Author Topic: To share or not ... that is the question  (Read 35125 times)

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asb8

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Re: To share or not ... that is the question
« Reply #135 on: April 30, 2013, 12:57:21 PM »
This is a good point  .... Lodger pays significantly less than son and I and this also includes her queen size bed, 2 bedside tables, a large chest of drawers and a large desk with bookshelf and then the use of fridge, kitchen appliances, washing machine etc and no housework and garden maintenance either.  If you (generic) want to have more rights, share rooms equally, negotiate what temperature house is kept at, then you rent and sign a lease and buy your own furniture.

It was your choice to allow her to move in at her current price and it was your choice not to make your expectations clearer from the beginning. 
« Last Edit: April 30, 2013, 05:48:18 PM by asb8 »

Hmmmmm

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Re: To share or not ... that is the question
« Reply #136 on: April 30, 2013, 01:43:47 PM »
Cuddlepie, I'll go back to your needing to make your expectations clear. I don't think it is unreasonable of you to want the drainer empty when you start your dinner.
I do think it is unreasonable to expect the drainer to be empty at all times. It sounds like your normally make one meal per day, so putting the dishes away after that meal is normal. In most houses that make multiple meals per day, seeing dishes in the drainer between meals is pretty normal because many of them will be re-used to make the next meal.

Tell the lodger that you expect the drainer to be empty by Xpm each night when you start making your dinner. If she can't do that she needs to get her own drainer and take it to her bedroom to sit on a towel until she puts the dishes away so that it is not in your way.

Living in a shared home with varying schedules is much different from living in a shared home with occupants on different schedules. Yes, running a vacuum before work is normal if no home occupants are sleeping. But even when it's just family members, most don't do that until everyone is awake.

thedudeabides

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Re: To share or not ... that is the question
« Reply #137 on: April 30, 2013, 02:32:55 PM »
As others have said, you need to find a way not to need a lodger, because you're not someone suited to have them.

Edited to add: That's not necessarily a bad thing, it just is the fact of the matter.  You have very specific ideas about what a lodger should do/be, but you haven't demonstrated the ability or willingness to communicate those ideas to the lodger.  And you have very specific expectations about what a lodger should be, but you don't seem to have given any thought to what a lodger should be able to expect out of a landlord/landlady.  As a result, you're getting bent out of shape over little things that are not unreasonable of a lodger to expect/do/ask and are yourself engaging in activity that would probably have a landlord/landlady tearing their hair out over if you were their lodger -- vacuuming before 8 am?  Just because I get up at 6 in the morning doesn't mean it would be courteous to anyone else in my house to be excessively noisy at that time of day.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2013, 02:45:08 PM by thedudeabides »

camlan

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Re: To share or not ... that is the question
« Reply #138 on: April 30, 2013, 04:41:02 PM »
I don't think the OP is not fit to have a lodger. I see this as either 1) the OP learning what rules she needs to have for lodgers or 2) a bad landlord/lodger mix.

I rented a room in a home when I was in grad school. The landlady lived there and rented out 4 rooms to students. The rent was very reasonable. But in return, there were rules. Rules that were gone over when we rented, and that were printed out and posted in the kitchen.

We had no use of any room except the room we were renting, the shared renters' bathroom and the kitchen. We each had a shelf in the renters' refrigerator, and two shelves in the kitchen cabinets for our food and cooking gear. We could not cook after 9 pm--we could get food, we just couldn't cook. We had to clean up completely after each meal, washing the dishes, drying them and putting them away.

We couldn't have overnight guests, but we could bring friends back during the day. They had to leave by midnight. The amount of noise we could make was limited. If we wanted to watch TV, we could pay $10 extra a month for the cable hook-up and bring our own TV.

The landlady never told us when she was having company--and she had friends over quite often.

But in return, we had comfortably furnished rooms in a nice, quiet house in a safe neighborhood for a very low rent.

So I don't think the OP's rules are outrageous. I do think that it will be difficult to backtrack and get the lodger to follow them, now that she has had time in the house without the rules.

OP, I'd use this as a learning experience. Now you know what bothers you and what doesn't, you will be better able to interview your next lodger. You'll have a list of rules ready to go at the start. You'll know better what rent to charge.

