Author Topic: Am I being unreasonable?  (Read 7886 times)

rulesofacquisition

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Am I being unreasonable?
« on: June 13, 2016, 07:58:09 PM »
Without making this too long, my husband and I have 4 additional people living with us - my son and his fiancee, and about a month ago my husband's nephew and his girlfriend. We have a septic and a well and I purchased the Niagara low flow showerhead I saw recommended here. Son's fiancee used it last night, said hair rinsing was more work, rated it a 6.5/10 compared to the old showerhead with separate hand held sprayer - you could run them simultaneously so huge water usage. Nephew said it sucked and it took him 20 minutes to shower instead of 10. I used it with no issues for a 7 minute shower that included washing long hair. Different but not bad, but my priorities are different. Buying another this week for the other shower. Does this make me an asshole?

revisednut

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Re: Am I being unreasonable?
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2016, 08:12:03 PM »
I don't think you're being unreasonable.  Some common ground may be charging each individual a fraction of the water bill, if they want to keep a higher-flow shower head.

Kitties are the best

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Re: Am I being unreasonable?
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2016, 08:16:50 PM »
Not at all. I don't expect to have a say on fixtures and fittings when I'm staying at someone else's house. Even if that someone else is my parent.

They can choose whatever shower head they would like when they run their own household.

Are they living with you long-term/indefinitely?

mousebandit

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Re: Am I being unreasonable?
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2016, 08:17:27 PM »
No way.  Even if they're helping to pay and cover the utilities, there is still the issue of water supply and septic pumping.  Depending on how strong your well is and how large your septic tank is (and how old the leach lines are and how recently the tank was pumped) there's a WHOLE lot of reason to restrict water flow.  It's your house.  If they want luxury showerheads and unlimited water supply, they can go rent / buy their own.  I am appalled that they complained at all.  In our house, that would turn into a "maybe it's time for you to find your own place" conversation really fast! 

bogart

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Re: Am I being unreasonable?
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2016, 08:20:56 PM »
No way.  Even if they're helping to pay and cover the utilities, there is still the issue of water supply and septic pumping.  Depending on how strong your well is and how large your septic tank is (and how old the leach lines are and how recently the tank was pumped) there's a WHOLE lot of reason to restrict water flow.  It's your house.  If they want luxury showerheads and unlimited water supply, they can go rent / buy their own.  I am appalled that they complained at all.  In our house, that would turn into a "maybe it's time for you to find your own place" conversation really fast!

+1

rulesofacquisition

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Re: Am I being unreasonable?
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2016, 08:46:36 PM »
No way.  Even if they're helping to pay and cover the utilities, there is still the issue of water supply and septic pumping.  Depending on how strong your well is and how large your septic tank is (and how old the leach lines are and how recently the tank was pumped)


The septic and well are newer, but 6 people is pushing it.



Are they living with you long-term/indefinitely?

About 1 1/2 years for son and who knows with nephew.


I tend to be very frugal so really wanted an outside opinion. I find it easier to do things like changing out lights to LED' s rather than nagging about lights left on, so the showerhead is part of making our 1950's house more efficient and helping me keep my cool around less frugal people.

bobechs

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Re: Am I being unreasonable?
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2016, 08:59:04 PM »
If you all just showered together you would cut down even further on total water usage and you'd be right there to monitor and supervise the whole hair-rinsing process for maximum efficiency.

human

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Re: Am I being unreasonable?
« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2016, 09:02:58 PM »
I just installed a bricor eco miser about 1gpm and our hot water usage has lowered dramatically in the mornings. These showerheads really do save water. I take a 5 minute shower not sure why anyone needs 10 minutes, is the nephew 15 or something and needs a few minutes of privacy? If it were me I'd insist he take a 5 minute shower or find another place to live.

