Author Topic: Roommate situation gone wrong, now miserable  (Read 10236 times)

lisa333

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Roommate situation gone wrong, now miserable
« on: April 28, 2019, 04:53:37 PM »
Hi Mustachians,

I'm curious how you would deal with my situation.

I moved to a HCOL area a little over a year ago for a better job and a fresh start. I rented a house that cost twice my price range, but it was a two bedroom so I figured I'd take on a roommate and we'd split the rent. I rented the second bedroom to a friend of a friend who had a steady job and was looking for a place. I made the regrettable mistake of not putting her on the lease and just keeping it a verbal agreement for her to pay me the rent.

Well fast forward a year and I come to find out she's got terrible untreated depression. She stopped going to her job, assuming she would live off of unemployment. She didn't realize that when you get fired, you don't get unemployment checks. So she has no money to pay rent with but also states that she's not going anywhere because then she'll be homeless. She's too depressed to look for a new job and just smokes weed and plays video games in her room all day. This has been going on for months.

In the meantime, the landlord has raised the rent 25%. Luckily my job offers a lot of paid overtime, but at this point I've been working the equivalent of 2 full time jobs' worth of hours to make rent. My lease goes until March 2020 so it looks like the end is quite a ways off.
I can't evict her because I don't own the property. I'm terrified she might try to stay when I move out next year when my lease is up and I could be liable for the ongoing rent and eviction costs while the landlord gets her removed from the property.

I feel like my whole life is on the back burner while I work day and night to make ends meet. I'm exhausted and demoralized. I had been through a drawn-out breakup before moving to this new city and was looking forward to starting over, dating, and enjoying my hobbies. Now I've got another year ahead of me with no time for anything except working and doing laundry.

The best plan I can come up with is to grit my teeth and count down until my lease is up and take it from there, crossing my fingers that she finds a new place to be in the meantime. I'm trying to see this as a lesson learned. I don't think I really have any other options.
What would you do? And yes, I realize now it was wrong to not put her on the lease officially with the landlord. If you want to attack me about that, please see if you can wedge in something productive to say too. I'm already weighted down with regret.

Thanks,
Lisa

Villanelle

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Re: Roommate situation gone wrong, now miserable
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2019, 05:29:42 PM »
Have you told her that since she's no longer paying rent, she needs to move out?  What did she do or say?  (Is that the she'll be homeless" answer?)  She's not on the lease, so I'm not sure she has any legal recourse.  (You might want to check local tenant laws.) 

Tuskalusa

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Re: Roommate situation gone wrong, now miserable
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2019, 05:37:51 PM »
How long till your lease ends? 

SKL-HOU

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Re: Roommate situation gone wrong, now miserable
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2019, 05:43:49 PM »
Can you just change the locks when she is out? Is that illegal?

ETA: It is illegal to change the locks apparently so ignore this post.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2019, 05:51:17 PM by SKL-HOU »

SKL-HOU

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Re: Roommate situation gone wrong, now miserable
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2019, 05:47:09 PM »
Just a quick google, i found that you would be master tenant and she is subtenant and you CAN evict her. Not sure if it is state dependent but i wouldnt assume you cant evict her.

andreamac

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Re: Roommate situation gone wrong, now miserable
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2019, 05:55:25 PM »
Fyi your landlord increasing the rent by 25% seems off. I know the province I live has tenant rules where they can only increase rent by a small amount per year. Check your tenant laws maybe? Ie. Our province in canada (same as a state)rate increase is only 1.8% for 2019.

lisa333

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Re: Roommate situation gone wrong, now miserable
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2019, 06:27:50 PM »
Thanks for all the replies.

My lease ends in March 2020 so a year away.

I told her I can't afford to live here without a rent-paying roommate but she says she'll be homeless so she can't leave. Her significant other and her mom both live locally so I really doubt she'd actually be in a cardboard box.  I think part of the problem is that it's obvious I'm paying rent and we're not imminently being evicted so she knows it's physically possible for me to afford this situation. She really has nothing to lose by staying; the worst case scenario for her is that the landlord or I eventually force her out on the curb which is where she would be if she left voluntarily, just faster.

There is rent control in my area (I'm in the Bay Area in California) but it doesn't cover single-family homes, which is what I'm renting.

I had assumed that the rights of master tenants were dependent on them being authorized to sublet the property by the official landlord. Since I'm breaking the terms of my lease by even renting out the room, I didn't think I would have legitimate master tenant rights. But SKL-HOU, you might be right that I could legally evict her. I'm hesitant to pay for a lawyer if I don't have good evidence that this is possible, so I'll do some more research and see where that gets me.

Just to add further intrigue to the story, my roommate's partner works in tenant/landlord law. So I'm sure if there's a way to make this more difficult for me, they'll take advantage of it.

Thanks again for the replies, I appreciate it. My social circle (which is also composed of her friends) is not very supportive, they just think it's great that I can magically afford to take care of her in her time of need. I also don't have much time to look into options with as much as I'm working. I will definitely do some research to see if evicting her myself is an option.

Cassie

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Re: Roommate situation gone wrong, now miserable
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2019, 06:30:53 PM »
I think itís definitely worth it to pay a lawyer consultation. I would make her life a living hell and annoy her as much as possible. I canít believe the nerve some people have.

