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ShoelessOne's Avatar
roomate questions! drama inside!

Hi all!

So, my wife and I moved into an apartment about 2 months ago. The whole situation is a bit shady as it turns out, but at the time it didn't really seem so. It's gotten more shady as time has progressed.

The situation is as follows: There is a large house split up into three floors, and each floor is sort of it's own self contained rental unit (so in other words it's a shared living space, basically we live in a house together as housemates). The OWNER of the house, and the actual landlord, has sort of given one of the tenants in this apartment the role of landlord. This is where the shadyness comes in, and a bit of confussion. So, on our lease, the girl, we'll call her Sarah, is written in as the landlord in the beginning of the lease, but at the END of the lease where the landlords signiture is, the actual owner of the property signed it. So that's the lease.

Anyway, the way it's been workign (though we didnt' know this at the time), is the girl who lives in this apartment (Sarah), doesn't actually pay rent. She has been given free reign to choose the rent each tenant pays (there are three of us total, including her), so basically myself and the other guy livign here pay enough to cover her portion of rent. Frankly, we were a bit disapointed when we learned this because we were under the impression taht it was a three way split of expensises, but that's her perogative I suppose and so I'm not complaining. The utilities are in her name, but we split those three ways.

Anyway, this part doens't matter, but she is an irresponsible person who has a fat dog that she never takes care of and it shits and pisses all over the carpet. This pisses us off, but again rather then make a huge deal out of it we choose to deal with it as part of the cost/risk associated with living with housemates.

BUT, recently, our other roomate (we'll call him Tom) has gotten fed up with her irresponsibility and is moving out (legally in accordance with his lease I believe, but that's outside of the issue). So, being the irresponsible person she is, she is stressing to find a roomate who will pay the unreasonable rent she is asking (she seems unwilling to pay rent herself, and so is stressing bout finding a tenante who will pay what she is asking). She of course doesn't seem to understand that this stress (and the fact that she should have been proactive with this) is part of the burden that she has to carry with her role as a suedo landlady. This is incredibly annoying, but again oh well.

SO, in her desperation, she found a guy who is looking for a place to stay right now. She agreed to let him sleep on the couch in our living room for the next two weeks until Tom moves out on Dec. 1. She is collecting 150$ a week from the guy (for the next two weeks). She told us this the night he was moving in. I could have (and you'll say I should have) made a huge deal about it, but again at this point, we're trying to avoid major confrontations (we have less then 4 months left). Anyway, he's a nice guy, and we don't mind him being around, but we just found out minutes ago (hence me typing this) that he is bringing a cat, and a girlfriend, neither of which our suedo lanlord ("Sarah") told us about (I'm sure intentionally). When I showed some annoyance at having the inability to go into our living room at night/morning because somebody was sleepign on the couch, she acted as if she was in an impossible position and this was the only solution she had (she seems to really believe this, not really taking into account she doesn't pay any rent fo this very situation).

Anyway, this is more of a rant than anything I guess, but I would be interested to know if anybody has any ideas about what we should do to protect ourselves, what our rights might be, etc. Again, we don't necessarily want to "get into it" with her, because we're not looking to go to court or anything and she holds our security deposit currently. Not to mention we see her everyday.

So, any tips? And by tips, I mean things we should do to cover our ass when shit hits the fan? At the very least, I want to make sure I do everything in my power to get my deposit back, etc.

N[W]O - ***Ace Sextuple***

****I AM ACTUALLY shoelessone****
Old 11-20-2010, 12:09 PM ShoelessOne is offline  
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Serv0h's Avatar
Can you threaten to move out the same time Tom does? That'd make her shit bricks, eh?

Tell her that it wasn't in your lease that you'd have another couple with a cat move in to your space at a moments notice. Threaten to sue and walk out if she doesn't resolve the issue.

Don't make yourself miserable to "avoid confrontation"
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Old 11-20-2010, 12:27 PM Serv0h is offline  
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Stereodude's Avatar
How does your lease define the space your renting? You need to read your lease closely. Is your living room defined by your lease as common area, or as yours?

If it's yours she's definitely in the wrong and you can probably break your lease over it and move out. Even if it's a common area you may still have some recourse since you're deprived of the use of the common area by someone living in it. You'll have to look into the renter / landlord regulations specific to the town / state you live in.

You definitely should press the mooching landlady for a discount on your December rent for at least $200 as compensation for the loss of your living room since she's pocketing $300 by inconveniencing you.
Old 11-20-2010, 01:54 PM Stereodude is offline  
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