Dicey

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Re: Am I being unreasonable?
« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2016, 09:06:40 PM »
You could suggest he join the cheapest gym with shower facilities he can find and do all his showering there. And then smile sweetly as you install the other showerhead.

mousebandit

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Re: Am I being unreasonable?
« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2016, 09:09:35 PM »
Especially if they're going to be living with you for that length of time, change the showerheads and don't worry about it.  If they comment, sounds like you're ok to just let it be.  :-)  Definitely do everything you can to minimize expenditures while they're there.  A peaceful home life is dang near priceless, so just installing the cost-saving devices, without talking much about it, is perfect.  I would, however, ensure that the septic tank gets pumped a few months before they plan to move, and ask them to pitch in on the cost, LOL.  But that's just me.  ;-)

woopwoop

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Re: Am I being unreasonable?
« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2016, 09:24:15 PM »
Are they paying rent/utilities? If not, they can go shove the showerhead up their butthole. If yes, then you have an issue with dealing with your renters' preferences - I would let them know that the upgrade is in place of a rent increase to take care of the higher water and septic bill. It's up to you to decide whether or not to let them pay for their preference or impose the new fixtures anyway (if you, for example, think the environmental costs outweigh any sort of financial consideration). Either way, they have the choice to leave your house if they don't like your decision. Nothing assholey about it.

Mrs. S

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Re: Am I being unreasonable?
« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2016, 09:51:18 PM »
Nope, it's your house and anyone who wants to live in it should be living with your rules within reason. I would install the shower head and tell people to cut down their shower time as well.

We have something similar going on ad it has turned me into a ranting person in just a week. We are helping out a friend and seriously her wastefulness grates on my nerves. Add to that her narrow minded thinking and stupid questions... but I digress.
I understand when you say it's easier to change to LED than nag about switching lights off, we have been switching lights and fans off after our 'guest' for last 2 weeks. I might not tell her to do it but I don't allow her to tell me how to do things, it is still my house after all. Can you tell i am regretting being a helpful person!!!

Dicey

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Re: Am I being unreasonable?
« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2016, 10:16:42 PM »
Can you tell i am regretting being a helpful person!!!
No good deed goes unpunished...
But good on you for trying to help a friend out. I like this one: Never help someone more than they are willing to help themselves. Good luck to you, I hope your friendship survives.

Goldielocks

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Re: Am I being unreasonable?
« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2016, 12:29:09 AM »
What's wrong with being unreasonable?

What else can you fix or improve?  Hmm,  maybe the thermostat does not really need to reach 70 degrees in the winter?
Maybe you can have little rules about leaving the kitchen immaculate and not using the stove without your permission between 6 and 7 (so it is free for you to use for your dinner)..  Other?

All the little annoyances are what encourages people to get on with their own place.  No, I am not being sarcastic, put inot place all the little rules and improvements that fit you and your home.  The family renters can love it or leave it.

Now, if you were renting at a profit, I would say that you need to stick to your rental agreements and be extra nice to your income stream to encourage them to stay... but that does not sound like what  you are describing.

Driko

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Re: Am I being unreasonable?
« Reply #14 on: June 14, 2016, 12:33:02 AM »
Of course you aren't being unreasonable it is your house after all.

If you are debating on getting another shower head with more pressure I would recommend the High Sierra low flow head. I have two of those and it feels stronger than the regular shower head I had before.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Am I being unreasonable?
« Reply #15 on: June 14, 2016, 05:18:46 AM »
Are they paying rent/utilities? If not, they can go shove the showerhead up their butthole.

Well, I'm awake now. But I agree with the sentiment.

Mrs. S

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Re: Am I being unreasonable?
« Reply #16 on: June 14, 2016, 05:22:11 AM »
Can you tell i am regretting being a helpful person!!!
No good deed goes unpunished...
But good on you for trying to help a friend out. I like this one: Never help someone more than they are willing to help themselves. Good luck to you, I hope your friendship survives.

Worst thing is we aren't even that close but I don't like unnecessary confrontations!!! I am just a sucker for helping people but this time both DH and I have learnt a valuable lesson...

Nickels Dimes Quarters

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Re: Am I being unreasonable?
« Reply #17 on: June 14, 2016, 05:41:58 AM »
If you make them too comfortable, they will never leave. Make this work for you.

NDQ

Fishindude

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Re: Am I being unreasonable?
« Reply #18 on: June 14, 2016, 05:45:44 AM »
Tell them the Holiday Inn down the road has really nice showers.