Miss Piggy

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Re: Roommate situation gone wrong, now miserable
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2019, 06:43:25 PM »
Something doesn't quite make sense to me here:
- Your lease goes through March of next year.  Did you sign a multi-year lease a year+ ago or did you just re-sign for another year, after roommate hasn't helped with rent for several months?
- If you signed a multi-year lease, how can they raise the rent so dramatically?
- If you just signed a new lease, I assume the increase was part of that new agreement, and this time with no reliable roommate to help? Ouch.

I'm REALLY not trying to rub salt in the wound. Just trying to get a better understanding, especially if your landlord raised the rent in the middle of a lease period. That is just plain wrong.

Civex

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Re: Roommate situation gone wrong, now miserable
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2019, 06:44:46 PM »
You said her mom lives locally..and I'd feel a bit bad doing this, but then I wouldn't expect someone to let me live rent free...,but could you approach her mom? Frame it as a concern regarding her mental health, and bring up her inability to work or *pay* rent? (why can't she move in with her SO?)

Worst case scenario she tells you off and nothing changes, but maybe she'll help her daughter out by paying her share or letting her move home.

Sorry she is being such a shit-my first (and only) foray into land lordship was with good friends and they completely burned me.

Zamboni

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Re: Roommate situation gone wrong, now miserable
« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2019, 06:50:45 PM »
How much would it cost you to break your lease?

Personally, I would get out of this situation in any way possible.

Dee

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Re: Roommate situation gone wrong, now miserable
« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2019, 06:51:33 PM »
Yes, find out more about the *how* but there has to be a way to get her out. Either she is a guest and you are authorized to make her leave once she's overstayed her welcome, or she is a subletter with certain (but not unlimited) rights, perhaps to some sort of notice. Is it an option to fess up to the landlord? Then she wouldn't be a secret sublet anymore. Seems like the worse case scenario there would be that you get evicted, which doesn't seem like such a terrible outcome, given that the situation is no longer working for you. Granted, that would make it hard to find another place. But the more likely outcome would be that the landlord could help you figure out how to get her out and get an authorized subletter in. Also, consider breaking the lease and find out how that would work. If a new tenant can be found, there might not even be any financial hit. Get advice from a legal aid clinic or landlord-tenant board or other group that would be in the know and could set you on the right track.

In any case, it is absolutely ridiculous that she is imposing on you like this, regardless of her medical situation.

Ann

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Re: Roommate situation gone wrong, now miserable
« Reply #12 on: April 28, 2019, 06:54:05 PM »
Would it be possible to talk to your landlord about breaking the lease early?  Obviously there would be financial penalties for doing so.  It might be worth the expense, though.  If you ďhadĒ to move, at least I wouldíve rid of the situation.  That does bring up the possible complication of her staying and causing problems.  Hopefully your friends would be a wee more supportive of you then.

Basically you can tell your social group that you can no longer afford rent.  I know that maybe you can make the monthly payments without declaring bankruptcy, but it isnít in your budget.  You need more rent support and without this have to find a new place to live.  You can say that over and over: you could only afford to live there by getting someone else to splint rent and now have to move without that help.

Itís a radical attempt at a solution.  The actual lease is about a year away and you would be dealing with a parasite in the mean time.  (I know this person is depressed, but it doesnít sound like we are talking about a single months rent forgiveness!)

SKL-HOU

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Re: Roommate situation gone wrong, now miserable
« Reply #13 on: April 28, 2019, 06:57:13 PM »
Since you are breaking the terms of your lease, can you approach your landlord to evict both of you (for breaking the terms of the lease) with you covering the cost? You can explain to the landlord the situation and how you cannotcontinue to afford this. This is assuming you are ok with getting out of this house.

SwordGuy

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Re: Roommate situation gone wrong, now miserable
« Reply #14 on: April 28, 2019, 07:05:43 PM »
I'm a landlord.

My concerns are simple:

.) I get paid the rent, preferably on time.
.) Tenant doesn't trash the place.
.) Tenant takes care of the place.
.) Unpaid vacancies are minimized.

Give me a solution to my problem and I'll be motivated to help you do it.

Find an acceptable roommate replacement.   Ask your landlord for help replacing one roommate with another.   That solves the landlord's problem.

Villanelle

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Re: Roommate situation gone wrong, now miserable
« Reply #15 on: April 28, 2019, 07:07:39 PM »
Yeah, I'm not understanding how this situation is ongoing but you still have a year left on the lease, but the rent was just increased.  Did you sign a new lease even after this situation was clear?  It seems like something might be off.

Thanks for all the replies.

My lease ends in March 2020 so a year away.

I told her I can't afford to live here without a rent-paying roommate but she says she'll be homeless so she can't leave. Her significant other and her mom both live locally so I really doubt she'd actually be in a cardboard box.  I think part of the problem is that it's obvious I'm paying rent and we're not imminently being evicted so she knows it's physically possible for me to afford this situation. She really has nothing to lose by staying; the worst case scenario for her is that the landlord or I eventually force her out on the curb which is where she would be if she left voluntarily, just faster.

There is rent control in my area (I'm in the Bay Area in California) but it doesn't cover single-family homes, which is what I'm renting.

