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  1. #1
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    Apartment sharing troubles - advice please!

    I moved out of my parents house in the beginning of december, and rented an apartment with a friend of mine from college. It was a 6-month lease, everything was pretty much fine, but in April she told me that she couldn't afford to keep living there and had to look for a different place. I was at a particularly stressful time in my life so I was NOT looking to add moving to the list of items on my plate. With permission from my landlords, I started looking for someone else to rent the place with.

    The person I ended up going with was a guy a few years older than me, who was, in his words, "working about 12 hours a day" landscaping, as well as installing burglar alarms and security cameras on the side. He had responded to an ad I posted online and we knew some of the same people but had never formally been introduced before he came to look at the place. The landlords met him and we signed a year lease.

    Now, because of this persons line of work, he got paid in cash and suggested that he could just give me the cash for the rent each month and I would mail the check to the landlords. I wasn't particularly comfortable with this arrangement but I was so panicked about finding someone at that point that I agreed to it. The first few months were fine. We got along well, I met some of his friends and he some of mine, and it seemed like I'd gotten what I'd hoped for in a roommate - someone laid-back who would be respectful and share the bills.

    Sometime in June, I heard through the grapevine that he was no longer doing the landscaping, although I never found out why. He gave me most of the money for July on time, and promised he'd have the rest to me within a week, which he did, and I didn't think much of it.

    Well, end of July came, and I finally had to hunt him down because at that point rent was due THE NEXT DAY -at this point I'd already mailed the check- and I hadn't heard a thing from him about it. He said he'd had some sort of gig lined up for that day that hadn't worked out and he'd expected to have had the money in hand, but that he would in a few days. Now it's almost the end of August and I still don't have anything and he's barely said a word to me, period, much less about the money, in the past month or so, when we used to talk all the time.

    I realize the simple solution is to talk to him about all of this but,
    (A) he ALWAYS has people over and I'm not trying to cause a scene/
    (B) he hangs with a bit of a rough crowd so he's not the kind of person I want to piss off and
    (C) I guess because we'd gotten along so well at first I'm still hoping he'll come through.

    All I know is I've been budgeted to within an inch of my life the past few months and I really didn't need that hit to my bank account and I'm really unsure how I should proceed from here. At the same time, it frustrates me more that he wouldn't talk to me about what was going on than that he didn't have the money. I realize it was probably not the wisest thing to move in with someone I barely knew, but I felt like I had no other options, and now I'm stuck $700 in the hole with rent coming up again shortly.

    Thoughts? Advice?
    Last edited by personwhoishere; 08-25-2013 at 08:27 PM.

  2. #2
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    If you are afraid to talk to the guy, you should not be living with him. I say go back go your parents until you figure out how to get rid of him. You may need to look into landlord-tenant law in your town - there should be some kind of legal aid group (big cities have groups specializing in housing issues) that can help you sort out your options. And next time dont sign a lease with a stranger who hangs out with rough people - but I am sure you figured that out by now!

    Having to have a roommate sucks. I hope you can find a way to swing a small "room of your own" soon.

  3. #3
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    Wish I could go back to my parents - I work almost 2 hours away from them. It's my first fulltime and I'm JUST getting moved from hourly to salary at the end of the month so I'm not trying to leave.
    Nevermind that my lease goes through may of next year.

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    Do you have any big male friends who could come stay with you for a while to help you get him to move out?

    ETA: Here is some advice from a lawyer in SF:
    http://sfappeal.com/2010/11/tenant-t...beat-roommate/

    ETA again: And another perspective:
    http://lifehacker.com/5813681/how-to...rappy-roommate

    Eviction takes a long time which is why I suggested the informal process of applying some burly male persuasion to help the deadbeat see that it is in his interests to leave. I know a landlord who couldnt get a deadbeat tenant to leave, so she hired some Latino thugs to "persuade" him. When the cops came, she told them she didnt speak Spanish and had no idea what they were saying to him. She is an important personage in the area and got away with it. True story.
    Last edited by Spun Silver; 08-25-2013 at 09:13 PM.