I grew up with five siblings so eight people in the house using one water heater.  My dad, a former military guy always told us boys ... "If you're in the shower more than about five minutes you're playing with it".

rulesofacquisition

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Re: Am I being unreasonable?
« Reply #19 on: June 14, 2016, 05:50:51 AM »
If you all just showered together you would cut down even further on total water usage and you'd be right there to monitor and supervise the whole hair-rinsing process for maximum efficiency.

Uh, OK, ick... (but funny in a twisted way)

  A peaceful home life is dang near priceless, so just installing the cost-saving devices, without talking much about it, is perfect.

Discussions are mostly met with a "deer in headlights look", so this is the current game plan

Are they paying rent/utilities? If not, they can go shove the showerhead up their butthole. If yes, then you have an issue with dealing with your renters' preferences - I would let them know that the upgrade is in place of a rent increase to take care of the higher water and septic bill. It's up to you to decide whether or not to let them pay for their preference or impose the new fixtures anyway

No rent, under the condition that they save money to put down on a house/apartment, which they are doing at this point. We split the electric and internet. The water and septic are "free", but the septic cost me $6000 to install last year, and the well about $1500 the year before, and 6 people is more than the septic is designed for.

We have something similar going on ad it has turned me into a ranting person in just a week. We are helping out a friend and seriously her wastefulness grates on my nerves.

I'm trying to avoid the ranting :)  The nephew and girlfriend were living in a car, so we let them move in. He was raised by an asshole and has no concept of finite resources or long-term consequences.

What else can you fix or improve?  Hmm,  maybe the thermostat does not really need to reach 70 degrees in the winter?

Last winter we finally got a heat pump, but still have not gotten the gas (backup) hooked up, so house was in the 50's when it was below freezing when we weren't around to tend the woodstove, and the 2 winters prior, we only had the woodstove and the lowest the house got was 39 degrees one day while we were at work. The new thermostat also locks, ha ha ha...

boarder42

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Re: Am I being unreasonable?
« Reply #20 on: June 14, 2016, 06:06:36 AM »
WHOA WHOA WHOA 

so you're putting up someone who used to live in a car and they are complaining about shower water pressure.  AND taking a 20 minute shower. 

i put in the 1.5GPM rainflow niagra b/c for whatever reason the 1.25 was really shitty on the new house we moved into.  i think the pipe has a smaller ID leading to the shower.  my wife was slightly annoyed with it the first week but i didnt change it and i havent heard any complaints since.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2016, 06:08:20 AM by boarder42 »

ender

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Re: Am I being unreasonable?
« Reply #21 on: June 14, 2016, 06:27:37 AM »
Yes you are being unreasonable by not charging any rent at all.

sis

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Re: Am I being unreasonable?
« Reply #22 on: June 14, 2016, 06:36:07 AM »
Yes you are being unreasonable by not charging any rent at all.

100% this.  You have to charge them something. :-P  They need to learn how to manage their expenses/finances while paying rent otherwise their spending habits won't decrease.  If you still want them to save for a house while managing their spending, put it into an investment account of their behalf and then gift it to them when they move out.

GuitarStv

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Re: Am I being unreasonable?
« Reply #23 on: June 14, 2016, 06:52:39 AM »
Yes you are being unreasonable by not charging any rent at all.

100% this.  You have to charge them something. :-P  They need to learn how to manage their expenses/finances while paying rent otherwise their spending habits won't decrease.  If you still want them to save for a house while managing their spending, put it into an investment account of their behalf and then gift it to them when they move out.

+1


When I got home from university, my dad introduced me to the guest room.  I was free to stay in the guest room for a couple weeks after which I could start paying rent.  The funny thing is, the guest room looked an awful lot like my old room.

If you treat adults like children, they'll act like children.  That's what it sounds like is going on in your home right now.

ender

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Re: Am I being unreasonable?
« Reply #24 on: June 14, 2016, 06:56:15 AM »
Particular because of this:

I'm trying to avoid the ranting :)  The nephew and girlfriend were living in a car, so we let them move in. He was raised by an asshole and has no concept of finite resources or long-term consequences.

Free rent doesn't really help plan through finite resources/long-term consequences.

When I got home from university, my dad introduced me to the guest room.  I was free to stay in the guest room for a couple weeks after which I could start paying rent.  The funny thing is, the guest room looked an awful lot like my old room.

