Author Topic: Am I a cheapsake?  (Read 10334 times)

OneCoolCat

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Am I a cheapsake?
« on: February 24, 2015, 07:35:19 PM »
So I've been renting a room from a guy whom I lived with when I was in school.  I rented from him throughout my graduate education.  Our lease agreement ended after the first year and it became a month to month deal.  Upon graduation I moved out but returned for employment purposes where it was just until my office opened closer to my house.  We kept the same arrangement where I paid month to month.  I was here a lot longer than expected, because my job took longer to open the other office than expected.  I ended up staying here a little over 6 months when I got word right after I paid the Feb. 15 to Mar. 15 rent that the office was opening on March 1.  I told my roommate that I planned on leaving as soon as my job let me.  As I was packing up, I mentioned that I had paid rent through march 15.  He "oh, do you want a refund?" and I said it would be nice.  I got the 1/2 refund but I felt like an ass for asking.  The only reason I did was my wife urged me to and my mom was all for it.

On one hand we were month to month so maybe he was entitled to it.  On the other he knew I was here just until my office opened.  Mustachian aside, was it wrong to ask?

johnny847

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Re: Am I a cheapsake?
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2015, 07:40:30 PM »
No, I don't think you were a cheapskate for asking. If you only stayed for half a month, then fundamentally, you only used half a month's worth of rent. You said you got word right after making the 2/15-3/15 payment, so you gave a decent amount of future notice

Though what I think was a mistake is this was even ambiguous in the first place. This should have been resolved previous to starting the month to month arrangement, in a sublet contract.

TheOldestYoungMan

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Re: Am I a cheapsake?
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2015, 07:48:08 PM »
Naw it never hurts to ask.  He could've said no.

Some people are weird about money, but I take the tack that that's on them.

OneCoolCat

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Re: Am I a cheapsake?
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2015, 07:56:48 PM »
I understand he could have said no, but who do you think should get the half months rent in this situation?  Should I have asked?

YoungInvestor

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Re: Am I a cheapsake?
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2015, 08:00:18 PM »
Kind of. If your deal was on a month-by-month basis it  seems to me like you should have paid all of that particular month.

Not a biggie overall, but I wouldn't do it.

Argyle

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Re: Am I a cheapsake?
« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2015, 08:00:38 PM »
I think a month's notice was fair, so he was generous in giving you half a month's refund.  Ideally the amount of notice you needed to give should have been hammered out before this happened.

OneCoolCat

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Re: Am I a cheapsake?
« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2015, 08:22:10 PM »
I should buy him a gift or something.

MrMoogle

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Re: Am I a cheapsake?
« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2015, 08:36:07 PM »
He offered it right?  I don't see a problem accepting.  If I was in his shoes, I would have offered, and paid.  OTH if I was in your shoes, I wouldn't have accepted, at least not without some fight.  It sounded like he was a good roommate, as long as you're both happy with the arrangement, then it's all good :)

humbleMouse

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Re: Am I a cheapsake?
« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2015, 08:39:43 PM »
Quote
So I've been renting a room from a guy whom I lived with when I was in school.  I rented from him throughout my graduate education.  Our lease agreement ended after the first year and it became a month to month deal.  Upon graduation I moved out but returned for employment purposes where it was just until my office opened closer to my house.  We kept the same arrangement where I paid month to month.  I was here a lot longer than expected, because my job took longer to open the other office than expected.  I ended up staying here a little over 6 months when I got word right after I paid the Feb. 15 to Mar. 15 rent that the office was opening on March 1.  I told my roommate that I planned on leaving as soon as my job let me.  As I was packing up, I mentioned that I had paid rent through march 15.  He "oh, do you want a refund?" and I said it would be nice.  I got the 1/2 refund but I felt like an ass for asking.  The only reason I did was my wife urged me to and my mom was all for it.

Lolz @ your reasoning

MrsCoolCat

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Re: Am I a cheapsake?
« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2015, 08:40:49 PM »
Idk why you're making a big deal out of it. Like I said I'm cynical and the types of ghetto tenants my parents deal with would have started holding back rent and paying by the week or day until they left, with about the same amount of notice as you. Just buy him a thank you as I mentioned. Also, he offered, he doesn't need the money, when you came back the room wasn't rented, I don't believe he's actively itching to replace you, you've had over 3.5 weeks (though not all back-to-back) where you were not living in that room and you've never been refunded for that. Granted neither would I for HOA as it's an expected rent expense. Just buy him a thank you and move on, and you can help me pay for the electric bill.

