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Roommates/ Paying rent

Posted by jameson530 (My Page) on
Sun, Jul 27, 08 at 9:06

My roommate and I moved in together on June 15, 2008. She has a very low credit score, because she has no credit card and her car was financed through a buy here pay here place, and they don't report payments to the credit bureaus. Because of this, only I was allowed to sign the lease with the real estate agent. However, my roommate and I went to sign our own private lease, which states everything that the lease with the real estate agent states, including that she must pay half the rent and half of the utilities by a certain date. We got a signed legal witness, and also gave copies to the real estate agent.

First months rent was due by July 13th, so that it would be in by the 15th. It is now the 27th and she still has not paid the full amount. She only had 1/3 of it on the 13th. We both make the same amount of money, and I have twice as many bills as she does but I'm doing fine with paying so I don't understand why she isn't. Every week she is supposed to pay the rest, but she gives me less and less. I told her this week that in 3 more weeks the next months rent is due, and if she doesn't have it she will be charged the late fees. I also told her that I need the rest of this months rent because I had to pay for her half, which means that I don't have my own hard earned money to pay for my own bills since it went to hers. She doesn't seem to care though.

My roommate just doesn't understand that when she doesn't pay, that means I will have to, she doesn't see the consequences. I would just pay my half and let her see the consequences or get evicted but it would go against my credit score if we are late. How can I make her see the consequences that will happen, and explain better that she needs to pay rent without having it turn into an arguement?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Roommates/ Paying rent

"My roommate just doesn't understand that when she doesn't pay, that means I will have to, she doesn't see the consequences." What makes you think she doesn't? She either doesn't care, or is too immature to bother budgeting at all. If you can't communicate, you shouldn't be living together anyhow, but if you need to try, write things down rather than voice them - just don't expect much to change, she sounds totally irresponsible (you knew her credit was bad going in, after all) and selfish. You know how Ann Landers used to say that no one can take advantage of you without your allowing it? Well, it sounds like you're allowing your friend to take advantage of your decency and/or naivete.


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RE: Roommates/ Paying rent

What consequences have happened to her? So far, it's just been you nagging. A real consequence would be you looking for a new roommate, moving him/her in, and tossing your current non-paying roommate out. My advice is to start looking.


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RE: Roommates/ Paying rent

I don't nag my friend, and I hardly considering asking for money for rent that she is supposed to pay nagging anyways. It's only been one month I'm not going to start looking without trying other things first, that's why I asked for some ideas. I write everything down, as far as all the bills so that she knows exactly how much is owed, but she just doesn't seem to care that money is owed. I just wanted to know if anyone had an experience like that and had any advice to show her how important it is.


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RE: Roommates/ Paying rent

It's only been one month I'm not going to start looking without trying other things first,

Can you afford the full rent on your own? Because it sounds like it's going to be very difficult to impossible to get it out of her. Unless you're willing to subsidize your friend's living expenses, I wouldn't try too many things first, if I were you.

My roommate just doesn't understand that when she doesn't pay, that means I will have to Of course she does, she just doesn't care. She is taking advantage of you.

You are probably going to have to kick her out. You are absolutely going to have to pay whatever part of the rent she doesn't. I would just pay my half and let her see the consequences or get evicted but it would go against my credit score if we are late You misunderstand your obligation. It wouldn't "go against your credit score" if you are late-- if the rent is not paid, you will be evicted and you will be responsible for any unpaid rent up until the landlord is able to re-rent the apartment. Whatever is owed will be withheld from your security deposit, and if that doesn't cover it, you will have to pay the difference. If you don't, you can (and probably will be) sued. When you signed that lease, you agreed to be responsible making sure the landlord gets rent paid in full when due (as well as other things like not trashing the house, etc). The way you've described it, you are renting from the landlord and your roommate is subletting from you, which essentially makes you her landlord. This, imho, is a good thing. It makes it clear that the apartment is yours and that if she doesn't pay you rent as outlined in that agreement you (good for you!) signed with her, you can evict her just like any other landlord would. (And then hopefully find another roomie who will pay rent.) But please understand that whatever she does or doesn't do, you do have a legal obligation to the landlord to pay the full rent amount for the full term of the lease that you signed.