If you treat adults like children, they'll act like children.  That's what it sounds like is going on in your home right now.

I have definitely been frustrated at times that I basically was on my own, save some money for college, once I left for my first year of college. It would be great financially to get that sort of economic outpatient care.

But I'm pretty sure I am in such a better position financially and emotionally having not ever had it as an "option" to move home and/or receive parental benefits.

bogart

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Re: Am I being unreasonable?
« Reply #25 on: June 14, 2016, 08:37:38 AM »
All the little annoyances are what encourages people to get on with their own place. 

For the record (and the OP) This is what I tell my own son, and he's 9.  Not that I really expect him to move out or start paying rent, but I do tell him that the way life works is that parents are annoying in order to ensure that he'll want to become responsible, grow up, and move out.  It sounds like your extra residents may need more guidance (or maybe they need as much guidance, but you know, more than they ideally would given that they're not 9), but the same principle definitely applies.  Can you learn to say calmly but with a wry smile, "Well, I don't want you to be too comfortable here, after all, you want your next home to feel like an improvement over this one!" or words to that effect, and then just repeat as often as required?

undercover

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Re: Am I being unreasonable?
« Reply #26 on: June 14, 2016, 08:51:19 AM »
They were just giving you their opinion, obviously. It probably does suck.

It's your house, so naturally you can do what you want.

Sibley

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Re: Am I being unreasonable?
« Reply #27 on: June 14, 2016, 09:12:03 AM »
If I were living at home, not paying rent, and I said something like that, I think I'd be packing up and moving out with about 2 weeks notice.

You are not unreasonable. They are incredibly rude.

rulesofacquisition

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Re: Am I being unreasonable?
« Reply #28 on: June 14, 2016, 07:21:18 PM »
Yes you are being unreasonable by not charging any rent at all.

Have considered this...nephew is giving us cash to lock up as he is unbanked, and son is squirrelling money away in an account, but we had considered charging rent and giving all or part of it back when they leave.

pbkmaine

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Re: Am I being unreasonable?
« Reply #29 on: June 14, 2016, 07:36:45 PM »
They also could be clueless. People who have never had septic have no idea what it entails. As part of their education, sit them down, explain that the septic system cost you $6,000 last year and it is not meant for 6 people. Explain that their showers need to be 5 minutes and the low flow showerheads will stay. Give details about what things can and can't be flushed. Get some brochures from whatever nearby fitness center is reasonable and has showers and tell them buying a membership might be a good alternative for them.

Jim2001

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Re: Am I being unreasonable?
« Reply #30 on: June 14, 2016, 08:02:01 PM »
Rules,

  I"m in the camp that says you are not being unreasonable at all and love the gym membership idea.  At a time that is not emotionally charged, explain your decisions about how you run your house and why, and that it's not up for negotiation.  The water and septic are not free when you consider amortization of the cost of installation and maintenance, regardless of how often it needs it.  Also, watch out that you don't get taken advantage of.  I know of a small a family, (both parents in early 30's and son almost 10), who moved in with the in-laws for 18 months to "help them get back on their feet".  It didn't help.  At the end of the 18 months, they hadn't saved a dime and couldn't explain why!

My youngest has moved home twice.  Both times with the understanding that it's my house, my rules.  I've take in my sister, a friend when he got out of the army, a different friend moving back to LA from out of state, etc.  When when they're paying rent; my house, my rules.  Period.


Kitties are the best

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Re: Am I being unreasonable?
« Reply #31 on: June 14, 2016, 10:09:00 PM »
This discussion has sort of evolved from your original question, but now you've given more detail about the length of their stay (indefinite) and their rent (zero), it sounds like everyone would benefit from some boundary setting.

Sounds like you're a very generous person with your heart in the right place, but if your aim is to give these four adults a leg up in life, there are better ways about it. Both couples need to have a clear plan to independence in place, and they also need to be paying close to market rent.

People have a tendency to not really value free stuff. We also have a tendency towards inertia when things are made easy for us. These two factors means that your indefinite guests could take a whole heap of time to stand on their own two feet and could even end up resenting you when you finally run out of patience, despite the enormous gift you are giving them.

It sounds like this could be especially the case with your nephew, who you said, didn't benefit from a great upbringing.