I had assumed that the rights of master tenants were dependent on them being authorized to sublet the property by the official landlord. Since I'm breaking the terms of my lease by even renting out the room, I didn't think I would have legitimate master tenant rights. But SKL-HOU, you might be right that I could legally evict her. I'm hesitant to pay for a lawyer if I don't have good evidence that this is possible, so I'll do some more research and see where that gets me.

Just to add further intrigue to the story, my roommate's partner works in tenant/landlord law. So I'm sure if there's a way to make this more difficult for me, they'll take advantage of it.

Thanks again for the replies, I appreciate it. My social circle (which is also composed of her friends) is not very supportive, they just think it's great that I can magically afford to take care of her in her time of need. I also don't have much time to look into options with as much as I'm working. I will definitely do some research to see if evicting her myself is an option.

That's the same wording you used the first time, and it's what made me ask.  She *can't* leave, or she *won't* leave?  In other words, have you said, "You haven't paid rent for X months and that is unacceptable.  You need to be out by May 15th."  If so, what did she say?  If not, then it sounds like you haven't been assertive enough.  You don't ask a deadbeat to leave; you tell them it is happening. 

If she continues to refuse, then I'd contact a lawyer.  A consultation and perhaps a strongly-worded letter on letterhead might persuade her, and the lawyer could also tell you what your legal rights are as far as things like moving her stuff out, asking the landlord to change the locks (though that could get dicey since you had an illegal sub-tenant, but if you offer to pay and tell him you have a personal situation you'd rather not get in to, he might not ask), etc.   And that consultation would surely be cheaper than another year of  paying her rent. Once she's out you can find a new roommate. 

marble_faun

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Re: Roommate situation gone wrong, now miserable
« Reply #16 on: April 28, 2019, 07:11:21 PM »
This sounds completely horrible!  My sympathies.

Do you think she is consciously settling in as a squatter, or she is just passively coasting along so long as you allow her to?

As you know, tenancy laws can get tricky (see this complete horror story: http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2018/02/jamison-bachman-worst-roommate-ever.html ). So if you think she will assert legal rights rather than move along peaceably, the most by-the-book thing to do would be to work with a landlord attorney and go through the whole legal process of eviction.

Depending on her mindset, though, you might try alternative approaches:

* Inform her that the couch (or some other corner of the apartment) is now her space, and due to extreme financial duress, you will be seeking a new roommate for her room.  (Also: maybe the apartment now becomes a non-smoking space?)  That way, you aren't technically evicting her, but conditions will become much less congenial for her for a continued stay, and you can collect rent from a new roommate. 

* As others have said: break the lease, or at least threaten to do so as a way to jolt her into leaving.  Look into what the penalties for breaking the lease would be -- it could be just losing your security deposit, which would be a drop in the bucket compared to a year's worth of double-rent payments.  (P.S. If she wouldn't move out if you were to break the lease... would she move out in March 2020 when the lease ends??)

* Change the conversation within your social circle. She is exploiting you and draining all of your money, when she could just as easily stay with family or her partner. Maybe start asking mutual friends for "advice" on this situation, which will help them see how she is torching your life. Perhaps they can help convince her to move along. If she sees that she is being perceived negatively, she might go on her own. 

* Edited to add: Pay her money to leave!
« Last Edit: April 28, 2019, 07:18:37 PM by marble_faun »

SunnyDays

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Re: Roommate situation gone wrong, now miserable
« Reply #17 on: April 28, 2019, 07:22:07 PM »
She smokes weed?  Is it legal where you live?  If not, report her to your landlord and get her evicted.  He/she would probably care more about that than you having an unauthorized roommate.

Zamboni

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Re: Roommate situation gone wrong, now miserable
« Reply #18 on: April 28, 2019, 07:30:30 PM »
Paging @TheGrimSqueaker

You need Grim Squeaker's advice. Good luck to you!

maizeman

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Re: Roommate situation gone wrong, now miserable
« Reply #19 on: April 28, 2019, 07:41:38 PM »
My social circle (which is also composed of her friends) is not very supportive, they just think it's great that I can magically afford to take care of her in her time of need. I also don't have much time to look into options with as much as I'm working.

This jumped out at me. Is your concern about your social circle would react to any forceful effort to get her out of the apartment part of the hold up? Particularly when you move to a new city and are working so many hours that it is hard to make new friends it can be hard to make decisions you're worried will make you look like the bad guy. (And to be clear you're not the bad guy in this situation)

maizeman

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Re: Roommate situation gone wrong, now miserable
« Reply #20 on: April 28, 2019, 07:42:21 PM »
She smokes weed?  Is it legal where you live?  If not, report her to your landlord and get her evicted.  He/she would probably care more about that than you having an unauthorized roommate.

(I'm in the Bay Area in California)

Given the location, yes it is quite legal.

lisa333

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Re: Roommate situation gone wrong, now miserable
« Reply #21 on: April 28, 2019, 08:35:51 PM »
Wow, thanks again. I really wasn't expecting so many replies. I keep trying to post a response and then I get a warning that there have been more replies while I was typing!

I guess the rent increase isn't really substantial to the story, it was just more do-able to adjust to the increases when she was paying half. Now that I'm paying it all, I'm really feeling the effect of the increases. The rent was raised 5%, 10% and then another 10% in December which is when I signed the new lease that runs March 2019 to March 2020. She was behind on rent at the time that I signed the new lease but had still been making partial payments (from mutual friends I heard that her mom was helping her.) Then her mom and her had a falling-out and she hasn't paid anything since I signed the new lease in December.