How well do you know her? Is this her first apartment out of her parents house? (if so, do you know her well enough to know that for a fact?) It's possible she's just stupid and selfish, but starting out from day one not paying her share makes it sound an awful lot like she intentionally set out to take advantage, and if that's the case she may already know all the ins and outs of the legal system as far as evictions go, so find out your local laws and be careful of doing things the right way or you could be stuck supporting her for quite a while. As I said, I wouldn't wait too long if I were you.

Good luck.


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RE: Roommates/ Paying rent

"I don't nag my friend, and I hardly considering asking for money for rent that she is supposed to pay nagging anyways." No, I don't either, but I bet your non-paying friend perceives it as such- and tunes it out.
"It's only been one month I'm not going to start looking without trying other things first"- don't leave it too long. The longer you leave it, the higher the debt will get and the less likely it is that your "friend" (here's a hint, friends don't stiff friends) will ever pay you back as it gets all too hard. Landlords know this which is why they get uptight about overdue rent sooner rather than later. Unless you plan on carrying this "friend" indefinitely and then waving bye bye to your money, tell her you are going to look for another roommate and do so. Remember looking doesn't mean you have to follow through.
Being reasonable hadn't helped you so far, and I'm sorry to say isn't likely to either. Your roommate didn't get a bad credit record by listening to reasonable requests from her creditors to repay her debts.


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RE: Roommates/ Paying rent

What does your private lease say happens if she is late/doesn't pay rent? The only way she will see consequences is if you enforce them. I think if you are already having problems the first month it is a bad sign and she is counting on you being too "Nice" to do anything when she repeatedly takes advantage of you. I hope you're able to get a roommate who will carry their own weight.


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RE: Roommates/ Paying rent

"You misunderstand your obligation. It wouldn't "go against your credit score" if you are late-- if the rent is not paid, you will be evicted and you will be responsible for any unpaid rent up until the landlord is able to re-rent the apartment"

My Landlord and I made up the lease when I decided to rent this deposit, and since she knew about my friends credit she said that if we were late, because of her, my roommate would have to pay late fees, but I wouldn't, and that my roommate could be up to 1 week late before I would have to pay her half. Which is was ended up happening, it's going on 4 weeks and she still owes a little but when I ask her for it she just says "ya ok". But my landlord said that after that 1 week, if I didn't pay her half then it would be reported to the credit bureau. I didn't really clarify that at first, sorry. I just meant that if I don't pay her half that's when it effects me, which is what I don't want happening.

I've known my roommate for about 9 years, this is her first apartment away from her parents, but she did live with her step mom before and had to pay almost the same amount of rent as she has to now. At first I was really upset, and didn't want to take things to far and immediately kick her out or anything like that, but now it's just getting rediculous and I want to do the right thing.

Does anyone have any advice on what to do now? My landlord said it's up to me if I want her to move out. I've tried talking to her numerous times and she doesn't listen, so is my next step to write a letter to her stating everything and keeping a copy of it? Or is my next step asking the landlord to get involved, or should I wait two more weeks and see if she pays next months rent and if not give a 30 day notice to her? Thanks for the advice.


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RE: Roommates/ Paying rent

Your landlord can't have your credit score affected by what your friend is doing (I think she's just trying to get you both to pay up), but I also think you're being way too nice to your 'friend'(?) by 'asking' for the rent instead of demanding it, and/or thinking in terms of formal letters (other than those from a lawyer) that she probably wouldn't look at too closely anyway. Leave the landlord out of your personal dispute, but don't wait any longer to move on your friend. The 30 day notice, however, should come from the LL, unless you have officially become one yourself somewhere along the line. Being an 'equal' partner in the lease doesn't entitle you to generate legal demands that are the LL's territory, only to involve lawyers to protect your rights as a co-tenant/lease holder. So if you want to involve the LL, ask her to send your friend a 30 day notice, but remember that unless you submit one of your own (giving notice) you will still be stuck with the rent unless someone else is recruited to take your friend's place.


