Join 3,372 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Jesus says no!
February 15, 2013 8:35 PM   Subscribe

Roomies' religious convictions are colliding with my lifestyle. They're saying no sex in the house, period. They want overnight guests to sleep in a separate room. I really need the house. How do I manage this?

First, I read this question already. The cultural implications are different enough, and the situation is complicated enough that I feel this warrants a separate question. I just moved into a new place. I'm renting from a couple young guys' parents. The guys live there. The whole family is pretty religious. I'm not. There's a no sex rule in the house. Overnight guests are expected to sleep outside the room of the tenant. I had a discussion with the older of the two brothers, as he's the point of contact for the parents. Basically, I told him that I understand his religious convictions, and am willing to middle road this if I can. I'm a respectful person, and I'd never keep anyone here for more than a night at a time. But I think this is a pretty big violation of my own personal lifestyle. I feel like it crosses personal boundaries of mine. He threw his hands up about it, and said that it was up to his parents, as they're the home owners. I've never spoken to them before, and have only lived here for three weeks, give or take. I'm not sure what I should do. If I call them, I'm concerned it'll color their view of me from here out. The last thing I need is tension between landlords and myself so early on in a new arrangement. I asked him if he was willing to make a gentleman's agreement about the whole thing, because that keeps the parents out of this. I don't feel he would lose behind this. But he said he won't do that, as its a breach of their trust. I get that, but there has to be some way for me to get what I want without pissing anyone off. I'm frankly a little irritated that he's so tethered to his parents that he can't live and let live. Should I find a new place? Should I suck it up? I really don't want to move. Everything else about the place is pretty good, if not perfect. Further complicating matters is the fact that I can't drive, ever. It's not as though I can hop in a car and go wherever I want. I'm thinking this may just have to be the price of the place, but if anyone's got ideas how to navigate these choppy waters, I'd really appreciate it. I have signed no lease, and have only paid the first month's rent. There's supposed to be a forthcoming lease, but I've not seen it. I feel like I shouldn't rock the boat here, but I'm not sure how to handle such a weird situation. Thanks in advance.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (52 answers total)
 
You need to either abide by their rules or find a new place, unless your rent money is literally the last thing keeping the house in their possession. You have no leverage, and they have no reason to compromise.
posted by restless_nomad at 8:38 PM on February 15, 2013 [32 favorites]


If you haven't signed a lease, you're a houseguest, not a tenant. Houseguests live by owners' rules. Tenants have rights, but you're not a tenant.
posted by juniperesque at 8:39 PM on February 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


You should start looking for a new place. Do you really want to have overnight visitors in a house that actively dislikes them? Do you really want to live with people who seemingly disprove heartily of your lifestyle? I mean, I get it-- it's restrictive and hard for you. This is not the house for you.
posted by jetlagaddict at 8:42 PM on February 15, 2013 [5 favorites]


Juniperesque's comment is quite possibly plain untrue depending on your location. In plenty of places if you are living somewhere you are a tenant, not a houseguest, whether or not you have a signed lease.
posted by Justinian at 8:42 PM on February 15, 2013 [19 favorites]


Did you move in knowing this was a rule and hoping that you could break it, or did you find out after you moved in?

Some of this will depend on what state you're in, but even if there is no way that once you get a lease they can kick you out, it's still going to be really uncomfortable if you are there breaking the rules.

Don't sign a lease and find somewhere else to live.


You've paid rent, though, so you're almost certainly tenant not a guest. But even if you're legally in the right here, nothing good is going to come of forcing this issue.
posted by jeather at 8:42 PM on February 15, 2013 [14 favorites]


Deal with it for a few months. Keep looking for a better living arrangement where you can actually have a sex life. Don't sign a year-long lease or anything.

Why did you pick this place in the first place? Did you know about the "no unmarried sex or sleepovers" thing when you moved in?
posted by egypturnash at 8:44 PM on February 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


There are laws in some states that protect unmarried couples, but it doesn't look super likely that any law is going to protect your right to let a guest sleep anywhere in particular. You could talk to a lawyer, I guess, but really that is going to make for a terrible, horrible, no good living situation.
posted by restless_nomad at 8:44 PM on February 15, 2013


(Did you know about this before signing the lease?)