MrsCoolCat

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Re: Am I a cheapsake?
« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2015, 08:43:31 PM »
Quote
So I've been renting a room from a guy whom I lived with when I was in school.  I rented from him throughout my graduate education.  Our lease agreement ended after the first year and it became a month to month deal.  Upon graduation I moved out but returned for employment purposes where it was just until my office opened closer to my house.  We kept the same arrangement where I paid month to month.  I was here a lot longer than expected, because my job took longer to open the other office than expected.  I ended up staying here a little over 6 months when I got word right after I paid the Feb. 15 to Mar. 15 rent that the office was opening on March 1.  I told my roommate that I planned on leaving as soon as my job let me.  As I was packing up, I mentioned that I had paid rent through march 15.  He "oh, do you want a refund?" and I said it would be nice.  I got the 1/2 refund but I felt like an ass for asking.  The only reason I did was my wife urged me to and my mom was all for it.

Lolz @ your reasoning

I just noticed that quote! I like how you at least added your mom since she should have the final say in this matter not me! LOL just lay it on your moms. I'm joking; don't get all uptight!

johnny847

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Re: Am I a cheapsake?
« Reply #11 on: February 24, 2015, 09:03:55 PM »
Quote
So I've been renting a room from a guy whom I lived with when I was in school.  I rented from him throughout my graduate education.  Our lease agreement ended after the first year and it became a month to month deal.  Upon graduation I moved out but returned for employment purposes where it was just until my office opened closer to my house.  We kept the same arrangement where I paid month to month.  I was here a lot longer than expected, because my job took longer to open the other office than expected.  I ended up staying here a little over 6 months when I got word right after I paid the Feb. 15 to Mar. 15 rent that the office was opening on March 1.  I told my roommate that I planned on leaving as soon as my job let me.  As I was packing up, I mentioned that I had paid rent through march 15.  He "oh, do you want a refund?" and I said it would be nice.  I got the 1/2 refund but I felt like an ass for asking.  The only reason I did was my wife urged me to and my mom was all for it.

Lolz @ your reasoning

I just noticed that quote! I like how you at least added your mom since she should have the final say in this matter not me! LOL just lay it on your moms. I'm joking; don't get all uptight!
Wait so...are you OneCoolCat's wife?

MrsCoolCat

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Re: Am I a cheapsake?
« Reply #12 on: February 24, 2015, 09:34:53 PM »
Wait so...are you OneCoolCat's wife?

Yes, and I found this website FIRST. :-)

johnny847

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Re: Am I a cheapsake?
« Reply #13 on: February 24, 2015, 09:39:54 PM »
Wait so...are you OneCoolCat's wife?

Yes, and I found this website FIRST. :-)
LOL.

You didn't happen to meet on this website did you? =P

MrsCoolCat

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Re: Am I a cheapsake?
« Reply #14 on: February 24, 2015, 09:50:56 PM »
Wait so...are you OneCoolCat's wife?

Yes, and I found this website FIRST. :-)
LOL.

You didn't happen to meet on this website did you? =P

LOL uhh no. We got married last August and were dating for 8.5 years before that. I know that's crazy LONG!

johnny847

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Re: Am I a cheapsake?
« Reply #15 on: February 24, 2015, 10:22:38 PM »
Wait so...are you OneCoolCat's wife?

Yes, and I found this website FIRST. :-)
LOL.

You didn't happen to meet on this website did you? =P

LOL uhh no. We got married last August and were dating for 8.5 years before that. I know that's crazy LONG!
Congrats!

Now that I've sufficiently derailed this topic (though I suspect OP doesn't mind that much....) I wonder what other people think

kathrynd

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Re: Am I a cheapsake?
« Reply #16 on: February 25, 2015, 02:23:09 AM »
You had a contract, and you owed this money.

It was wrong of you to accept it.