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RE: Roommates/ Paying rent

ok, it sounds like you and your landlord really addressed the possibilities up front. What you do now I suppose is up to a couple things... are you ready to kick her out? If not, at what point will you be? Are you interested in trying to salvage the friendship? (no, imo she is not a good friend to be putting you in this spot, but different people are willing to accept different flaws in friends, so this is a personal question only you can answer). Since you know her history, that addresses my concern that she's a somewhat experienced scammer, so I'm not so concerned you'll wind up in hot water if you make a mistake on the legalities.

If I were you, I think I'd go ahead and write the letter explaining everything AND stating that if she's not paid in full by next month, she'll have to leave blah blah. I'd also run it past your landlord, both to keep him informed and to make sure what you're doing is fine with him. Then if she doesn't pay, be ready to kick her out-- you can't threaten and then not do it or you lose all credibility.

But, if you do it that way, you run into the possibility she actually will come up with the money to keep from being kicked out-- this month. Next month, who knows. So if you've decided you're done trying to deal with her and just want her out, just waiting until she doesn't pay and kicking her out might be your better option. All depends on what outcome you prefer.

btw, in most places do not have to give 30 days to evict someone due to non-payment, but the details of what you do need to do vary by locality. If you want to salvage the friendship, you might want to give her the month, but you probably don't *have* to. Since it sounds like you have a good working relationship with the LL, I'd definitely make sure any steps you take to ask her to move you run past him first-- he likely has experience dealing with tenants who don't pay and can make sure that between you everything gets handled correctly.


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RE: Roommates/ Paying rent

Lets see.

Your roommate wasn't able to put her name on the lease because she has a crap credit rating?

You both earn the same amount of money, YOU have more bills, yet are able to pay your half on time with room to spare?

Your roommate 'just doesn't understand' that when she doesn't pay, that means you will have to?

YIKES! Don't you see that you are being used like a well worn doormat?!

Your roommate knows EXACTLY what she is doing. Jerking you. She is behaving like a spoiled prima donna who hasn't grown up yet. Why does she expect you to carry her? Is she cute or something? Is anyone paying your bills? Why are you going along with this? Because you don't want to be 'mean' and ask for what she OWES you? People/leeches like this only understand one language. Tough love.

If this were me, I'd cut her off at the pass and tell her in no uncertain terms that I want EVERY LAST PENNY she owes by the end of the month as well as next months rent ON TIME. If she doesn't want to do this then change the locks on the door and stick a note on the outside telling her she doesn't live there anymore. People who don't pay their bills have to live with mommy. Her name ISN'T on the lease so she won't be able to complain. The lease you signed with her doesn't sound valid anyway. In any case, she has probably breached the terms on this as well.

Don't warn her ahead of time that you are planning to change the locks. Just tell her calmly what you expect and follow through. Let it be a 'big surprise'. If your feeling generous, you can drop off her belongings at her parents house. Or, hang onto them to auction on eBay to recover ($) what she still owes you.

No one is holding your hand or paying your bills, so stop treating her like she is entitled to be supported by YOU.

Start advertising for a roommate who WILL pay the rent. Soon. Before your own credit rating takes a dive.


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RE: Roommates/ Paying rent

"If she doesn't want to do this then change the locks on the door and stick a note on the outside telling her she doesn't live there anymore." and "Don't warn her ahead of time that you are planning to change the locks. Let it be a 'big surprise'. If your feeling generous, you can drop off her belongings at her parents house. Or, hang onto them to auction on eBay to recover ($) what she still owes you."

This action would be ILLEGAL in just about every place I know. I do not know where Jameson539 lives but I would suggest consulting a lawyer or tenents rights organization before attempting anything like this.

You can't just "change the locks" and leave someone out on the street without their belonging. They would have the right to break in and when the police are called they would side with the maligned. Also you cannot just sell someone else's stuff just because you happen to have access to it and think they "owe" you (even if they really do owe you). You have to go through proper legal means and this may mean small claims court, or whatever court that applies to the situation (like divorce court).


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