Author Topic: Roommates (updates pg 6 #78 & pg 9 #120)  (Read 17914 times)

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AmericanRose

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Roommates (updates pg 6 #78 & pg 9 #120)
« on: November 01, 2013, 04:57:24 AM »
So a situation just popped up, and I'm not sure what I should/do say. It feels like a very PA situation to me, as well, but I'm not sure.. either way, I'm not sure how to proceed.

Background (I'll try to keep this short).
I moved in to my current place back in April. There's the typical things upstairs, including 1 master bedroom, and 3 other bedrooms. Downstairs is the garage and another room that has its own bathroom. I have 1 cat, and made sure to ask the landlord/owner, Greg* about it, and where we would put her litterbox. He loves cats, and as for her litterbox.. well, just pick one of the other rooms and put it in there. I did, and all went well. Greg lives downstairs, and I rarely see him.
In June a woman, Millie*, moved in. She has cat allergies, so she's always in her room with the door closed. Greg said he thought 2 roommates was enough, and I thought that was that.
Two weeks ago a man, Seth, showed up with his dog. Apparently Seth is a childhood friend of Greg's, and he's going to be helping him with renovations on the place (it's kind of a fixer-upper). He decided last week he was going to stay and try to find work in the area.

My cat doesn't like dogs (which is why I sought a dog-free place..) so last Saturday I got a text from Greg stating that my cat had, ah, mistaken the dog's blanket as her litterbox, which "isn't a good thing to have happen". I agreed it wasn't, and Seth agreed to keep his door closed so my cat can't get in there and repeat the incident.
On Monday, Seth informed me that my cat's waste didn't smell too good, and I agreed; I know it doesn't, but some cats are just smelly, and she hasn't quite figured out covering (she's 2 years old). But it was a fight to get her to begin using the litterbox when I adopted her, so I'm just glad she uses it!
So Seth began closing the door to her room, so she can't get to her litterbox. I asked him not to, since she won't push it open to get to it (I know this from experience). He agreed, or so I thought.
Came home today and the house is freezing (my ability to turn on the heater has also been removed), and my cat's door is shut with a towel under it. I had just cleaned it earlier, so I was pretty baffled. The window inside was also wide open. But I shut the window and opened the door a crack so she could get in, and thought that was it. Except he keeps closing it whenever he sees it's open, and I'm not really sure if he expects that that will cure her need to use a litterbox? Or if he's hoping she'll use my bed, which will still smell the same.
When he came home he asked how I was, and I said cold, and I got an earful about how the litterbox smells so bad he dry-heaved when he went in there to open the window, and animal feces can cause cancer, especially in those that are allergic like Millie. And he mentioned the smell to her and she agreed. I asked my boyfriend if he had smelled anything when he was over, and he said no - and given his reaction when my cat does use the litterbox, I know he wasn't lying. So I'm utterly baffled. I poured in more baking soda and litter, and turned it so it's facing the wall, but I'm not really sure what else I can do - I clean it daily, every other day at most because I don't want her developing bad habits again.

And now for my question!
I got home tonight and found a message initialed by all three of them on the fridge: "Clean cat box weekly!" That kind of made me laugh, because if I cleaned it only weekly, then they really would have something to complain about! But it upset me too, because I'm not sure what else to do, and he keeps closing the door - I think he really would prefer if she used my bed, because she's been shut in my room a couple times too. But this has never been an issue until he showed up; Greg lives downstairs and I guess Millie could be too shy to say anything, but it still kind of feels like a PA attempt to get me to move out because he wants his dog to be able to roam and to have his door open. I am looking for a new place - needless to say, I no longer feel comfortable here - but until then.. how should I respond?

Sorry for the length! :(
« Last Edit: November 21, 2013, 03:29:43 AM by AmericanRose »

Cherry91

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Re: Roommates
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2013, 05:06:17 AM »
Evil!Cherry might be tempted to inform them of how regularly you do clean the litter tray, and then threaten to start reducing that to once a week.