I'm definitely not cut out for this landlord thing, I've learned that for sure. I'm terrible at being assertive. I've tried to give her hard limits but she starts sobbing and shuts her door, then I'm stuck talking to her door in my best speech class "assertive" voice while I listen to her bong rips. Clearly not effective. I was actually going to therapy for social anxiety last year but for obvious reasons can't afford that now.

And yes, the effects in my social circle are definitely part of the hold up with getting anything to happen. When I bring up my ideas of getting the law involved, I hear about how she could be suicidal if I'm too hard on her. In my mind, if she wasn't living here, she'd be living somewhere else with an even less flexible landlord, so I don't see how I'm the problem there.

Breaking the lease is way more palatable than evicting her myself. Even after legal fees and serving documents and the horror of the police hauling her to the sidewalk, I'd still have to find a new roommate! After all this, I really don't have the stomach to trust someone new to pay me.

The previous tenants (before I moved in) were breaking their lease due to rent increases and according to them, they were responsible for paying rent until they could find a replacement (which was me) who met the landlord's credit-worthiness requirements. My only concern there would be if the landlord wouldn't give me a good reference for a new place because even though I dutifully paid rent on time, I left a squatter behind on the premises. I'd really hope she'd move out if someone new was trying to move in but I feel like I can't put anything past her now!

I really appreciate everyone's time in replying. It's mostly hard that I don't have many people to talk to about this. You've given me a lot to think about.

Zamboni

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Re: Roommate situation gone wrong, now miserable
« Reply #22 on: April 28, 2019, 08:58:42 PM »
The irony here is that her own mom has firmer boundaries with her than you . . . not being harsh, but you need to realize that her behavior is so bad that even her own mother isn't helping her any more.

Regarding the rent, I don't understand what is happening here. You say you are new to SF, but there have already been 3 different rent increases? Was it month-to-month before, or has the landlord been increasing your rent right in the middle of leasing periods? That's not how leases work . . . and if it was a month-to-month before you could have chosen to leave any time the landlord raised the rent.

I do think you should talk to an attorney and figure out what you can do to get out of this housing situation pronto. Here is a nearly free tenant legal clinic in your area that offers drop in counseling (bring your lease agreement):
Quote
https://www.sftu.org/about-us/
They won't help you evict the free loader, but they can help you figure out options to get out of this rental agreement that you can't afford. You need to get out yourself I think and let someone else figure out what to do about the squatter.

marble_faun

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Re: Roommate situation gone wrong, now miserable
« Reply #23 on: April 28, 2019, 09:17:03 PM »
And yes, the effects in my social circle are definitely part of the hold up with getting anything to happen. When I bring up my ideas of getting the law involved, I hear about how she could be suicidal if I'm too hard on her. In my mind, if she wasn't living here, she'd be living somewhere else with an even less flexible landlord, so I don't see how I'm the problem there.

I'm guessing these friends aren't volunteering to help pay her share of the rent...

Maybe the next time this comes up, you could ask them if she could stay with them for a while.

Seriously, you've done a lot already.  Her depression is not your fault, and your paying for her rent doesn't seem to be helping her pull herself together.  If everyone else is so concerned about her, it's time for them to step up.

maizeman

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Re: Roommate situation gone wrong, now miserable
« Reply #24 on: April 28, 2019, 09:21:03 PM »
There's a trick some people use to turn temporarily offered help into the illusion of an obligation to keep helping, and it sounds like that is what your roommate has done to you (aided by getting your mutual friends to buy into her framing of the situation).

Others have posted some really good advice on your logistical options, and I am confident you'll figure out which of those solutions works best for you. Actually going through with it will probably also require confronting escalating levels of emotional manipulation, and you should be prepared for that. I don't have the right knowledge to give advice on how that is likely to go, or what the most effective counter strategies are, but I know there are people on this forum who do.

I agree with Zamboni that @TheGrimSqueaker would have just the right perspective for this.

TheGrimSqueaker

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Re: Roommate situation gone wrong, now miserable
« Reply #25 on: April 28, 2019, 09:26:09 PM »
Squeak of the slightly lazy version of evil incarnate, and it shall appear.

Step 1: Talk to your landlord and dish all the relevant information. You took on a lease at a steep increase, it's one you probably weren't qualified for financially, and the unauthorized sublessee roommate (who should have been on the lease) was already behind on rent when you signed. Upshot: you can't afford the deal you have, and by the way you have a 200-lb mosquito in the extra bedroom.

Step 2: Speak frankly to your tenant and explain that you simply can't afford to carry her anymore. Instead of you working two jobs to cover her share of the rent and her other expenses, she needs to get a *first* job and cover her own expenses. Failing that she needs to get the lead out and find a better meal ticket, possibly her "partner", her mother, or some of her flying monkey friends. Speaking of which...

Step 3: Be prepared for an onslaught of flying monkeys and rehearse this line: "I've been paying her way for several months now, I've been working the equivalent of two full-time jobs to cover her share of the rent, and it's affecting my own health. I don't have any savings left to enable her with. So if you think it's vital that Little Miss Sob-Story have a place to stay, put your money where your mouth is and either pay her share of the rent or take her in yourself. I can't take this any longer, and if I blow my own brains out or collapse due to stress, Little Miss Sob-Story will have to get off her duff anyway.

