I need some help navigating a sticky parting-from-roommate situation. (Apologies: LONG)
posted by phunniemee to Human Relations (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Long story short: I am not doing anything wrong, and my roommate's inability to see this has the potential to make this very, very ugly.
I moved in with my roommate, back in October after a very sudden parting with my last roommate (she wanted her boyfriend to move in and basically kicked me out while I was in another country for a month). Due to my financial situation at the time, my only option was to move in (off-lease) and rent a room from someone who already had a place. Craigslist, ahoy!
Because of how things ended with the previous roommate, I was very careful when signing my agreement with this one, to make sure I (both of us) were protected when it came time to part ways. In the last few days, I have read and re-read our agreement (that my roommate provided) many times. It says the following (paraphrased):
-Lease term (with my roommate--I am not on the lease with the landlord) is month to month.
-If the situation is going to change, the party leaving must give the other one 30 days' notice.
-If those terms are breached (i.e. if less than 30 days' notice is given), we do not have to find a replacement. (This one has a stipulation, initialed by my roommate, to "be nice" about it, and not leave the other one in a lurch as my previous roommate did with me. There is even a smiley face.)
For a variety of reasons, I need to move out. I decided I needed to move a long time ago, so I suppose I could have given her a heads up that I was looking, but experience has taught me not to make any decisions until I have 100% confirmed that something's going to happen. (Like, if I said I was *probably* going to move May 1, then she found someone, then things fell through with the place I was going to move to, then we've got problems.)
So, anyway, I found a place I liked last Thursday (after less than a week of serious looking), with plans to sign a lease on Friday (for either May 1 or June 1), and I decided it was time to tell my roommate. We have very different schedules, and often she's not home until after I'm asleep, so I texted her Thursday afternoon to see if she would be home that night to talk. She asked what was up, and we ended up discussing the room thing over text.
At first she said "that's fine just find a replacement," but then I guess re-read and realized I had found a place and she said, "you should have talked to me and [given] me notice. [You] signed that agreement one month."
I explained that it WAS more than a month's notice, and that I could sign it for May 1 or even June 1 if she needed more than a month. She confirmed "end of April" as being a month, and that was that. I signed the lease the next day for May 1. In person over the weekend, I asked her if she wanted me to help her find a roommate for when I move out. She said sure. So I posted an ad on Craigslist for the place Sunday night. I got a few responses, weeded out the creeps, and forwarded them to her yesterday morning, saying that I'm available to start showing my room this week, and for her to just let me know when she'll be available.
She FREAKED OUT. She responded (via email) saying how much stuff she's got to do this week, that it's the end of the semester (she's a student) and that she "wishes [I] had thought of that," and that I need to do this for June 1 because she can't meet with anyone until May.
I responded that I signed the lease for May 1, that I've given a month's notice, and that I'm just trying to help her find someone.
She responds again, even more exasperated, saying that I'm springing this on her at an inconvenient time, and that she was only trying to be nice in case of an emergency (my guess is that she's referring to the 30 days' notice), that I'm doing the exact same thing to her that my previous roommate did to me, and not to forward "any more crap" to her about people responding to the Craigslist ad.
I responded with the following: "I'm sorry you're upset. I'm following the terms of our contract and gave you notice. I'm trying to help out by finding a replacement. If you don't want my help, that's OK."
She responded that I do have to help find a roommate, said I was being shitty, and called me a jerk.
I responded yet again trying to deescalate the situation, saying that our agreement was month to month, but that I wanted to try to help find a replacement as a favor, and for her to please let me know how I can make it easiest for her with regards to bringing folks in to see the place.
She responds "No guys please and no crazys and no kids 25 and up and our agreement says as long as you replace yourself you can move out."
And now she will not talk to me. I tried to engage her in conversation last night (starting out with just a friendly hi! when I got home from work), but she is flat out ignoring me.
I don't know how to handle this. Honestly, I don't know if I can find someone to fill the spot (there's only been one female over 25 who has responded to the ad, and I haven't heard back from her since yesterday), especially if she refuses to work with me. Legally, I DO NOT have to find a replacement. I don't know if she misunderstood the agreement we signed, or if she's just angry, or what.
I need advice (perhaps with a script to follow?) as to how I can try to talk about this with her. I don't want her to yell at me, I don't want her to sit there and ignore me, I want her to have an adult conversation, acknowledge what our agreement actually says, and find a way to productively move forward.
I'm almost at the point where I'm ready to throw up my hands and walk away (since, technically, I can), but that's not the nice thing to do, and that doesn't help anyone. (Except maybe my sanity.) This whole situation is really upsetting, because she's reacting like I'm doing something very wrong when I'm not, and I don't know how to fix it.
There is also an issue of a Comcast bill in my name. The easiest thing for me to do would be to cancel it and return the equipment, and let her deal with a new install. It would be a dick move to leave her without internet, but I know (sometimes you just know) that she is going to flip a shit about how much time it's going to take if we have to go to the Comcast service center and sign the account switchover form together. (Yes, I've talked to Comcast, and those are the only two solutions.)
Also, I have a 1 month's rent security deposit at stake. There is nothing in the agreement about how/when it is to be repaid (only that it is to be repaid), and I am wary about getting it back. I don't intend to pay my last month's rent unless I have a postdated check from her in my hand. If there is a better way to handle that, I'd love to hear your thoughts.