Your landlord (he isn't your room mate) is entitled to full  payment, and you are taking advantage of his good nature.

markbrynn

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Re: Am I a cheapsake?
« Reply #17 on: February 25, 2015, 03:23:21 AM »
I think it depends on the nature of the situation. Giving X months notice is designed so the landlord can find a new tenant during the notice period and not miss out on continued rent (or not for very long). If your landlord/housemate was not really looking to re-rent out your room or on a very casual schedule, then I think just paying for the time you stayed there makes sense, as long as he agrees with this.

On the other hand, if he is looking to rent it out and wants/needs the money. I think you are obligated to pay rent for one month from the time you notified him that you would be leaving.

An example of my thinking, if I rent out an apartment for 1 year and after 8 months the person wants to move out, they might officially owe me 4 months rent (depends which country you're in and what's written in the lease). Forgetting what is written in the lease, my default position would be to only take money from my tenant up until the time I re-rent the apartment. So, I would not keep 4 months rent from 1 person and immediately move in a new tenant and get double rent for several months. This all assumes that I am on good terms with the tenant and not looking to recoup losses due to some misbehaviour on his part. This may mean that I earn slightly less money, but I don't think it honest/right/moral to take that money when its purpose was to save me from loss.

[By the way it's "cheapskate." Your misspelling made me think of a dodgy Japanese restaurant.]

OneCoolCat

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Re: Am I a cheapsake?
« Reply #18 on: February 25, 2015, 06:33:52 AM »
He's not looking to re-rent it and we did not have a contract.  The last time I was here (no contract as well), we verbally agreed that I would only pay the last 2 weeks I was here, not the full month.  So what we had here was similar.

I don't feel bad anymore.  Technically he offered and due to the nature of my work, I've only been here for maybe 5 days of the last 2 weeks anyways.  Same with January, I was only here maybe 2 weeks of the month.  Plus we always talked about how I was only here until my job opens an office closer to home, so that was no surprise.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2015, 06:38:47 AM by OneCoolCat »

Retire-Canada

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Re: Am I a cheapsake?
« Reply #19 on: February 25, 2015, 06:38:31 AM »
On one hand we were month to month so maybe he was entitled to it.  On the other he knew I was here just until my office opened.  Mustachian aside, was it wrong to ask?

I'd say he was entitled to it and he did you a favour so I'd just let him keep the money.

I'd put myself in his shoes and think how would I want my tenant to treat me? Because it really does come back around.

You can be frugal "and" generous as you go through life. I think that's a better way to approach things than trying to save every dollar because you can. You won't end up with much less $$, but you will leave more people who were glad to have met you.

-- Vik

James

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Re: Am I a cheapsake?
« Reply #20 on: February 25, 2015, 06:49:20 AM »
Certainly no problem accepting the money back, there isn't any rule in this regard. But I do think it was a little cheap. I would have turned it down at least the first offer. If insisted then sure, but you were paying by the month, so getting half back does seem cheap.


He offered, but did you hint at all? I think it's a grey area, so it's really hard for us to judge. If he knew money was tighter for you and wanted to help you out, then just accept as a gift and be thankful. But if he felt pressured then it might have been just a formality hoping/assuming you would say no, which you should have in my view. But none of that makes it right or wrong, nothing wrong with accepting it and nothing to regret greatly either way. I would send a nice personal note thanking him for refunding they money despite not needing to, and how much that is appreciated while moving, etc. Seems like a nice guy, good to let him know that.

Candace

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Re: Am I a cheapsake?
« Reply #21 on: February 25, 2015, 08:32:07 AM »
I see this as a friendly arrangement. Your friend may not have rented out a room to someone he didn't know, right? He's not looking to rent to someone else? In that case I see it as an arrangement that benefited everyone, but was done on a casual level and left the business details to chance. You two didn't agree beforehand how a partial month would be paid or how much notice you would give, so it could have gone either way. As long as everyone is happy, everyone wins.