You should look for a new place.
posted by spunweb at 8:44 PM on February 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


You haven't signed a lease. This is the most important factor going forward. It means that as it stands, you are entirely free to find new housing arrangements. Seek out partners who have their own places for the time being.
posted by matkline at 8:46 PM on February 15, 2013


If you're renting, it either has a clause in your lease about house guests that you signed, or it doesn't. If you didn't sign anything, you're under no obligation to follow the landlords' lifestyle rules, as long as you aren't doing anything illegal.

But frankly, I would start looking for a new place. This would be an absolute deal breaker for me.
posted by DoubleLune at 8:47 PM on February 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Find a different place. First, they're not your roommates. They're your landlords, in all but name. Stop thinking of them as people you can reason with and think of them as people you are doing business with. Do you think you will be able to convince them from that perspective to let you bring your dates home and have quiet, non-disturbing, non-obvious sex? At best, you're going to get your way and live with people who think you're disrespectful of their deeply held beliefs and forced them to compromise those beliefs. That is not a recipe for success. At worst, you're not going to get them to budge, and you'll hate living there. That is also not a recipe for success.
posted by Etrigan at 8:52 PM on February 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


Don't sign a lease.

Find a new place if you want to have sex in your home.

It's really that simple.
posted by 26.2 at 8:52 PM on February 15, 2013 [13 favorites]


Unless this is an area where it's really really hard to find housing, or you have an extremely low housing budget and this is likely the best you're going to find, I would look for a new place to live.
posted by needs more cowbell at 8:53 PM on February 15, 2013


Okay, should have elaborated more. It would help to know your location. But in many places in the US, if there is no lease, even if you are paying rent, it is very hard to prove that you are paying it in exchange for tenancy if the landlord doesn't admit it outright. I have personally witnessed (while working in social services) one-house landlords claim that their tenant was a houseguest and gave them a gift to thank them for their generosity in allowing the tenant to stay there. Many laws, especially in larger cities and college towns, do a lot to protect tenants from professional landlords with multiple units, but don't help much when it's just a person renting in an owner's house. Since you're actually living with the owner's sons, without a lease, lots of tenant laws may not apply to you, or if you tried to get them to apply to you, could cause your living situation to deteriorate further.

All this is to say, since you're not bound by a lease, you can leave at any time, but they could possibly also just put all your stuff out on the lawn at any time and say, "Your visit is over." Best to find your own new place before you start chafing against the house rules too badly.
posted by juniperesque at 8:53 PM on February 15, 2013


This is the most straightforward AskMe ever: there are house rules. If you can't live within the house rules, then you shouldn't have moved in with those roommates. Some roommates have rules like "no watching TV after 11pm" or "resident of bedroom Y only uses bathroom Z." Your house rules include not having overnight guests in your bedroom. If that is unreasonable for you, it's the same as if the room you wanted to rent only lets you use the bathroom that only has a standup shower when you really wanted to use the bathroom with a bathtub: you look for someplace else.

He threw his hands up about it, and said that it was up to his parents

Possible Translation A: "I'm answerable to my parents, and I'm certainly not going to get on their bad side for your sake."

Possible Translation B: "I don't want you to do this either, but I'm going to lay the blame for this 'unfortunate' situation on my parents."

If this is too much for you to take, then move before a lease gets signed. If this is a desperate housing situation, and there's no place you can find at a price you can afford, you are going to have to (ahem) suck it up for as long as it takes.
posted by deanc at 8:56 PM on February 15, 2013 [7 favorites]


> This is the most straightforward AskMe ever: there are house rules.

This also depends very highly on whether the house rules were known prior to move-in, as well as how reasonable said rules are. The mere fact that a rule exists does not entail that there's an obligation to follow it.
posted by matlock expressway at 9:03 PM on February 15, 2013 [6 favorites]


This depends 100% on your jurisdiction. If you didn't sign a lease then local tenancy laws apply. Where I live your landlords wouldn't have the legal right to evict you for having house guests over unless that was explicitly agreed to in a lease.

Read your local tenancy act and talk to the free tenants rights group in your city.
posted by no regrets, coyote at 9:07 PM on February 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm sure you can think of some examples.

Honestly, when it comes to a roommate situation, I really can't, in general.

The only two circumstances in which I would say that rules are non-operative:

o A rule that discusses behavior outside of the actual living space (eg, "no driving over the speed limit").

o A rule unilaterally invented midway through a lease (eg, one roommate suddenly becomes a vegan and decides that he no longer wants to tolerate sharing the fridge with meat and dairy products)
posted by deanc at 9:10 PM on February 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Do not get legal with the housemates. Seriously?