You've done more than her entire mess of enablers put together, and it's time to save yourself. Talk to your landlord first thing tomorrow, ideally before next month's rent is due. Part of what's going on is his fault. Clearly if you told the truth on your application for the house his criteria for what constitutes a qualified tenant is wildly out of whack: he's just had two people in a row want to break leases. Obviously his income threshold is way, way too low for what he wants to charge. He definitely will not want to go through the drama of an eviction so he'll do his part to replace you.

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Roommate situation gone wrong, now miserable
« Reply #26 on: April 28, 2019, 10:00:25 PM »
Geez, what a mess! I canít tell you what to do, too many moving parts, but hereís what I think I would do.

Iíd be prepared to move out as soon as possible. Iíd tell her that I sympathize but I canít carry us both and weíre not in a relationship and Iíve helped her for months already to the tune of X and this is unsustainable so Iím leaving. The rent increases are predatory and your landlord is evil so thatís another reason to leave. Then Iíd get boxes and start packing. Iíd find a friend to crash with until I found a new place or Airbnb or whatever. Iíd tell the landlord that I canít afford the rent increases or deal with the non paying tenant so Iím leaving. They will be able to find other renters to mitigate the situation and they can be responsible for the eviction.

Hereís what I can offer you:

If you lose friends, they are shit friends. Read ďCo-dependent no moreĒ by Melody Beattie. Youíre not helping her or you by carrying the load. Youíre not responsible for her or her choices, no matter what sheís dealing with. Look after you and donít let your health be jeopardized.

Good luck!

BicycleB

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Re: Roommate situation gone wrong, now miserable
« Reply #27 on: April 28, 2019, 10:26:14 PM »
They're taking advantage of you, and you're letting them. Expensive, eh?

Great suggestions already made. Following them will make you assertive, able to take care of yourself. These are important skills. You can do this.

lisa333

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Re: Roommate situation gone wrong, now miserable
« Reply #28 on: April 28, 2019, 10:45:08 PM »
Thanks again everyone. I'm really pleased to have gotten such well thought-out and helpful responses to a bad situation that I got myself into.

I'm going to go off the board for a bit while I sort out what to do but I really appreciate your advice. You've given me a lot to consider. I think I got overwhelmed with picking up enough shifts to cover my increasing expenses and didn't have time to step back and think through my other options. It's my first day off in a while and I'm glad I took the time to post here!

I'll put up an update when I have one.

Thanks again,
Lisa

Goldielocks

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Re: Roommate situation gone wrong, now miserable
« Reply #29 on: April 28, 2019, 10:54:13 PM »
A few off the wall thoughts;
1) set up a Go Fund Me, for her, but you as the person to whom the money goes (for her rent). Tag all the friends.   Set it up stating what 6 months of rent will be, saying that you have already provided 3 and can't do anymore.    Ask them directly to contribute saying that she will have to move out if no one can help.

2) Just write up the standard tenant eviction notice for non-payment and give it to her.  There should be standard forms on line for your city / state.  Assume that you have a standard sub-lease (if verbal) agreement.  You can even paste it to her door if she won't accept a handed over copy or starts crying, etc.  Very little to say, really.   Oh, tell your landlord first what is happening.

3)  If she balks at the idea of being treated like a standard tenant, then can you go through the "get my ex crazy GF out of my apartment?" mode?  There must be a way to get a (depressed or crazy) but not violent ex out of your home that you are sole tenant for, when you break up in SFO.    Just start calling her your ex, and that you broke up because you realized that you are actually straight after all.   You were keeping the relationship secret from your family and friends because you were in the closet and unsure about it all.... etc. etc. etc.

iris lily

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Re: Roommate situation gone wrong, now miserable
« Reply #30 on: April 28, 2019, 11:14:39 PM »
A few off the wall thoughts;
1) set up a Go Fund Me, for her, but you as the person to whom the money goes (for her rent). Tag all the friends.   Set it up stating what 6 months of rent will be, saying that you have already provided 3 and can't do anymore.    Ask them directly to contribute saying that she will have to move out if no one can help.

2) Just write up the standard tenant eviction notice for non-payment and give it to her.  There should be standard forms on line for your city / state.  Assume that you have a standard sub-lease (if verbal) agreement.  You can even paste it to her door if she won't accept a handed over copy or starts crying, etc.  Very little to say, really.   Oh, tell your landlord first what is happening.

3)  If she balks at the idea of being treated like a standard tenant, then can you go through the "get my ex crazy GF out of my apartment?" mode?  There must be a way to get a (depressed or crazy) but not violent ex out of your home that you are sole tenant for, when you break up in SFO.    Just start calling her your ex, and that you broke up because you realized that you are actually straight after all.   You were keeping the relationship secret from your family and friends because you were in the closet and unsure about it all.... etc. etc. etc.

I know nothing about how practical or legal any of this advice is, but it was an entertaining read. So thanks for that!