Perhaps use the fact that your septic tank isn't designed for six people, (hence your changing the showerheads) to have a wider discussion of people's plans, their savings progress and a timescale to move out. This can be a 'family meeting' type affair where you lay out your plans for the next few years or a more private chat to each of the two couples, depending on your preferred communication style.

ender

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Re: Am I being unreasonable?
« Reply #32 on: June 15, 2016, 04:47:36 AM »
Yes you are being unreasonable by not charging any rent at all.

Have considered this...nephew is giving us cash to lock up as he is unbanked, and son is squirrelling money away in an account, but we had considered charging rent and giving all or part of it back when they leave.

He's never had a bank account?

Help him set that up! Don't give free rent while also being his personal banker. Having and understanding how a bank account works is practically a basic life skill now.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Am I being unreasonable?
« Reply #33 on: June 15, 2016, 05:35:05 AM »
Yes you are being unreasonable by not charging any rent at all.

Have considered this...nephew is giving us cash to lock up as he is unbanked, and son is squirrelling money away in an account, but we had considered charging rent and giving all or part of it back when they leave.

He's never had a bank account?

Help him set that up! Don't give free rent while also being his personal banker. Having and understanding how a bank account works is practically a basic life skill now.

Agreed - find a bank he can get a free checking account at. All he has to do to get one at Wells Fargo is have direct deposit - I assume he has a job? Community banks might have less stringent requirements; a bank we had in Texas that had lots of branches in grocery stores and awesome hours needed like $200 in the account to not charge a fee. And, that's a $200 emergency fund right there.

rulesofacquisition

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Re: Am I being unreasonable?
« Reply #34 on: June 15, 2016, 05:50:12 AM »
This discussion has sort of evolved from your original question, but now you've given more detail about the length of their stay (indefinite) and their rent (zero), it sounds like everyone would benefit from some boundary setting.

Sounds like you're a very generous person with your heart in the right place, but if your aim is to give these four adults a leg up in life, there are better ways about it. Both couples need to have a clear plan to independence in place, and they also need to be paying close to market rent.

People have a tendency to not really value free stuff. We also have a tendency towards inertia when things are made easy for us. These two factors means that your indefinite guests could take a whole heap of time to stand on their own two feet and could even end up resenting you when you finally run out of patience, despite the enormous gift you are giving them.

It sounds like this could be especially the case with your nephew, who you said, didn't benefit from a great upbringing.

Perhaps use the fact that your septic tank isn't designed for six people, (hence your changing the showerheads) to have a wider discussion of people's plans, their savings progress and a timescale to move out. This can be a 'family meeting' type affair where you lay out your plans for the next few years or a more private chat to each of the two couples, depending on your preferred communication style.


Agreed, I'm at work now but will noodle on this and maybe start a new thread with all the details. Especially agree that people don't value free stuff.

Josiecat

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Re: Am I being unreasonable?
« Reply #35 on: June 15, 2016, 08:51:08 PM »
OP - Wow, you are really, really nice.  I wouldn't put up with that for a second.  You really need to set a timeline for each couple for when they must leave your house.  I would say 18 months (ready or not) is long enough. 

Sit down with each one of them and tell them the date they must be fully moved out of your house and STICK WITH IT.  Don't take any excuses.  They are already getting a heck of a free ride in my opinion. 

They didn't save enough for their house.... tough.  They can't afford rent..... tough.  Unplanned pregnancy...touch. Get the heck out.

They are adults and they need to start acting like it. And hell no don't save their utility money and give it back to them when they leave.  You keep it.

Choices

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Re: Am I being unreasonable?
« Reply #36 on: June 16, 2016, 09:02:59 AM »
You have a huge heart and have opened your home, which is very kind.

However, what they need just as much as shelter is some financial education. Have you considered sending them to Financial Peace University (Dave Ramsey) with full participation as a condition of their staying with you? If they're not willing to go, then they're never going to be 'ready' to leave your house and they're just looking for an indefinite free ride.

You could also charge them a decent amount of rent as a form of forced savings, then give it back to them when they move out.

As for the septic system, I agree with you completely. You have to protect your own home before you can help others.

Any other rules are at your discretion but beggars can't be choosers.