Abide by the rules or move out.
posted by downing street memo at 9:25 PM on February 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


Finding a new place will probably be a more comfortable situation for you so that seems advisable. But unless you were informed in advance about the "no sex" rule, I wouldn't really feel bound by it.
posted by grouse at 9:42 PM on February 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Don't ask the sons to lie to their parents for you....that is not a good thing....like everyone else I think you should look for another place to live. Look at this as a learning experience about being a renter in a roommate situation. Ask questions before you move in.
posted by cairnoflore at 9:56 PM on February 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


This is a hierarchy of rights situation (which I find legally fascinating). What are your rights, and what your roommate's and landlord's rights are, depends on the jurisdiction though. You offered a compromise to the roommate that had zero incentive for them; not that I can think of any incentive you, a virtual stranger, could offer that would be worth the risk of them losing their own (presumably cheap or convenient) living situation. Without a lease they can kick you out with 30 days notice (in most jurisdictions) so you do not have a strong case for continued tenancy as it is. I would interpret the reluctance of producing the lease as an indication the roommates have communicated to the landlords that "your just not going to work out" and they are hoping you will leave to say them the embarrassment/legal hassle of kicking you out.
posted by saucysault at 9:58 PM on February 15, 2013


Clearly you should not live with people you cannot get along with, and you should leave. However, I see no reason to be a pushover until you move out. Assert your legal rights. If you are legally a tenant in your jurisdiction (and a lease is not always necessary to establish this, sometimes only a few weeks of residency will do it), and if tenants have the right to have overnight guests in your jurisdiction, go ahead and do it. Their ownership of the property does not give them the right to make any rules they want. In fact, the number of rules they are allowed to make is often quite low.
posted by twblalock at 10:18 PM on February 15, 2013


there has to be some way for me to get what I want without pissing anyone off

These are your options, as I see it:
1. Stay, and have people over anyway and damn the consequences
2. Stay, and try to get the son to agree to a different set of rules for you
3. Stay, and don't have people over
4. Move.

You're in a bind, unfortunately. You tried Option 2, it was worth a shot, but son wants to honor his parents and asking him not to is just not gonna fly -- he's made that clear -- and pressing him will piss him off. Option 1 will piss people off, unless you manage to do it in secret, but good luck with that. Option 3 doesn't give you what you want.
posted by PercussivePaul at 10:25 PM on February 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Just an fyi in BC you are not a tenant if sharing the house with the owner. Even if you pay rent. I work with students and this comes up all the time. Sorry this is happening to you!
posted by chapps at 10:40 PM on February 15, 2013


I'd violate the rules until you're forced to find a different housing situation. Perhaps they don't care about the rules enough to give up your rent. You don't know until you try, and it's not like you're doing anything illegal, so the consequences are minimal.
posted by jrockway at 10:40 PM on February 15, 2013


As someone who just spent the past 5 months in a living arrangement almost identical to yours, I would strongly advise you to get out as soon as you can.

I was living in a house with my landlords under no lease agreement and paid in cash-only. I, like you, couldn't drive and ended up spending most of my time in close proximity to my landlords. While they happened to be fairly decent people, having to live by other people's rules and lifestyles for extended periods of time will drive you absolutely nuts.

What started out as some minor differences in the way we lived, similar to your situation, became something of a problem. The issues my landlords had were of a somewhat similar nature that affected my core diet and working hours. Unfortunately they weren't willing to budge on anything, and I didn't have any leverage. So, it was either I respected their rules or found another place. I didn't have the ability to move elsewhere, so in order to coexist I had to make adjustments to the way I did things. It was very difficult to do and did not make for a very enjoyable stay.

I guess in summary, find somewhere else to stay if you can. Even if you have to go a bit over-budget to do so it will be worth it in the long run. If you absolutely cannot leave, be prepared to make changes to get along. However, it won't likely be easy.
posted by TimeStove at 10:42 PM on February 15, 2013


: " I'm frankly a little irritated that he's so tethered to his parents that he can't live and let live."

Could be he's just using the disapproval of his parents to reinforce his own view because he wasn't aware enough to just say "Sorry that just won't be possible" instead giving you an excuse that he thought would settle it and you think is arguable.