SKL-HOU

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Re: Roommate situation gone wrong, now miserable
« Reply #31 on: April 29, 2019, 05:19:23 AM »
Tell her the landlord is requiring to put her name on the lease and ask the landlord to add her. This may scare her into leaving. If not, if she puts her name on the lease, then at least after the lease ends she is not your problem.

rothwem

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Re: Roommate situation gone wrong, now miserable
« Reply #32 on: April 29, 2019, 06:20:17 AM »
I wouldnít bother the landlord.  Iíd tell the roommate that she needs to get out or pay you (all of) the rent.

Since the leach is not on the lease, Iíd throw her shit in the street and change the locks if she wonít comply. She has no legal right to be there. Make sure to give the landlord a copy of the key.

If youíre too much of a wuss to make this happen, you deserve to be taken advantage of.

Linea_Norway

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Re: Roommate situation gone wrong, now miserable
« Reply #33 on: April 29, 2019, 06:46:16 AM »
Tell her the landlord is requiring to put her name on the lease and ask the landlord to add her. This may scare her into leaving. If not, if she puts her name on the lease, then at least after the lease ends she is not your problem.

The landlord might not be willing to put a person with no income or assets on the lease.

When I rented as a student, the landlord would sometimes remove the door to one of the apartments. After that, the tenant would move out quickly. I don't know how legal that was. But this is part of making her stay miserable.

Enigma

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Re: Roommate situation gone wrong, now miserable
« Reply #34 on: April 29, 2019, 08:33:53 AM »
You need a lawyer.  For one California and local jurisdictions are all different.

rothwem

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Re: Roommate situation gone wrong, now miserable
« Reply #35 on: April 29, 2019, 09:29:05 AM »
You need a lawyer.  For one California and local jurisdictions are all different.

She doesn't need a lawyer, she needs a spine.

maizeman

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Re: Roommate situation gone wrong, now miserable
« Reply #36 on: April 29, 2019, 09:35:26 AM »
@rothwem I don't know about you, but when a person isn't strong enough to move a dresser, I either help them, or I suggest alternative strategies they could take on their own (for example, rent a handcart/dolly). Telling them "oh since you're not strong enough, so I guess you don't deserve to move your dresser" is neither productive nor civil.

Right now, you are not productively contributing to this discussion, nor are you being civil.

What is your end goal here?

iris lily

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Re: Roommate situation gone wrong, now miserable
« Reply #37 on: April 29, 2019, 09:51:14 AM »
@rothwem I don't know about you, but when a person isn't strong enough to move a dresser, I either help them, or I suggest alternative strategies they could take on their own (for example, rent a handcart/dolly). Telling them "oh since you're not strong enough, so I guess you don't deserve to move your dresser" is neither productive nor civil.

Right now, you are not productively contributing to this discussion, nor are you being civil.

What is your end goal here?

What if I contribute the (perhaps not entirely, but somewhat) helpful thought that she needs BOTH a spine (for future encounters especially) AND an attorney.

There are several things that raise a red flag with me in the situation. Things that linger in my brain as real trouble spots, and they are:

* knowledge that in my city and my state that is not even California, squatters have a lot of legal sway

*the roommateís boyfriend works in tenant law

* that horrifying true tale of California real estate, posted on this site years ago, about the house that was purchased and the new owner spent 2-3years booting out the squatting occupants

* the equally horrifying feature film Pacific Heights about a squatter in San Francisco. Just a movie, but ugh.

See, this whole scenario plays into my deep seated fear of tenants! Haha, but true. I do not ever want to be a landlord, I have never been a landlord, and I own properties where I could be a landlord but I am not.

This post is not logical and therefore I suppose not especially helpful except that is has buried truth Ė tenants in California can be a minefield. Tread carefully.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2019, 09:53:02 AM by iris lily »

MonkeyJenga

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Re: Roommate situation gone wrong, now miserable
« Reply #38 on: April 29, 2019, 10:04:24 AM »
If you're still reading, this gives an intro for California subtenant evictions: https://apeopleschoice.com/how-to-evict-a-roommate-in-california/

Cassie

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Re: Roommate situation gone wrong, now miserable
« Reply #39 on: April 29, 2019, 10:05:41 AM »
We bought a house when young with 2 little kids and one ready to come any day. The renters were mad because they wanted to buy the house but the owner sold it to us knowing our family for years. It was a gay couple with no kids. We knocked on the door and let them know that all of us would be moving in with all our stuff in 2 weeks. They could stay or go their choice.  They were gone quickly.

SKL-HOU

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Re: Roommate situation gone wrong, now miserable
« Reply #40 on: April 29, 2019, 10:31:38 AM »
Tell her the landlord is requiring to put her name on the lease and ask the landlord to add her. This may scare her into leaving. If not, if she puts her name on the lease, then at least after the lease ends she is not your problem.

The landlord might not be willing to put a person with no income or assets on the lease.

When I rented as a student, the landlord would sometimes remove the door to one of the apartments. After that, the tenant would move out quickly. I don't know how legal that was. But this is part of making her stay miserable.

That is a good point. Maybe all she needs is to tell the roommate the landlord wants to do this and she may just move out (doubtful but may be worth a try).

former player

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Re: Roommate situation gone wrong, now miserable
« Reply #41 on: April 29, 2019, 11:05:42 AM »
We bought a house when young with 2 little kids and one ready to come any day. The renters were mad because they wanted to buy the house but the owner sold it to us knowing our family for years. It was a gay couple with no kids. We knocked on the door and let them know that all of us would be moving in with all our stuff in 2 weeks. They could stay or go their choice.  They were gone quickly.