However, I think you need to talk to your landlord. You made the agreement regarding the cat with him, and he's indirectly not honouring it by allowing the other inhabitants to interfere. I imagine he'd kick up a stink (pun not intended) if your cat caused permanent damage, after all.

Bethalize

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Re: Roommates
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2013, 05:13:55 AM »
I don't see how this is going to end well. If you move out all the other problems go away. I think you should start looking for a new place.

YummyMummy66

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Re: Roommates
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2013, 06:35:01 AM »
If he is locking the cat in your bedroom, why don't you put the litter box in your bedroom? 

What room exactly is the litter box in?

Whether or not cats or dogs don't like each other, than can learn to co-exist.  You have to train your cat not to pee anywhere other than it's box.

Personally, I think your issue is with the landlord.  Is there a lease agreement?  You were the first one to move in, yet, he allowed the second renter to move in knowing that you had a cat and she was allergic.  Now, his friend has moved in with a dog. 

Yes, it seems you need to find a new place to live, because the friend will probalby win over your cat.

I would talk to the landlord and let him know that he knew yu had a cat when you rented from him.  Go over the litter box letter and let him know that you clean it daily.  But, when a cat first goes, it will smell.  If they are so bothered, then can clean it at that time if they are home.

Since it is clear that conditions are now different than when you originally rented from him, you will be looking for a new place to rent, but that may take some time.   Until that time, you expect him to hold up his end fo the agreement.  Your cat will not be locked up.  Your windows will not be open and you will not freeze.  Lay it on the line and tell him that otherwise, you will seek a lawyer's advice for a hostile living environment promoted by your landlord.

Vall

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Re: Roommates
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2013, 07:36:24 AM »
Why not just put the box in your room?

Another Sarah

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Re: Roommates
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2013, 07:41:56 AM »
Was the message actually initialled by all three of them or did Seth sign for all three of them?
I would speak to the landlord and tell him that you don't appreciate what is effectively a bait-and-switch.
I would also talk to Millie and see how she actually feels about all this - from my understanding you have only have conversations with Seth so far and as he is the instigator of all this, I suspect he is pretty biased in what he's reporting back to you.

I'd also mention to them that you clean the litterbox daily. It sounds like they just don't understand how much upkeep is involved and are blaming you for not keeping on top of it

Sharnita

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Re: Roommates
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2013, 07:50:26 AM »
I don't really see this as a bait and switch.  Her cat did pee urinate where it shouldn't.  It does smell particularly bad. I sm kind of doubting all of that was mentioned when she first negotiated having a cat. With those issues it would havebeen wiser to rent in a place where she wouldn't be imposing on other renters.


shhh its me

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Re: Roommates
« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2013, 07:51:57 AM »
Op since you're looking already I'm going to  assume you have a month to month lease (Very common when renting a room for the homeowner) I would not whip out  the L word (lawyer) people get  defensive when legal action is implied/threatened, you don't want to bluff and have Greg take the strongest action legally allowed. Such as " Alrighty then.  Whats you lawyers address so I can send them your 30 day notice to terminate your month to month lease?"  Even if you intend to seek legal advice don't mention it until you have at least had a preliminary conversation as to your rights. I'm not saying you don't have legal recourse but it may not be for hostile living environment a lawyer familiar with local laws will be able to tell you check with local legal aid.   Lawyer is your biggest stick  its also a negotiation ender.  OP I agree with you they are being PA and trying to get you out , you don't want them to start aggressively trying to get you out. (ie eviction)

ITs not fair you were there first but you are the PITA roommate.  I know you're not doing anything wrong but one one roommate is stuck in her room with the door closed all day and the other one can do home repairs (plus is a long time friend)and 2 roommates is enough the bathroom is crowed ect.  They may not have planned it but Seth is feeding them the reasons. 