Now, if you have similar complaints about the next lodger, then it might be time to carefully examine if you really want someone living in your house with you, or maybe to limit future lodgers to their room, with maybe kitchen privileges certain hours of the day.
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn


DottyG

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Re: To share or not ... that is the question
« Reply #139 on: April 30, 2013, 04:57:35 PM »
Quote
limit future lodgers to their room, with maybe kitchen privileges certain hours of the day

I realize that that's done in some instances.  And, if the boarder and landlady agree to it as one of the conditions of living there, it's acceptable.

However, there is no rent low enough for me to agree to that! :D  I'd feel like I was in prison or was being punished.  Likewise, all the other rules you had there, camlan.  I felt confined just reading them!  (Just a personal thought as I read that)


Moray

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Re: To share or not ... that is the question
« Reply #140 on: April 30, 2013, 05:16:25 PM »
This is a good point  .... Lodger pays significantly less than son and I and this also includes her queen size bed, 2 bedside tables, a large chest of drawers and a large desk with bookshelf and then the use of fridge, kitchen appliances, washing machine etc and no housework and garden maintenance either.  If you (generic) want to have more rights, share rooms equally, negotiate what temperature house is kept at, then you rent and sign a lease and buy your own furniture.

It was your choice to allow her to move in at her current price and it was your choice not to make your expectations clearer from the beginning.

Exactly. Frankly, your expectations re: comfortable living temperature, hours of shared space, and use of the kitchen aren't entirely reasonable. Most people reasonably expect to be comfortable in their home (and as long as you accept rent from her, it's her home, too!) without having to bundle up, or be judged for the amount of veggies they choose to eat, or given "consequences" like some wayward child for letting their dishes dry on the drying rack.

Please don't take this as some insult on your character, but you are clearly not suited to be this woman's landlord. I can understand the frustration that comes from negotiating a shared space, especially if no clear expectations were set forth beforehand. Do the kind thing and give her notice, and then think long and hard about what you actually want from a lodger, bearing in mind that many potential tenants might object to having their diet scrutinized, or otherwise being treated like a teenager.
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CakeEater

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Re: To share or not ... that is the question
« Reply #141 on: April 30, 2013, 05:58:31 PM »
Gosh, OP, you would never be able to put up with me in your house!  ;)

You seem to want a way to get your lodger to follow your rules without actually telling her what they are. You managed it with the blanket, but I don't think you'll be able to train her to empty the drying rack by a certain time each day without asking her to do that.

You mentioned that you thought you were PA by putting your dishes on top of hers, and were quite annoyed by doing so. Honestly, if my housemate put her dishes on top of mine, even if I noticed, all I would think was, 'Oh, Cuddlepie did some dishes.' It would never in a million years take that as a message to move my dishes, because I don't see piling more dishes on as a problem.

I'd be using teatowels to wipe the floor as well, having no idea that you consider that unhygenic, and I might have meat in the fridge on a high shelf (hopefully not dripping) not knowing that you prefer it to be somewhere else.

She's probably blithely living her life, having no idea that you're seething about some of these problems. Things that you think are completely obvious, aren't universal living rules, and she probably has no idea that they're causing you so much stress.

What I would resent, as a lodger, would be printed rules posted in the house. Workplaces, prisons, and public toilets have posted rules, not private homes.

DottyG

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Re: To share or not ... that is the question
« Reply #142 on: April 30, 2013, 06:00:24 PM »
Quote
You mentioned that you thought you were PA by putting your dishes on top of hers, and were quite annoyed by doing so. Honestly, if my housemate put her dishes on top of mine, even if I noticed, all I would think was, 'Oh, Cuddlepie did some dishes.' It would never in a million years take that as a message to move my dishes, because I don't see piling more dishes on as a problem.

'twas my thought as well!


TootsNYC

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Re: To share or not ... that is the question
« Reply #143 on: April 30, 2013, 06:15:13 PM »
I suppose you could tell her that you'll do all clean-up, including dishes, for an increase in rent.

Or, w/a  new lodger, you could say that all clean-up is yours, and that's why the rent is as high as it is.