I like this idea.  Perhaps OP can find someone who wants to move in and pay at least some rent (should be possible in the Bay Area?), then tell the freeloader that they are moving into her room pronto and she can do what she likes.

rothwem

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Re: Roommate situation gone wrong, now miserable
« Reply #42 on: April 29, 2019, 11:17:46 AM »
@rothwem I don't know about you, but when a person isn't strong enough to move a dresser, I either help them, or I suggest alternative strategies they could take on their own (for example, rent a handcart/dolly). Telling them "oh since you're not strong enough, so I guess you don't deserve to move your dresser" is neither productive nor civil.

Right now, you are not productively contributing to this discussion, nor are you being civil.

What is your end goal here?

Its more like a "I'm afraid what people will think of me if I move this dresser" rather than, "I'm not strong enough to move this dresser".  Which is silly. 

The "tenant" here has no legal standing here and is only taking advantage of the OP because the OP lets it happen.  My endgame is to hopefully get the OP pissed off enough that they actually take some action rather than wringing her hands and picking up extra shifts to pay for a deadbeat living in her house!

marble_faun

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Re: Roommate situation gone wrong, now miserable
« Reply #43 on: April 29, 2019, 11:23:43 AM »
The "tenant" here has no legal standing here and is only taking advantage of the OP because the OP lets it happen.

Every town is different, but likely the roommate does have legal standing.  Even without a lease, rent money has changed hands, creating a tenant relationship. That's why the OP has to tread carefully and can't just hurl the roommate's stuff out on the curb.

mozar

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Re: Roommate situation gone wrong, now miserable
« Reply #44 on: April 29, 2019, 11:28:36 AM »
Things I've learned as a landlord with no spine: don't try to help people, and do not ask someone to leave, tell them to leave. Printing up an official document and handing it to them has always worked.
In your situation I would break the lease and give 1 month notice.  Even if you agreed in writing that you would find another tenant and you will be liable for the rent until a new tenant is found, that is hard to enforce. It might not even be enforceable. It would be a much bigger hassle for the landlord to take you to small claims court than to just find a new tenant.
 Absolute worst case scenario is that you are taken to small claims court, you lose, and you are given a fine,. You could still not pay it. The landlord would sell it to a debt collector and you can settle with them for much less than the landlord. Tenants skip town all the time. Landlords appreciate it when you give a months notice.
I think you would be unlikely you would get a reference anyway( because your options are leave or fess up). So I wouldn't worry about it.
If where you live you can only rent if you have a reference from a former landlord, consider moving further out. Even a homeless shelter would be better than this situation.

Lady SA

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Re: Roommate situation gone wrong, now miserable
« Reply #45 on: April 29, 2019, 11:33:53 AM »
I had a bum leech of a roommate in college who was making life difficult while not paying rent and refusing to get a job and refusing to move out. I still have an urge to thwack something hard over the head when I think of that asshole.

Anyway, we were eventually successful in getting rid of him with no repercussions for us. I'll give you my tips:

1. Have a straight up, frank conversation with the roommate where you need to get across 2 stern things. Be unemotional and cultivate an air of competency and sternness. 1) The agreement is you would pay $X when you moved. You are not holding up your end of the bargain so our agreement is not valid anymore. (you can show her evidence if you want) 2) You WILL move out by Y date (not "you should" or "you need to"... "you WILL". Be firm!). Choose a date about 2-3 weeks from now (if you don't think she will trash the place) to give her enough time to line something else up. DO NOT allow her to argue or manipulate you. State the deadline date, and act like it is all but set in stone and all that is left is to negotiate how she will easily move on to her next house.
We actually printed up an agreement for the mooch to sign that said the same things. "NAME agreed to pay $X towards rent of ADDRESS along with roommates. As of TODAY'S DATE, NAME has missed $ABC in payments. This is a breach of our agreement. NAME agrees to move out on Y date. ______ signed (both us and mooch)."
This is a very difficult conversation to have. I sympathize. But you should get pissed off at this nasty mooch and channel that energy to getting her the f*ck out of your house and shovel that shit right out of your life. Being depressed doesn't give her license to be a gigantic mooching asshole. Plenty of other people with depression manage to be decent people and letting her walk all over you isn't doing her any favors. Hold her accountable, be pissed, and give her a necessary life lesson and kick her out. Use your words to make your displeasure (not holding up her side of the agreement) and her consequences (do not get to live here any longer) crystal clear. She is an adult and therefore beholden to adult consequences to not paying for the place you are living. You enabling her to continue in her funk is actively harming her, not helping her. She hasn't done anything productive with all this grace time you have extended her, and it's pretty clear she will not if you continue. Time to push her out of the nest.

