Author Topic: To share or not ... that is the question  (Read 36069 times)

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Van down by the river

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Re: To share or not ... that is the question
« Reply #165 on: May 04, 2013, 02:36:22 PM »
I agree with most of what has been said. This is the first lodger you've taken in ever, if I'm understanding correctly. Mistakes were made on both sides. I'd give her notice immediately, chalk it up to a learning experience and move on from there. When I read the post about the kitten and from all the updates, I can pretty much guarantee that there would be "some reason" why ain't and uncle couldn't take the kitten so she would have to keep it for herself. She sounds quite immature and manipulative. I've had many roommates. I have one now. I recognize the type of person and I've learned to read the signs where roommates are concerned. I'm thinking it might be good for you to look for someone older, or at least more mature that doesn't start out in the beginning lamenting about how broke they are. That never sets a good precedent for a business relationship. Look for some one polite, tidy in appearance and that has the funds for a deposit and first rent. At this point, when lodger moves any damage done to the room or anything that was taken will have to be repaired/replaced this will come out of your pocket and you may find yourself set back more than the lodgers money brought in. You must protect yourself and your son. If you do decide to try another lodger, keep it professional. Anything you don't want a tenant using goes in your room. If you expect the kitchen clean and clutter free say so. And address it as soon as an infraction occurs. Leave a note if you wish.
Best of luck to you in this situation.

SoCalVal

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Re: To share or not ... that is the question
« Reply #166 on: May 04, 2013, 03:41:18 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 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.
I'm in agreement here, but I see that I'm part of the minority.  I don't see anything wrong with some of your preferences, but you *do* need to communicate them and communicate them clearly.

I wouldn't be okay with a lodger constantly leaving the dishes to dry, but my preference is to dry the dishes immediately after washing them (as much as possible) and putting them away so the whole task is done.  I'd hate to have to regularly deal with someone else's dishes drying.


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.

This lodger has clearly not been a good fit from the start, and she's extremely immature with the name-calling then admitting that she's been acting like a child in order to upset you.  I don't know why you need to think about it; I'd just tell her she needs to go as it is clearly not a good fit (you might want to make sure you or son are home, though, until she leaves because I wouldn't put it past her to do something petty in retaliation).
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Cuddlepie

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Re: To share or not ... that is the question
« Reply #167 on: May 04, 2013, 07:40:15 PM »
Hi Everyone,

Thank you for the posts.  Some of you brought up points to be considered that I had not thought about.

At the moment, I am listening for sounds that Lodger is up and about.  (Guess she slept sounder than I did.  :(   )  I am sick to my stomach as my decision is to ask Lodger to move out and I'm dreading her immediate reaction.

Again, thanks for all your different perspectives.

SoCalVal

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Re: To share or not ... that is the question
« Reply #168 on: May 04, 2013, 07:48:19 PM »
Hi Everyone,

Thank you for the posts.  Some of you brought up points to be considered that I had not thought about.

At the moment, I am listening for sounds that Lodger is up and about.  (Guess she slept sounder than I did.  :(   )  I am sick to my stomach as my decision is to ask Lodger to move out and I'm dreading her immediate reaction.

Again, thanks for all your different perspectives.

If you decide to let her stay after all, I'd raise the rent back to what you originally asked for, require the bond from her (to be paid immediately or she needs to leave because if you give her time, she'll put it off for one reason or other since she tries to get away with paying less) and a list (verbally, if better) of what you want her to do as your lodger, effective immediately and non-negotiable.



Calypso

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Re: To share or not ... that is the question
« Reply #169 on: May 04, 2013, 07:51:02 PM »
Good luck.  Keep breathing. Don't let yourself get drawn into a discussion---you've made a decision, you're informing her of it, and that's it. Nothing she can throw at you is your problem. You have all the rights here, including the right to not let her mess you up.

artk2002

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Re: To share or not ... that is the question
« Reply #170 on: May 04, 2013, 08:48:46 PM »
Remember this: No matter what she says or does, you are the landlord. You have the absolute right to end her tenancy. You are not responsible for her relationships, her happiness or her financial condition.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain

TootsNYC

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Re: To share or not ... that is the question
« Reply #171 on: May 04, 2013, 09:15:38 PM »
I still think Lodger waiting for my answer will let her think twice before pulling the same stunt on me or anyone/landlord for that matter.

It won't. It'll just give her time to justify her actions to herself.

If you want to make her think twice  before pulling the same stunt on you or on anybody, then just kick her out immediately.

"I will not be yelled at, spoken to rudely, or sworn at and called names in my own home. You have two weeks."

THAT might make her think.

But, it's not your role to try to "make her think."

I see you're going to tell her you want her to leave.
Good move.

True, a lodger should feel comfortable in their home. But not THAT comfortable. Frankly, even her *MOTHER* shouldn't put up with it.


Be strong. The low-drama way to tell her to move (well, low-ER) is to say, "This is not a good fit. It's not working out."

The high-drama way is to say, "You yelled at me, swore at me, and called me names. You treated me rudely. This is my home. I won't have that. No landlord would have that. You have to leave. You have X notice."

Hmmmmm

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Re: To share or not ... that is the question
« Reply #172 on: May 05, 2013, 10:03:16 AM »
Hi Everyone,

Thank you for the posts.  Some of you brought up points to be considered that I had not thought about.