I would apply guilt , confront the PA head on and very careful let them know you're looking for a new place (you do not want to even imply notice ) "Greg. I've been here since April. *insert all the good things about you as a tenant* You ARGEED that cat was alright I put the box where you said. I clean it daily. *I suggest you offer to move the cat box at this point* We have had no problems until recently. Now frankly it seems you are no longer happy with our arrangement  *pause*  Talk to Greg alone you're agreement is with him and as Seth is the instigator you don't want him there.  Especially if the box is in the shared bathroom Millie has likely been reasonably unhappy with it but just choice not to say anything Seth's being vocal gave her an opening. 

What you can do to make things better.  Move the box to a space the others need to be in less , even if that means your room.  Change wet food feeding times so you are more likely to be home to clean up right after the box is used.


Another Sarah

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Re: Roommates
« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2013, 08:05:43 AM »
her cat did pee where it shouldn't, but she did take care of that. I don't see it as the issue here. (except it probably made Seth quite angry with her cat and probably is the reason he's making a stand about the litterbox)

I also don't see anything in the OP about anyone having issues before Seth showed up - which implies to me he's either got a very sensitive nose or he's making a big deal because he doesn't want the cat there at all.

The bait and switch I referred to is that the landlord was more than happy for her to move in with the cat, now he and the other roommate are complicit in making her feel unwelcome because of the cat.
That's not on in my opinion.

OP may have to bend a little here - I think putting the litterbox in her room is a fair solution, I  am a bit surprised that the cat apparently keeps Millie a prisoner in her own room and Millie is OK with this. OP could make sure a couple of the rooms stay hair-free by restricting Cat's access to those rooms.

But I think this litterbox thing is Seth deliberately making a stink (badoom chish) and landlord needs to stick up for his tenants, friend or not.

TootsNYC

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Re: Roommates
« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2013, 08:54:11 AM »
If he is locking the cat in your bedroom, why don't you put the litter box in your bedroom? 


Personally, I think your issue is with the landlord.  Is there a lease agreement?  You were the first one to move in, yet, he allowed the second renter to move in knowing that you had a cat and she was allergic.  Now, his friend has moved in with a dog. 

I agree--the problem is your landlord.

Quote
Yes, it seems you need to find a new place to live, because the friend will probalby win over your cat.

And regardless of whether the friend wins or not, you just don't want to deal with this landlord.

But I wouldn't bother with this:
Quote
I would talk to the landlord and let him know that he knew yu had a cat when you rented from him.  Go over the litter box letter and let him know that you clean it daily.  But, when a cat first goes, it will smell.  If they are so bothered, then can clean it at that time if they are home.

Since it is clear that conditions are now different than when you originally rented from him, you will be looking for a new place to rent, but that may take some time.   Until that time, you expect him to hold up his end fo the agreement.  Your cat will not be locked up.  Your windows will not be open and you will not freeze.  Lay it on the line and tell him that otherwise, you will seek a lawyer's advice for a hostile living environment promoted by your landlord.

I wouldn't bother talking to him about it, and I really don't think a lawyer *can* do anything here. (Of course, this isn't a place for legal advice--a real-life lawyer would have far better info)

bopper

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Re: Roommates
« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2013, 09:02:49 AM »
I would talk to Greg.

"Greg, i have seen some notes about the cat and I wanted to discuss our agreement about the cat.   As we agreed when I signed my lease, I am allowed to have a cat.  At that time you said to put the litter box in <a room>.  I realize that was before you had other tenants.  Where do you think it best i put it now?  Also, I saw a note that said to clean the box weekly, where in reality I actually clean it everyday.  I use that clumping litter (or whatever) and scoop it every night. Now i understand that April? (other roommate) is allergic to cats, but she knew that when she moved in and i don't really understand why she would do that, but as the person who was here first, I don't think I should be the one making all the concessions.  What would be reasonable to do so that both April does not have to be stuck in her room all day nor my cat shut in teh basement with the window open.  ALso, if you have any issues with me, please feel free to sit down and talk with me.

I am not sure if I would even mention his friend.