Cuddlepie

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Re: To share or not ... that is the question
« Reply #144 on: April 30, 2013, 07:31:04 PM »
Last night was cool by 6pm, the temperature gauge read 17C, so I turned on the ducted heating at 18-19C.  After half and hour, I was warm enough and Lodger never said anything about being too hot or too cold.  At 7pm I knocked on Lodgers bedroom door to let her know I was leaving to go out and check if she was warm enough, after she said she was cold at 15-16C in the mornings last week.

Apparently the 'dingdangity heating' (her words) was too high, so she was sweating and needed to take a shower to cool off.  I asked if I could enter and see if her room for whatever reason was hotter than the rest of the house, but I couldn't detect any difference.  I confirmed with her that she was cold in the mornings last week, thinking that perhaps I had misheard, but she said yes she had been cold. 

I then adjusted the temperature down to 16C and said we'd work on a solution.  Hopfully if Lodger closes the floor vent for the heating she can control how much warm air enters her bedroom and also rather than the setting being around 20C it can be set lower and my son and I can wear an extra jumper and lodger will enjoy the right amount of warmess to suit her.

Today I'm going to buy another gauge, so Lodger can determine if the temperature does vary greatly in her room.


katycoo

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Re: To share or not ... that is the question
« Reply #145 on: April 30, 2013, 07:51:11 PM »
OP I feel like you and your lodger are having massive communication issues (both ways, not all your fault).  But you're getting upset at her habits but you're trying to avoid contfrontation by not talking to her about things.  I realise you're trying not to be overly nitpicky but the counter-action of that is that resentment is building.

I'd say"Hey listen, I'm still adjusting to having somone else in the house and there's a few things which have been irritating me."  List the things.  Then ask her if there's anything she wants to discuss with you.
Did she ask you about vaccuuming before 8am or is this a concession you've just made? Maybe she doesn't care?

NyaChan

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Re: To share or not ... that is the question
« Reply #146 on: April 30, 2013, 09:35:02 PM »
I just remembered that I was a lodger once in Spain! I had the use of my room, a shared bathroom, and we were allowed to sit in the living room and watch tv with the landlady.  She provided breakfast and dinner which she served to us at the table so we didn't have kitchen privileges at all beyond getting water from the faucet, though the other lodgers who weren't served food did.  We weren't allowed to have guests over at all, though the landlady occasionally had a neighbor stop by. 

All the rules were explained to me from the moment I stepped into her home, though if I remember correctly I was not given a written copy. Luckily I was staying with a friend so between us we had the rules down pat - my memory sucks when I'm nervous and trying to remember things.

Margo

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Re: To share or not ... that is the question
« Reply #147 on: May 01, 2013, 09:25:08 AM »
I don't think the OP is not fit to have a lodger. I see this as either 1) the OP learning what rules she needs to have for lodgers or 2) a bad landlord/lodger mix.

I think this is the key. I also wouldn't see you as someone who should not have a lodger at all. I just don;t think you should have *this* lodger (I think that you kindness in lowering the rent and not requiring a deposit at the beginning probably put you onto the back foot, as it moved the arrangments way from the formal landlord/lodger one from the beginning.

Reading all the posts, it seems as though you're very uncomfortable with coming out and directly addressing the issues with the lodger, and are then frustrated when she doesn't pick up on what are (to you) very clear hints.

Like PPs, if I saw your clean dishes stacked on top of mine, it would never occur to me that this was a PA way of telling me to put my dishes away.  On the other hand, if you said to me "Please can you make sure you put your dishes away straight after you wash up/ no later than [time] as they get in the way of the microwave door, and it's awkward having to dig through the heap to get utensils I need when I'm cooking" I would know exactly what you meant, have a clear rule to follow, and I'd do what you asked.  It would also give me the opening to put forward alternative options.

I think from what you've said, this is the first time you've had a lodger. I would treat it as a learning experience. Think about what things are really important to you and work out what the house rules are, bearing in mind that there will always be some compromises and some things you dislike about sharing with *anyone*.