Your life style is a) fundamentally incompatible with your roommates and b) your roommates are hard line about theirs. This makes for good television but crappy living. So unless you wake up every morning yearning for more drama in your life you should move out at your earliest convenience.
posted by Mitheral at 11:40 PM on February 15, 2013 [5 favorites]


" I'm frankly a little irritated that he's so tethered to his parents that he can't live and let live."

Well, think of it this way. Maybe he likes his parents. Maybe they get along well, and they treat him like an adult. You are asking him to purposefully allow you break the rules, and then lie to them about it. That's kind of a crappy thing to do to him. It would be like asking an employee who really likes their job and manager to let you steal from the till, since you really should be getting paid more. They have every reason to say no.

Honestly, there's always another place to live. It may not be perfect, but it sounds like where you are now isn't perfect either. They have rules, you either need to live by them, or live elsewhere.

I agree that the rule is a bit on the crazy side, but it is what it is.
posted by markblasco at 11:56 PM on February 15, 2013 [6 favorites]


Just have sex with your girlfriend at her place. Sure you can't drive, but presumably she'll be getting to YOUR house somehow?
posted by drethelin at 12:18 AM on February 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


What is their definition of sex? Are oral and masturbation out too? Are you allowed to close your door with another person in you're your room?

It is sort of like my house when I first brought my gf home from college. My parents said outside out of respect for her parents wanted her sleeping in another room. So, we would hang out in my room door closed and were sure to make sure she was in her room before my parents woke up. It is a short term solution until you find another apartment or son begins to look the other way on his own.

I would both ask for a written list of house rules and look for new digs at the same time.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 12:43 AM on February 16, 2013


sex + christian + religion + negotiation + conflictresolution = does not compute. Find somewhere else to live. This will not be your last conflict. They're now aware of your desire to change the rules and live in sin, your conflicts will only increase from now on.
posted by zengargoyle at 1:49 AM on February 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Don't sign the lease, find another place to live.

Assuming you you were informed about house rules re: guests before you moved in, then you've got nothing to complain about, and nothing to negotiate. If you moved in knowing that you found this rule objectionable, there is no "violation of [your] own personal lifestyle", and the only "personal boundaries" crossed here are your landlord's, not yours: you knew you objected to living under these conditions, but chose to move there anyway. And your idea of 'middle roading' this is ridiculous: compromise does not mean they should totally ignore their clearly stated rules and let you do as you choose. (Plus suggesting the landlord's son lie to their parents is kinda offensive, isn't it?)

On the other hand, you might have a case IF these rules were NOT spelled out in advance. In that situation, although you might be in the right, I'd still advise moving: this big of a conflict this early is not a good indicator of a future smooth relationship with your landlords.
posted by easily confused at 2:55 AM on February 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Just move, you guys are incompatible as roommates. Don't even bother trying to turn this into some kind of legal/tenant's rights issue- do you really want to be the guy who says, "I'm legally allowed to bring my g/f over for sex, even though it offends your sensibilities"?

Find somewhere where you can live without drama.
posted by mkultra at 3:32 AM on February 16, 2013


Don't sign a lease and move as soon as possible.

Look, I've been in enough annoying housemate situations that even as a liberal atheist I could sympathize with your roommates for how much it would suck to have someone move in and deliberately do something against any kind of roommate agreement. It's hard enough to live with other people even when everyone attempts to respect each other.

They have an explicit rule/agreement here, and if you can't go along with it you should not sign a lease. Hopefully they told you about this rule before you moved your stuff in...but at least you haven't signed a lease yet.

Just my take on it, as a female: if you brought me back to that house, and I found out about the house rules and roommates, I wouldn't be comfortable hanging out there. I probably would also not be impressed with you for having such blatant disregard for your roommates.
posted by fromageball at 5:07 AM on February 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


Of course you need to leave! All these questions about what your rights are are totally irrelevant. Same with the issue of when they told you about this rule.

It's simple: they own the place, they're not leaving, and they live by this strict rule. Even if you could "legally" break it, what good would it do you, really? Your roommates would hate you and, worse, hate your partner even more. You don't want that. Leave.
posted by Philemon at 5:09 AM on February 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


IAAL, IANYL, TINLA. I do some landlord/tenant.

I don't find this situation to be "legally fascinating". I find it to be a situation of house rules, as deanc and others have noted. You find it unbearable to abide by the the house rules, so you need to find a new house. Don't try to make this some sort of tenant's rights issue anymore than you would try to sue over use of the common refrigerator. "Your Honor, Roomie keeps eating my Smuckers and I demand equitable relief!"