LadyJaneinMD

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Re: Roommates
« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2013, 10:45:43 AM »
yes, bait and switch, and I agree with the others that Greg brought it on himself.

Now, just a suggestion - try another litter.  I have lived in some pretty small apartments with a cat, and have found that the brand of litter makes a HUGE difference.  My cat's litter box is actually in my bedroom with me, and it's scoopable and a good name brand, and I never have a problem with smell.  If you're in the US, the brand is ScoopAway. 

I don't even know how to address the cat-allergic roommate.   Why would she agree to move into a house with a cat?  She's nuts.

m2kbug

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Re: Roommates
« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2013, 10:54:19 AM »
Is there a reason you can't just put the cat box in your room or bathroom?  Whether it's your room or the spare, the stinky box is still going to infiltrate the upstairs when she goes, and I know sometimes they're stinky, but it doesn't last.  I'm making the assumption you took the master bedroom.  Maybe Seth wants it.  I feel bad for Millie, but it sounds like she knew in advance and was content with the arrangements, at least until Seth started in.

I think you do need to talk with Greg about this about the sudden change of rules and how resolve it.  You clean the box daily.  There's not much you can do about stinky poops.  That smell goes away.  It wouldn't take much for Greg to walk upstairs and sniff for himself. 

Did you have knowledge that he would be bringing in extra roommates?  If he decided to fill up the 4th upstairs room, you'd still be in this situation on where to put the box.  Did you have an agreement about "no dogs, ever" when you signed on?  Cats can settle into the addition of dogs, but if she's going to pee inappropriately over it, especially when access to the box is blocked, you're going to run into some problems.  Hopefully you can come to some agreement until you can find a new place. 

I have the cat box here in my little home office and I've had multiple cats in the house, and the only time the smell is that rank is if the box is ignored, and of course when they poop.  I can't imagine the odor is that noxious. 

shhh its me

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Re: Roommates
« Reply #13 on: November 01, 2013, 10:57:21 AM »
   I have a bit more time now.

OP you didn't say which room the box is in?  If its in the shared bath which 3 people are now using I can see it being an issue (I had a "smelly cat" so I know how bad it can be even if the box if kept really clean) cats poop a few times a day 15 minutes a day of "CRUD MONKEYS! what are you feeding it durian and 100 year eggs "  then 30 minutes of "thats bad maybe if I use the bathroom  really fast I can hold my breath." then strong to mildly unpleasant smelling till cleaned.   OP your roommates aren't counting poops to see how often you clean it, if 25% of the time they go in the bathroom it smells bad they think the box is dirty. 

Greg is on another floor so he may not have noticed the smell.  Millie is apparently very shy and non confrontational, OP believes she is too shy to say something on her own.   Seth comes in home more because he is looking for work? the cat pees in his room , he sees Millie never leaving her room and notices a strong cat order a few times a day.  "hey , Millie doesn't that smell bother you?"  is possible all it would take for Millie to speak up a little now that she has an advocate.    Even though I think its possible they have decided they want OP out ,but not conspired to get OP out, I would start my convo with this in mind as wel that the smell may have been a problem that just was not mentioned before more people makes it more of a problem ...so offer moving the box , if possible looking into a change in diet , changing feeding times so the box can be cleaned sooner after poos happen.

While it may not be fair , the landlord is unlikely to say "Gee the cat was here first. So my long time friend who will be helping me with renovations should be the one to go and if the shy girl who never leaves her room doesn't like it she can go to."    NOTE this is based on the assumption that OP has a month to month lease and the landlord and OP having the right not to renew each month.

BeagleMommy

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Re: Roommates
« Reply #14 on: November 01, 2013, 11:13:40 AM »
OP, I would start with your landlord.  Ask him if his feelings on your previous arrangement have changed.  Explain that you clean the litterbox daily and explain that every time his friend locks your cat out of the room he increases the chance that she will go somewhere inappropriate.  As a cat owner himself he would know this.

If his feelings have changed, look for another place.