For some of the specifics you've mentioned, the rules might be things like:

  • no overnight guests save by prior agreement
  • thermostat is normally kept at [temp] you are welcome to buy an extra heater for your room, on the basis that you pay any additional electricity costs
  • you will have [details of fridge and cupboard space] for your own food, crockery and utensils.
  • you will have use of the cooking pans, baking sheets [or whatever is appropriate]. These must be washed up, dried and put away after each meal

    I think things like which dish-cloths/cleaning materials to use would be part of the orientation when  someone moves in.
    Things like what time you habitually get up, go to work, and come home are stuff which would be discussed when someone first looks round, before they commit to moving in, so you can discuss expectations at that time - I agree that avoiding vacuuming when someone in the household is sleeping is common courtesy, but knowing in advance whether a new housemate is likely to be up at 5 or not until 8 helps you both to decide whether it is a good fit.

    Good luck.

Morticia

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Re: To share or not ... that is the question
« Reply #148 on: May 01, 2013, 09:28:15 AM »
I agree that you should not have *this* lodger. It seems to me that a lot of your irritation comes from the fact that you feel taken advantage of financially. And I would not say you are wrong. I do think you should find a new lodger, and do not negotiate on price, but, as others have said, spell out your expectations regarding heat, cleanliness, pets and guests  from the start.
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Cuddlepie

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Re: To share or not ... that is the question
« Reply #149 on: May 03, 2013, 11:55:21 PM »
OP here.

There’s been a couple of things happen that have not endeared Lodger.

Pottery Barn is coming to Australia .... heard this while Lodger and I were watching the news. I was about to say that it looked like PB could have some nice things at decent prices, when Lodger cut me off with a comment saying she was a tightwad and wouldn’t pay more than $2 for the item being shown on the news story.  That’s OK, her choice.  Then she goes on saying she tries to pay as little as possible for everything, again her choice.  This discussion diverges to the point where I suddenly realise that Lodger wasn’t as short on funds as she intimated at our first meeting.  Silly me for falling for that and not staying firm on what I wanted for room and not being firm on a bond being required.  I truly don’t think that Lodger realises what she accidently let slip there.

The following evening I dropped my indoor plant that I was taking back inside from the front porth.  Broken pot and potting mix everywhere at front door and close to Lodger bedroom door.  Lodger opens her door and crossly says she was trying to sleep.  It was 5pm, by the way.  I was surprised by her manner and mumbled that I was sorry.  Lodger called me a few choice names and slammed her door shut.  I yelled (as in talked loudly rather than angrily, even thought I was) and said that I was sorry that I woke her and in future I would not tolerate being spoken to in those words, especially as it was an accident.  Her reply was not polite, so I said she had 24hrs to apologise.  Snarky reply from her and I repeated that she had 24hrs.

Lodger always cooks her dinner earlier than I do.  But at 6pm as she was still in her room I presumed she was sleeping and cooked mine.  My meal was cooking and I popped away from kitchen to use the bathroom, came back to find that Lodger had taken over the kitchen and stove, never said a word to me.  The kitchen is not built for two cooks.

I went to my bedroom and counted to 10 before confronting Lodger.  I’m glad I did so, by taking extra time to think what I wanted to say to her had me realising that something had been ‘off’ with Lodger for a week or more and my gut told me something was bothering her.  I returned to the kitchen and sternly said that I wanted to talk with her after we both had eaten.

Long story short (ha ha) Lodger’s father was being a downright jerk and the kicker .... Lodger’s new boyfriend had stopped phoning nor returning her calls and she was blaming me.  Apparently, he did not want to do the extra driving required to meet up with her and had cooled.  Therefore, my fault because I did not agree to have him sleep-over during the week.  I sympathised with her problems and when she stopped crying I asked her how she felt about living in my house.  At this point, I’d had enough attitude, and was considering giving her notice to move out, but felt like I would be kicking her while she was down. That’s not a good feeling at all.

Lodger wants to stay and after some probing from me, admitted to being angry and trying to p.i.s.s. me off because of the boyfriend situation.  I told her that I was far from happy with her behaviour and that I would think over whether or not she could stay and give my decision on Sunday night.  Monday is the start of a new payment cycle; therefore, if I give her 2 weeks notice on Sunday night, it is simple to work out the finances.  And, I think it will be a good lesson letting Lodger sweat for a few days while she waits my decision.