I think you should do something nice for him (perhaps get him something for his place that would be nice, or do a thorough cleaning, or detail his car, or get him something you know he would like) to show you appreciate how much the arrangement meant to you. You two are friends. It's not all about contracts and rules.

johnny847

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Re: Am I a cheapsake?
« Reply #22 on: February 25, 2015, 08:34:27 AM »
we did not have a contract.  The last time I was here (no contract as well), we verbally agreed that I would only pay the last 2 weeks I was here, not the full month.  So what we had here was similar.
Even between friends, IMO you should always have a clear written contract which also covers scenarios like leaving halfway through a monthly rent cycle.

Villanelle

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Re: Am I a cheapsake?
« Reply #23 on: February 25, 2015, 08:37:59 AM »
I likely woudn't have asked, simply because I'd assume that a month's notice was required (and fair).  It would have felt wrong for me to ask.

In your friend's shoes, had I been asked, I would have paid it back because it would have been very awkward to deny your direct request. It sounds like you dropped a very heavy hint, so I don't really buy the "I didn't ask; he offered" argument.  Maybe it is hard to tell without being there, but when you made the comment about having paid through the 15th, was the purpose of the comment that you were fishing for a refund?  It sounds like it was.  In that case, yes, you did ask, even if that request didn't come in the form of a question.  In your OP, you even said you felt like an ass for *asking*.  Your own words.  So yes, you did ask. 

lise

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Re: Am I a cheapsake?
« Reply #24 on: February 25, 2015, 09:06:06 AM »
I've rented rooms to friends with loose arrangements like this and never had any resentment over money.   

Just leave your room really clean and tidy when you move out and maybe even spring for a cleaner to come in and clean the whole place.

I've resented friends more because of the state they left the room more than the fact I felt like they cheapskated me out of money. 

Songbird

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Re: Am I a cheapsake?
« Reply #25 on: February 25, 2015, 09:24:23 AM »
If you had a month to month verbal agreement I think that it was rude to get half the month back.  It is better to go through life on the side of being generous than ever having to question it later on.  Obviously you had some doubts or you wouldn't have asked an online forum.  How often you were there the last month is irrelevant to the situation and the fact that you brought that up to justify your position only confirms to me that you are still not completely at peace about getting the half month of money back .

Being stingy/too cheap/skinflint is a very slippery slope. 

Also, it is always beneficial to leave someone with pleasant thoughts of you (generous, accomodating, etc. as opposed to cheapskate, etc.).  It was a business arrangement and you never know when that will play into things down the road. 

Maybe it won't at all and the landlord/friend really doesn't care but that doesn't make it right. 

I would not have been proud of one of my kids if they had done this.  I am impressed at your willingness to put it out there for honest feedback.  That took some fortitude.  Well done!
« Last Edit: February 25, 2015, 09:27:22 AM by Songbird »

jesstach

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Re: Am I a cheapsake?
« Reply #26 on: February 25, 2015, 12:30:32 PM »
Usually on a month-to-month rental you need to give 30 days notice. So since you didn't give notice until Feb 15th, you should have paid until March 15th regardless of when you actually moved out. Once you give your notice, you should owe another 30 days rent. It was nice of your friend/landlord to refund you the money. Since he already give it to you, I would make sure to leave the room really well cleaned and maybe a gift certificate to a restaurant (or something else that he would like) as a nice gesture.

MrsCoolCat

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Re: Am I a cheapsake?
« Reply #27 on: February 25, 2015, 08:42:44 PM »
DH, Mr.OCC, above you buying a home and these issues, questions, etc. I think we need to move because I'm starting to feel that I've lived in SoFla way too long and literally am completely callous. It seems the people on this forum (despite what I see in other similar threads) or people in general (outside of SoFla) are just more genuine and humane. I see where they are coming from and I literally am on the opposite side of the spectrum. With that in mind, if you can't sleep at night life is too short. Send back your money. There, that was my last bit of humanity and me being nice. Your DW has blessed your choice. :-)

former player

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Re: Am I a cheapsake?
« Reply #28 on: February 26, 2015, 01:13:26 AM »
we did not have a contract. 
I don't care either way about the two weeks rent, it sounds like your friend/landlord didn't either, and please learn to stand up for making your own decisions rather than just going along with what other people want/suggest and second guessing them later - you will be a lot happier overall if you can do that.