2. Prepare yourself for her to enlist all your mutual friends and anyone in her corner to harass you or bother you on her behalf, and she will likely massage reality to cast you in a painfully negative light. Part of their willingness to go to bat for her will come from their not wanting to deal with her or support her themselves, and they were all perfectly comfortable while foisting all the shit onto your shoulders. Hold absolutely firm because you should know you are in the right. Rehearse a statement you can use to illuminate the reality of the situation to her minions and refuse to engage. Something like "I'm sorry you feel that way. I agreed to allow Susan to live there while she could pay rent, but she has not paid in X months. I cannot afford the rent by myself. Therefore Susan and I agreed that she needs to move out. (say this with complete sincerity--she knew the agreement and she broke it, therefore by the transitive property of not paying her rent, she agreed tacitly that she wouldn't live there). Oh, sorry, got to run, just saw Patrick and wanted to chat with him. Toodles!"

3. ENLIST THE LANDLORD as your ally! Let them know what has happened, and fess up to your mistake. Let them know you did it in good faith and vetted your roommate, but after moving in, circumstances changed and now the landlord should know what is happening on the property, and that you have a plan to solve the problem and here are the steps you are taking to solve both yours and the landlords problem(s), and if you had the landlord in your corner that would be very helpful.
In my case, we let the landlord know what was happening with our mooch-roommate. Because we had a good relationship with him (paid rent on time and didn't trash his house), he offered a last-ditch option in case the roomie refused to move off his property. That option was essentially formally "evicting" all of us, and then immediately amending the eviction and allowing the non-mooch roommates to re-sign a lease. That would have been a LOT of hassle and craziness so I'm glad we didn't have to go that route. But it was an effective threat to the mooch, and he did end up moving out a week after our "deadline".
The landlord will likely be an excellent resource on laws and such, entirely because they are a landlord and need to be on top of tenant laws and such. They may have a good read on if this will require the services of a lawyer if it gets beyond a certain point.

3. Once the hard move out deadline is stated, keep doing annoying check-ins. Every day. Without fail. Do not let her believe she can railroad you or "forget" to do the logistical work of moving out and then stay by default. This means you do have to take on some annoying logistical duties, but remember it is in your best interest in the long run. "Have you found a new place to live? You've got to be out by Monday, remember?" "Have you talked to your SO about how you will put together a security deposit?" "Did you go see that potential apartment like you said you would today?"
When things start going off the rails (and they will), start making noises around "well that is really unfortunate. Because no matter what, you will have to be gone on Y date. It will be pretty difficult for you to move out gracefully if you don't start doing those things."
And here is where the landlord would be a helpful ally. Because when she is sitting on her bum doing nothing to move out, the landlord can lend some intimidating weight behind you. They can act as a sort of "authority figure" that you may not embody to your roommate because you are around the same age and have known each other a while. That was a problem with our mooch, he didn't consider us an authority over him, but once we got the (older, more intimidating) landlord involved and coming around to check on his progress, he started hustling to get out.

4. I would also recommend speaking to a lawyer (perhaps your landlord has connections or suggestions) anyway, regardless of your landlords recommendations, just to CYA and see if there are any pitfalls you need to be aware of.

iris lily

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Re: Roommate situation gone wrong, now miserable
« Reply #46 on: April 29, 2019, 11:34:36 AM »
We bought a house when young with 2 little kids and one ready to come any day. The renters were mad because they wanted to buy the house but the owner sold it to us knowing our family for years. It was a gay couple with no kids. We knocked on the door and let them know that all of us would be moving in with all our stuff in 2 weeks. They could stay or go their choice.  They were gone quickly.
This is hilarious!

rothwem

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Re: Roommate situation gone wrong, now miserable
« Reply #47 on: April 29, 2019, 11:35:26 AM »
The "tenant" here has no legal standing here and is only taking advantage of the OP because the OP lets it happen.

Every town is different, but likely the roommate does have legal standing.  Even without a lease, rent money has changed hands, creating a tenant relationship. That's why the OP has to tread carefully and can't just hurl the roommate's stuff out on the curb.

Okay, so lets go through the logic chain on that:

-OP gets hauled into court for putting the leach's stuff out on the curb. 
-Leach says that she's a tenant, and shows where she paid the OP
-OP points out that the payments stopped, and that's why her shit's on the curb. 

...

-The OP gets to go after the leach for missed rent maybe?

In reality, there was only a verbal agreement, so its a he-said-she-said situation.  Guess who is going to be believed when it comes down to that?  The one with the job that doesn't smoke pot all day, that's who.  And that's the reason that it won't actually go to court. 

It sounds like the OP is just scared to be seen as uncool to her friends for standing up for herself. 

Tester

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Re: Roommate situation gone wrong, now miserable
« Reply #48 on: April 29, 2019, 11:36:40 AM »
I did not read all the details.
I might be blunt but this is what I think:.
1. You are renting a house you can't afford to pay - solution: find something you can.
2. You can't get your roommate to get out - you get out and find a place you can afford. Pay the early termination penalties and consider this a lesson.
3. You NEVER EVER sublease to someone. If you need to live with roommates you are the one subleasing.

This is the only advice I have, sorry.

rothwem

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Re: Roommate situation gone wrong, now miserable
« Reply #49 on: April 29, 2019, 11:41:20 AM »

3. ENLIST THE LANDLORD as your ally!

Do not get the landlord involved.  As a landlord, the goals are:
-Make sure my house doesn't get destroyed
-Make sure I get paid on time
-Have a minimum amount of trouble from the tenant. 

You can bet your ass if a tenant came to me with some high school drama like this, I would not be renewing their lease the next time.  And until the lease is up, I want my money on time or both parties will be evicted.