I do not know your relationship with your parents, but I do not find their behavior to be "so tethered". Despite cultural tropes, you are allowed to like your parent and even be respectful of your parents, especially when you are living in a house owned by them at their will and pleasure.

A word to the wise for your future walk through life: there is no such thing as "middle roading" religious matters for believers of conviction. Would you attempt to "middle road" a vegan dinner guest with, "hey, just have some shrimp. They're really good and not cute at all. They're like cockroaches of the sea, right? Brah?"

(I am curious to know what "middle road" would have been here. You are allowed to go as far as second base? It seems like "middle road" to you was "I get everything I want and you don't tell on me".)
posted by Tanizaki at 5:30 AM on February 16, 2013 [20 favorites]


Regardless of any legal rights, you are in a group living situation which means you need to get along with your housemates. Your housemates don't want you having overnight guests. You can keep living there and hope they come around. You can find a new place to live or you can stay at your partner's place.

Not wanting to have strangers randomly sleep in your living space is not an egregious infringement of your rights. It seems they've made this a house rule. I don't see a way around it while keeping the peace with your housemates and landlord.
posted by amanda at 6:31 AM on February 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


I have lived in group houses for most of my adult life and I do sympathize, but I think you're stuck. Honestly, I view this as their fuck-up more than yours - if you are looking for housemates whose lifestyle and ethics match your own unusual ones, you need to do some interviews and have a sit-down with them before they agree to move in, and you can't just assume that mere luck of the draw will supply the right people. That's pretty standard - we do it since we're a very mildly activist house. Personally, if it was my house and I'd left out something really important about living there, I'd either let the person do it or compensate them in some way (rent break, for instance) for not getting to live the way they'd expected. But that's just me.

I think you don't have any real traction if everyone in the house is on the same page about a behavior, regardless of the legal angle. If you're doing something they believe to be grossly immoral, there will be ructions and stress and you'll hate it, and honestly you don't know what they'll do in response - will they come and pound on your door while you're in flagrante? Will they hassle your partner when they're on the way to the bathroom? I suspect you may have to move - but tell them, on the way out, that this is an unusual condition to have on a rental room and that it's a jerk move not to tell people in advance.
posted by Frowner at 6:39 AM on February 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Just move. At the very least, if you are going to stay (and I think you shouldn't) please do it under an actual written lease. Trying to middle-road or negotiate this will be a giant waste of time.

And honestly, I'm not religious and I wouldn't enjoy this situation either, and I think it's pretty shitty to enforce a lifestyle/cultural rule on a living situation without telling the person beforehand (if that's what happened here) but asking your roommate to wink-wink at your sex life to suit you is not actually respecting their religion, their family, or their house. At all.
posted by sm1tten at 7:12 AM on February 16, 2013


One time I found an astonishingly awesome sublet in a house on Craigslist, emailed the lady, and she responded "Great! Come by anytime to check it out! Oh by the way we're a vegetarian household so house rules are, no meat allowed."

I found this to be totally crazy, especially since i hadn't been in the original ad, and I honestly considered moving in anyway and just sucking it up and only eating meat when I went to restaurants, the apartment was so amazing. But I realized that feeling like a child in my own home was not something I was interested in doing. It just would not have been worth it.
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:44 AM on February 16, 2013 [15 favorites]


Just leave. Your tenant's rights here are irrelevant; even if you win, you'll lose because you're stuck there with them. You don't want to live in a war zone, especially with crazy people. Leave.
posted by spaltavian at 9:09 AM on February 16, 2013


Could be he's just using the disapproval of his parents to reinforce his own view because he wasn't aware enough to just say "Sorry that just won't be possible"

and

there is no such thing as "middle roading" religious matters for believers of conviction

but also:

They may just not want to have to hear you having sex. The parents are a convenient way of not having to be the bad guys. Go to your partner's house or stay in a hotel for a night.
posted by ctmf at 9:49 AM on February 16, 2013


Don't sign a lease. Find somewhere else to live. Get a bike or a car, if this affects your lifestyle that much. Basta.

If the no-sex and visitor accommodations rule was entirely withheld from your knowledge until after you had moved in, you could reasonably use this fact to ask that the landlords be understanding about giving you time (while living under their house rules!) to find a new situation, or refunding part of your rent if you find a new place before the end of a month for which you have already paid rent. If this is something you knew before you moved in and figured you would be able to finesse, you're on your own and it's your responsibility to get out of there as quickly and quietly as possible.

