Should I kick my roommate out?
November 27, 2012 9:45 AM Subscribe
Should I kick my roommate out?
I am a early-30s female living in an outer borough of NYC. I've been living in my apartment for a little over 7 years and am the only leaseholder with the landlord. My roommate has lived here for almost 2 years and is a late twenties female. I have a lease agreement with her. The landlady knows I have a roommate but doesn't know/care who she is (it's been like this for about 5 years).
We get along just fine and haven't had any interpersonal issues. She's a sort of messy but not "nightmare roommate messy" - like, if she cooks, she won't wipe down the stove or counters; her clutter is piled up on our (mostly unused) kitchen table; she's never cleaned the bathroom or swept the floors. I've always overlooked those sort of things because 1. she's honestly not here all that often, 2. I am non-confrontational, and 3. she pays half the rent, so eh. I have spoken to her a few times for things like the fire escape window being left wide open all day when no one was home (someone could easily "break" in), the heat being jacked up to 90 (she said she just meant to turn it on for a few minutes to take the "chill" off but then forgot to turn it off when she went to work), or when food was left out that could attract roaches. She always responded with, "omg, you're right, sorry!" and then something (sometimes the exact same thing) would happen again a month later.
I think she's nice and means well, but she's sort of flaky and absent-minded.
So today, my day off, I woke up and hung out in my room for a few hours, putzing around online and whatnot. I heard her getting ready and she left for work around 10. At about 11, I went out into the kitchen to get some breakfast. I noticed a very strong smell of gas and I looked at the stove. One of the burners was on a very low setting but the pilot light was out. I immediately turned it off and opened all the windows. The apartment is aired out now. According to the dishes in the sink and the splatters on the stove, she cooked last night (I haven't cooked since before Thanksgiving, I was out of town and got take-out last night.) There is a window near the stove that opens to an airshaft that we leave 1/3 open all year long, and I honestly believe that's the only reason that the apartment didn't blow up.
If today hadn't been my day off, or if that airshaft window hadn't been opened…well, I don't even want to think about what could have happened.
I texted her about an hour ago saying "Did you cook last night? One of the burners was on but not lit. Kitchen/living rm smells like gas. Airing it out now. I honestly don't know how there wasn't a gas explosion." She read it about an hour ago (iMessage) but hasn't responded yet.
I am strongly considering ending our roommate agreement because of this. I do have it written into the agreement that either party can end the agreement for any reason, at any time (after a truly horrible nightmare roommate situation about 3 years ago where kicking them out wasn't even a question, I made sure to give myself an out, so I'm not worried about the legality of doing so). However, because I have kicked out a roommate before, I know how unpleasant and awkward that last 30 days of living together can be, and I really don't want to have to go through that again. Is this worth kicking her out over?
Why can't all roommates be like the first couple roommates that I've had? Wah! They were found on Craigslist, they are awesome and we are still in touch but they left! (One got married, one got pregnant.) Waaah.