What I really want to say is: yes you did have a contract.  A contract is an agreement between two people in which value is to be exchanged (ie a room in return for rent).  It does not have to be in writing to be a contract (writing just makes proving the contract easier if someone goes to court over it).  It does not have to include complete and sensible provisions (such as notice periods and refunds).  So, in future, please note that a verbal agreement to exchange value is a contract, creates a legal obligation, and can be enforced through a civil action in the courts.  The notion that something you have agreed to is not a contract because it is not in writing could get you into a lot of trouble, especially if you are given to agreeing things and then taking action before thinking it through for yourself, just because your wife and mother think it is a good idea.

johnny847

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Re: Am I a cheapsake?
« Reply #29 on: February 26, 2015, 05:33:09 AM »
we did not have a contract. 
I don't care either way about the two weeks rent, it sounds like your friend/landlord didn't either, and please learn to stand up for making your own decisions rather than just going along with what other people want/suggest and second guessing them later - you will be a lot happier overall if you can do that.

What I really want to say is: yes you did have a contract.  A contract is an agreement between two people in which value is to be exchanged (ie a room in return for rent).  It does not have to be in writing to be a contract (writing just makes proving the contract easier if someone goes to court over it).  It does not have to include complete and sensible provisions (such as notice periods and refunds).  So, in future, please note that a verbal agreement to exchange value is a contract, creates a legal obligation, and can be enforced through a civil action in the courts.  The notion that something you have agreed to is not a contract because it is not in writing could get you into a lot of trouble, especially if you are given to agreeing things and then taking action before thinking it through for yourself, just because your wife and mother think it is a good idea.
Well sure, an oral contract is valid. You may have trouble proving it in court if you don't have a recording or any witnesses though.

neo von retorch

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Re: Am I a cheapsake?
« Reply #30 on: February 26, 2015, 08:17:40 AM »
we did not have a contract. 
I don't care either way about the two weeks rent, it sounds like your friend/landlord didn't either, and please learn to stand up for making your own decisions rather than just going along with what other people want/suggest and second guessing them later - you will be a lot happier overall if you can do that.

What I really want to say is: yes you did have a contract.  A contract is an agreement between two people in which value is to be exchanged (ie a room in return for rent).  It does not have to be in writing to be a contract (writing just makes proving the contract easier if someone goes to court over it).  It does not have to include complete and sensible provisions (such as notice periods and refunds).  So, in future, please note that a verbal agreement to exchange value is a contract, creates a legal obligation, and can be enforced through a civil action in the courts.  The notion that something you have agreed to is not a contract because it is not in writing could get you into a lot of trouble, especially if you are given to agreeing things and then taking action before thinking it through for yourself, just because your wife and mother think it is a good idea.

+1 on "well said."

As a landlord, I appreciate ample notice, and my expenses for a rent-worthy space are relatively fixed whether there is someone renting it and occupying it, renting it but never there, or it's not rented. So if it's reserved for someone that's renting it, the rent needs to be paid. And time between renters is flat out  irrecoverable expense. It often takes me up to six weeks from when I first advertise open space until it is filled. (I'm always grateful when it is less.) To get a refund without the space already being rented the moment you're vacating is an act of generosity. Appreciate it as such and move on. Don't be so easily swayed into decisions or so easily swayed into changing them either.

Bob W

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Re: Am I a cheapsake?
« Reply #31 on: February 26, 2015, 08:23:45 AM »
You're a cheapskate (not cheapsake I think?).    You traded a few dollars for goodwill.   Had you been a decent dude you would have thanked him profusely and bought him a nice. gift.   Towns are small.   You'll see this guy and feel bad every time you do.    And he will be thinking "cheapskate ass.)

Too late to turn back now.

By the way, there is nothing inherently wrong with being a cheapskate.   

Guesl982374

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Re: Am I a cheapsake?
« Reply #32 on: February 26, 2015, 01:18:04 PM »
I should buy him a gift or something.

+1 Go get him his favorite drink.

southern granny

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Re: Am I a cheapsake?
« Reply #33 on: February 26, 2015, 04:01:32 PM »
If the landlord had not been a friend, you would certainly have not gotten a refund (and probably wouldnt have even asked. ) So I think you took unfair advantage of your friendship.  I would send the money back.