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    If you do opt to talk to him, I would consider having a witness present. Offer him to have someone present as well but I wouldn't do it without someone else there, given he's already proved himself to be unreliable with the first arrangement you made that's not been put into writing (how the rent's paid).

    Couldn't you just tell him that from now on you'll pay your share and he has to pay his and you only send a cheque for half of the amount? Are you required to pay the full sum for the both of you?

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    If his name is on the lease, why can't you send in the check for your half & tell him to do the same? Then it's off you--it's between him & your landlord.

    Good luck! I hope that you can get to a solution.

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    I agree with backspin. If you are both on the lease then only send in your portion from now on. Let the landlord handle him if he doesn't pay. However, if you are the main person on the lease and he is only a "room-mate" then you are probably the responsible party in the end. It all depends on the type of lease you two signed.
    -Brian
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigB08822 View Post
    I agree with backspin. If you are both on the lease then only send in your portion from now on. Let the landlord handle him if he doesn't pay. However, if you are the main person on the lease and he is only a "room-mate" then you are probably the responsible party in the end. It all depends on the type of lease you two signed.
    Check the laws in your area. If you are both on the lease, it is likely that that makes you both responsible for the payment. You can't just send half. The landlord doesn't care who pays it, just that it both gets paid. This advice could get you evicted.

    (But you likely could talk to the landlord and see if they can help you in any way.)

  9. #9
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    Thoughts:

    1. Stay safe. Don't put yourself in jeopardy.
    2. Get legal advice! You need to know the laws applicable for your jurisdiction. You're already out one month's rent from this guy.
    3. Clue your landlord in on the situation.

    If you feel threatened by this guy and/or his buddies, you have to do something to remedy that. You can't let this hang over your head every day as you're trying to build your career. Let us know what's going on with you.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spun Silver View Post
    If you are afraid to talk to the guy, you should not be living with him.
    This.

    If you are afraid to ask him to move out, could you ask your landlord for help?

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    I had a similar situation years ago. My roommate was just plain irresponsible and never gave me the rent money or gave it to me weeks late. I arranged with the landlord that rent would be paid on two separate checks. I paid my half. When she neglected to pay hers, they confronted her and charged her late fees. She got her act together after two months of that.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Meredith View Post
    Thoughts:

    1. Stay safe. Don't put yourself in jeopardy.
    2. Get legal advice! You need to know the laws applicable for your jurisdiction. You're already out one month's rent from this guy.
    3. Clue your landlord in on the situation.

    If you feel threatened by this guy and/or his buddies, you have to do something to remedy that. You can't let this hang over your head every day as you're trying to build your career. Let us know what's going on with you.
    The law will depend on the state and possibly the city where you live, so get some advice. There may be some advice on landlord/tenant law through your local courts, some of which may be online.

    You may want to talk to the landlord about the situation. The consequences of being evicted are that it will negatively affect your credit and there will be a record of it, so you don't want that to happen. But your roommate may not want that to happen either. Evictions also can be expensive for landlords since they require going to court, can require jumping through a lot of procedural hoops depending on the locality, and then have to be enforced. That could be two or three months of receiving no rent. And then, if the landlord evicts you and your roommate, he or she has to find a new tenant, which means there may be another month or two without rent. An experienced landlord may look at the situation, particularly if properties are difficult to rent in your area and if you can find another replacement roommate, and figure it is better to work out some kind of deal than go through an eviction. Maybe you, your current roommate, and the landlord could negotiate an agreement that there will be no eviction if: (1) your current roommate moves out; (2) you find a new roommate by X date; and (3) the landlord accepts 3/4 rent until X. (You could then decide if it is worth suing your current roommate in small claims court for any amount he owes you.)

  13. #13

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    I would definitely recommend talking to the landlord and having the two of you pay the rent separately and directly to the landlord. Let the landlord handle the non-payments.