At the moment, I am listening for sounds that Lodger is up and about.  (Guess she slept sounder than I did.  :(   )  I am sick to my stomach as my decision is to ask Lodger to move out and I'm dreading her immediate reaction.

Again, thanks for all your different perspectives.

OP, I hope it went ok. The fact you are physically impacted about the discussion is evidence you are too emotionally involved. This is a business relationship. You are not kicking out a friend or relative.

Calypso

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Re: To share or not ... that is the question
« Reply #173 on: May 06, 2013, 12:37:40 PM »
Cuddlepie...how did it go?

Cuddlepie

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Re: To share or not ... that is the question
« Reply #174 on: May 08, 2013, 07:52:21 PM »
Cuddlepie...how did it go?

When I told Lodger that she had 2 weeks to move out, she was surprised and not happy at all.  I guess she didn't think I would actually do so.  There was no foul language or name calling which was a relief.

During those couple of days while I was deciding whether or not to give Lodger a second chance, her behaviour was very good.  No dishes left in the drainer and she was very quiet and definitely more polite.  Since getting her notice .... not so good, in fact I suspect that she is doing funny little things, such as moving my stuff around in the pantry, moving the microwave out of position etc.   ::)

I took a few precautions just in case Lodger damages anything, but I don't think she will.

Fingers crossed she leaves quietly next week-end.

Miss Unleaded

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Re: To share or not ... that is the question
« Reply #175 on: May 08, 2013, 08:29:56 PM »
Good luck.  For what it's worth, I think you made the right decision.  Hopefully this will serve as a good practice run and your next lodger (if you choose to get one) will be more pleasant to live with.

bopper

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Re: To share or not ... that is the question
« Reply #176 on: May 10, 2013, 11:10:16 AM »
At this point, I'd be wondering if the lodger actually is having problems with her father and boyfriend or whether this is another sob story to pull at the OP's heartstrings.  She's already shown she's willing to lie with all that guff about the finances.

Even if it's true, why is the OP to blame for the boyfriend's actions?  That's some messed up thinking right there.

OP, I don't know whether you're suitable for having a lodger or not, but it doesn't sound like you're a suitable landlord for this lodger.  She lies, she manipulates, she breaks the house rules and she's running rings around you.  Give her notice and be done.

I bet she is having problems with the BF...she is a "taker/user"...since she has to actually put forth effort to see BF and can't have him come over to stay with her he might be saying, "Wait a minute, I will go see her but she won't take effort to see me?"

I agree...the OP wanted a lodger, not a moocher.  Time to let the moocher mooch off someone else. 
If you get a new lodger, then you just be firm on all finances and have a list of "rules" that you say "I am sure some of these seem obvious, but they were not to the previous lodger so I want to make sure that everything is out front and understood between us."

CakeBeret

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Re: To share or not ... that is the question
« Reply #177 on: May 10, 2013, 12:54:33 PM »
I'm glad you gave her notice.

I would chalk this up to a learning experience and take a look at what could be useful for your next lodger. For example:

Have a no-haggle rent price. Here is the rent, take it or leave it.
The deposit is $X and due on or before move-in day. No exceptions.
Rent is due on X date. No exceptions. If rent is late more than two times in a 12-month period, or is more than 10 days past due at any time, you will be evicted.
Either party can terminate the agreement with 2 weeks' notice.
House Rules that must be agreed upon as a condition of renting:
-The temperature will be set to X. You can bring a space heater, but if you do, there will be an extra $X electricity fee
-Quiet hours are 10PM-7AM (or whatever)
-Guests are acceptable but will not be allowed to stay overnight
-No pets, for any amount of time, under any circumstances
-Cleanliness is a top priority. You will be expected to adhere to the house cleanliness standards.
       -(list of house cleanliness standards)
-We will each buy and maintain our own consumable goods (TP, food, medicine) and they are not to be shared.
etc.

And you can present this as a *positive* thing. Here are the things you can expect from me and that I will expect from you. By mutually agreeing on these standards, it ensures that we will be happy and comfortable with the arrangements. These standards may turn some lodgers away--but that is a good thing! That means that you will get a lodger who can and will abide by your house rules. You can even give potential lodgers a typed-up list so that there are no misunderstandings or miscommunications.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2013, 12:56:07 PM by CakeBeret »
"From a procrastination standpoint, today has been wildly successful."

TootsNYC

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Re: To share or not ... that is the question
« Reply #178 on: May 10, 2013, 01:35:26 PM »
Clap, clap, clap for CakeBeret.

And, along with the "here's the rent, not negotiable," remember to tell yourself, "I am not going to solve any problems for the lodger."

DottyG

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Re: To share or not ... that is the question
« Reply #179 on: May 10, 2013, 02:06:29 PM »
And both of you need to sign the agreement that is drawn up.  It needs to be a "contract" that's agreed upon, in writing, by both parties.

I'd also see if there is anything the renter would like to add to the agreement before it's signed.  It does need to be fair for both parties.  You may or may not accept their suggestion and agree to put it into the document.  But they may have something in mind that you'd hadn't thought of.  Never dismiss a possible suggestion before it's offered.  You may find that you have a renter who's more knowledgeable about this than you are and has some ideas you hadn't considered.  Ones that actually do benefit you.