My original question was about me and my reaction, but that discussion and answers brought out other valid points to consider.

Re the heating:  It is recommended to keep heating set at 18C - 21C (approx 70F) during the day or the costs increase dramatically.  Most keep their heating at that, a few and only a few who really feel that cold have it set any higher than that.  It varies what happens overnight - is basically 50/50 - some turn heat off completely overnight, some do the same as me and only a few have it running at their preferred temp all day. Hey, this makes me normal, right?   ;D ;D

Did a favour for Lodger yesterday, she was grateful and thanked me but somethings she did (or rather didn't do) had me doing an eye-roll.  The outcome is, that her bridge is burnt, I will continue to be a decent landlady, but it will be strictly business, no more favours from me.  I am printing out some rules with consequences if they are not followed. She cooks for breakfast, lunch and dinner, does that right thing, washes her dirty pots and dishes but leaves them all on the drainer to dry.  This means that when I wash my dishes I either have to put hers away (which I do most of the time - if there is a huge amount I move them to the stovetop, then Lodger can't cook until she puts them away) or wash & dry my 1st item, wash and dry 2nd item etc.  Yes, in the beginning,  I did ask her to put the dishes away, she puts that lot away, then goes back to doing the same thing.  I scratched my head and took the path of least resistance but not any more .... there are written rules  >:(.



Edited to take out unnecessary capitals and include a missing word.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2013, 07:54:46 PM by Cuddlepie »

reflection5

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Re: To share or not ... that is the question
« Reply #88 on: April 27, 2013, 08:23:32 PM »
Quote
I am printing out some rules with consequences if they are not followed.

hmmm. 

OP, Please explain.  An example, maybe?  Thanks.


(No, the "hmmm" is not snark, so to anyone sitting on the sidelines ready to jump on me, please......let's not even go there.  "hmmm" simply means "okay, I'm rubbing my chin, thinking about this.)

Cuddlepie

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Re: To share or not ... that is the question
« Reply #89 on: April 27, 2013, 08:45:00 PM »
Quote
I am printing out some rules with consequences if they are not followed.

hmmm. 

OP, Please explain.  An example, maybe?  Thanks.


(No, the "hmmm" is not snark, so to anyone sitting on the sidelines ready to jump on me, please......let's not even go there.  "hmmm" simply means "okay, I'm rubbing my chin, thinking about this.)

Rule #1:  Dishes to be washed and PUT AWAY so kitchen is available for next user, this includes the drainer.  In future, any pots and dishes left in drainer results in user waiting until last to use kitchen.

Rule #2:  When thawing meat in fridge - use a plate to catch drips.  Do not leave meat to thaw in dish drainer - use a plate to catch drips and leave on bench.  If unplated raw meat is left if fridge, the convenient 1/2 share of top and 2nd top shelves will be changed to you having to use the bottom shelf so blood does not drip into my food.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2013, 08:52:06 PM by Cuddlepie »