    If you feel afraid/threatened by this guy, you may want to get help from a male friend or relative to talk to him, in a non-threatening way, so he knows you have support from outside.

    My 2 cents.

    Good luck.

  14. #14
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    I'm a little confused by all this talk of safety. He is your roommate, not some thug (at least I'm assuming you wouldn't have let him move in if you were fearful of him; I could be wrong). You need to find it within yourself to speak up. Trying to avoid confrontation by going straight to the landlord is probably going to piss him off a lot more than just talking to him. For the love of ceiling cat, don't go running to some male friend just to ask him for the rent! He may still not do what you want after you speak with him, but at least things will be out in the open.

    Good luck.
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  15. #15

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    If he's scaring you into silence. He needs to go.
    btw, there are only two types of people who deal in cash only - those avoiding taxes and those avoiding the law.
    AceOn6, the golf loving skating fan

  16. #16
    drinky typo pbp, closet hugger
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aceon6 View Post
    If he's scaring you into silence. He needs to go.
    btw, there are only two types of people who deal in cash only - those avoiding taxes and those avoiding the law.
    And people who work in restaurants.

    and what scare tactics is the roommate engaging in? sure, he sounds like a crappy roommate (and there are plenty of those), but this scary monster response is really bizarre. And I think counter-productive to the OP. If she doesn't learn how to communicate with roommates about something as central as the rent, the next situation could very well go south even if the demographic of the roommate is quite different.
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  17. #17
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    Thanks for everyones thoughts and advice!
    genevieve, this
    You need to find it within yourself to speak up. Trying to avoid confrontation by going straight to the landlord is probably going to piss him off a lot more than just talking to him. For the love of ceiling cat, don't go running to some male friend just to ask him for the rent! He may still not do what you want after you speak with him, but at least things will be out in the open.
    was really the kick in the pants I needed. Luckily roomie was in a very good mood today and I was able to sneak the question in after some joking around and laughing.
    He's finally working again and says he'll have about 700 for me by the end of the week -I'm cool with the friend he's working with who confirmed to me that they get paid on friday- and then the rest -for this coming month- within the next two weeks as he just started working again about a week and a half ago. He gave me a bit of a song and dance about why he didn't tell me sooner but at least he didn't flat out say "I'm not giving you sh-t" or something along those lines which is what I was afraid of.

    I do still think I'm going to continue to look into other living arrangements, as I want to be closer to my job anyways. We'll see what happens when the weekend comes if I actually get the money, but the conversation went a lot better than I'd hoped for.

  18. #18

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    It's great that you talked & he has a job now, but if I were you I would suggest he start paying the rent directly to the landlord from now on. You didn't take him to raise.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by personwhoishere View Post
    Luckily roomie was in a very good mood today and I was able to sneak the question in after some joking around and laughing.
    He's finally working again and says he'll have about 700 for me by the end of the week -I'm cool with the friend he's working with who confirmed to me that they get paid on friday- and then the rest -for this coming month- within the next two weeks as he just started working again about a week and a half ago. He gave me a bit of a song and dance about why he didn't tell me sooner but at least he didn't flat out say "I'm not giving you sh-t" or something along those lines which is what I was afraid of.

    I do still think I'm going to continue to look into other living arrangements, as I want to be closer to my job anyways. We'll see what happens when the weekend comes if I actually get the money, but the conversation went a lot better than I'd hoped for.
    congratulations! it does sound like a different living situation would be for the best, but you did the right thing and here's hoping things will improve for the duration.
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    Apartment sharing troubles - advice please!

    Quote Originally Posted by Aceon6 View Post
    If he's scaring you into silence. He needs to go.
    btw, there are only two types of people who deal in cash only - those avoiding taxes and those avoiding the law.
    Besides waiters. Bar tenders, hair stylists, massage therapists, etc often deal with cash only or lots of cash, at least.
    -Brian
    "Michelle would never be caught with sausage grease staining her Vera Wang." - rfisher

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