OP again. Even though my original question has been answered and issue now sorted with Lodger, it would be great if I could l draw out further opinions and perspectives.
There was no need for this further BG in my first post but it is relevant to the additional queries that posters asked, in particular the heater issue.
1. First meeting before moving in:
Lodger loved room and the convenient location but said she could not afford what I was asking. I advertised slighter higher anticipating that a reduced amount would be asked for, but accepted less than I budget for from lodger.
After Lodger assured me that she does not use a lot of electricity and promised that she would be careful about leaving lights on, would not use the oven, did not take long hot showers and did not feel the cold so that heating bills would not increase by much at all, I agreed to an even lesser amount that I really wanted. I liked her and also I felt sorry for her when she told me about her current horrendous living arrangements.
We discussed the how, whats, wheres and whys of us sharing and seemed like we were on the same page regarding cooking, cleaning, noise levels, internet usage, buying our own food, watching TV, having friends over etc. I mentioned the complexes parking rules and no pet rule.
2. Moving in day: Lodger settled in on Saturday morning and advised me she could not pay rent for 2 more days. She was broke but her government allowance would be paid on the Monday. Lodger was also too broke to pay a security bond, so I haven’t charged one.
Pointed out her spots in kitchen and laundry, and while we were in laundry the cleaning products, cleaning cloths, bucket and mops etc.
3. First Weeks:
•Gave lodger 2 headache pills as she was broke and did not have money to buy some. They are on my shelf in pantry. Lodger took further pills (about 8 ) without asking, I came home one night with a terrible headache to find there were none left. I checked that son hadn’t needed them, then confronted lodger who apologised but never replaced them. (Since then, she accidently let it slip that she has bought some and keeps them in her handbag).
•Lodger finished the last of peanut butter and tomato sauce. The first time she asked if she could have a little, then kept using without telling me. Son and I don’t use them every day and therefore did not notice immediately.
I told Lodger that I was now no longer willing to let her share/borrow from our cupboard as it annoyed the heck out of me to want to have something, then find she had used all and on top of that, no even bothering to tell me.
•Mentioned she was going to buy a kitten for her aunt and uncle as a house-warming present. The only problem was that aunt & uncle hadn’t even purchased their house yet and lodger intended to keep kitten with her until they did. Lodger was a little miffed that I vetoed having kitten for a few months (even though I love kittens and would have enjoyed having it around) she didn’t consider it a pet because she wasn’t keeping it ... it was a gift.
4. At 1 month: Lodger met male on internet and wanted him to sleep over 3-4 nights each week because it was more convenient for him. I agreed to one lodger not two and even more important, Lodger had told me all about the types of men she went out with previously and the trouble they caused her! So until, they have gone out for longer time and I know that he is a decent man, he will not be sleeping over.
5. The heater issue – this week: Firstly lodger did not ask permission, she was telling me she was going to buy a heater. Sorry, I didn’t make that clear in my previous post.
•Electricity prices have skyrocketed where I live. Last winter I phoned my utility company regarding running costs as I was investigating whether or not it was cheaper for me to use such a heater in the room I was using or use the gas ducted heating for the whole house. Those little things draw a lot of power – not as cheap to run as one would think!
•Lodger has done a 180 on feeling cold and it has baffled me. I remember her telling me she apparently can go outside in a light dress and thongs (Aussie footwear) and be comfortable while everyone else is rugged up in winter woollies, so as you can image I was rather surprised that lodger told me she was cold in the mornings. She gets up at 8am or later and it’s been around 15 degrees (or 60 Fahrenheit) the day usually warms up quickly – it’s not winter yet.
•If she is cool, it is because she is not wearing a jumper – she comes into the kitchen wearing a strappy dress and her thongs. Since she wanted to live with me, but asked for reduced board, she can’t have it both ways. It is either she pays more and I turn up the ducted heating and I remove my coat or she lives with the temp I choose and she wears a coat.
•In the wintertime. Heating comes on if the temp dips below 10C overnight, then when I get up in the morning I crank it up to 21-22C (70 Fahrenheit) so the inside air is only cold for 5-10 minutes. So, if lodger did not feel the cold, like she let me believe, I was prepared to turn down the heating and wearing a 2nd jumper rather than having Lodger feel hot all day, every day.
If I have given the impression that I pick on Lodger in person, I really don’t. When she leaves her plates in the kitchen – I clean them and put away, I wipe the stove and microwave and fridge spills. One of the major differences between lodgers & roommates is that lodgers don’t share the housework although they should clean up their mess in the kitchen when they cook for themselves. If my lodger was paying the amount that I wanted, enough to cover the extra bills without any doubts, then her using or taking things like headache pills, and some food would not bother me one bit.
Putting this down in writing has been rather cathartic..... and I have realised that Lodger has the tendency to say things that I shouldn’t rely on it being so.
Lots of virtual hugs if you have read all this. My my, it’s sooo long.
I would love your thoughts and feedback.