It is not reasonable for them to expect an adult roommate/tenant to live under these rules without prior agreement. It is also not reasonable for you to expect them to bend their rules for you if you knew them before you moved in. Either way, the adult thing for all parties is for you to suck it up under their rules for as long as it takes for you to move out -- this time period being as short as possible -- and for them to be cool about letting you go. Plenty of people have gone periods of time when they had to get creative in seeking locations to have sex with their partner because the places where they lived were off limits for these activities (I called this time in my life "high school").
posted by slkinsey at 10:16 AM on February 16, 2013


It's not really reasonable for you to expect these guys to lie to their parents for your sake, no matter what you think about their religious beliefs. Think about what you're asking here: I asked him if he was willing to make a gentleman's agreement about the whole thing, because that keeps the parents out of this. I don't feel he would lose behind this. But he said he won't do that, as its a breach of their trust. I get that, but there has to be some way for me to get what I want without pissing anyone off.

You're basically asking this guy to stick his neck out for a veritable stranger, and to lie to his parents about something that is presumably a big deal to him and/or them. It's not a big deal to you, but you need to respect that it might be for him, and that for him there's absolutely nothing to be gained and potentially a lot to lose in lying. You don't have leverage. Your framing it as him being "tethered to his parents," isn't helpful, because that's not really what it's about.

Move out. Your lifestyle is incompatible with theirs, and changing their lifestyle is not gonna happen.
posted by yasaman at 10:43 AM on February 16, 2013


Find a new place to live.
posted by J. Wilson at 11:33 AM on February 16, 2013


anonymous posted">> He threw his hands up about it, and said that it was up to his parents, as they're the home owners. I've never spoken to them before, and have only lived here for three weeks, give or take. I'm not sure what I should do. If I call them, I'm concerned it'll color their view of me from here out. The last thing I need is tension between landlords and myself so early on in a new arrangement. I asked him if he was willing to make a gentleman's agreement about the whole thing, because that keeps the parents out of this. I don't feel he would lose behind this. But he said he won't do that, as its a breach of their trust.

They're his parents AND his landlord, they've obviously got a fair amount of authority over him. Why would he risk challenging them on your behalf? It is not up to you to determine whether this is an appropriate emotional risk for him.

But they're not your parents, this is a strictly business arrangement, and I don't understand why you wouldn't deal directly with them, or what tension you're trying to avoid.

If this really is a matter of "house rules" set by the parents, I don't really know why they would go to the trouble of looking for unrelated tenants who will agree to observe the rules set for their own children, but eh, maybe they expected that their boarders would largely be young people from their church.

If the choice of roommate is left to the brothers, perhaps they would rather only have roommates who follow their religious principles, in which case the brothers should say that and not blame it on the parents.
posted by desuetude at 11:49 AM on February 16, 2013


I think you should take your money back and leave; that place sounds terrible. If you're feeling generous, pro-rate it for the number of days you've been there.
posted by Juffo-Wup at 3:27 PM on February 16, 2013


I read your question as you being aware of the rule when you moved in and now you want to figure out how to get around the rule. You can't. Don't play games about this as you'll just make everyone uncomfortable including your guest and ultimately yourself.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 7:45 PM on February 16, 2013


This seems like a perfectly reasonable thing to terminate a lease over with "no harm, no foul" on both sides. In a shared house, house rules have to be explicit, so if they weren't clear with you about that rule, that was inappropriate of them to say the least. However, in a shared house the family members of the owners are always going to get more say over the house rules than the housemate unrelated to the owners. Which makes living in that situation potentially tricky.

Best of luck in finding a new place!
posted by Sidhedevil at 9:59 PM on February 16, 2013


I'm living in a place that's fine on paper - cheap, safe, nobody keeps me awake at night - except for one thing - the landlord never goes out. That was fine when I moved in, then over time I realised how irritating it was to have to take a day off work if I wanted the place to myself to relax properly(which I really really need from time to time for my mental health) and that having someone there all the time meant essentially no proper communal space, which makes it hard to properly relax or invite friends over. Over time, this has gone from being a simple thing to being a massive issue for me.

I think this sex thing is going to be the same for you. The place is fine for all the reasons you mention, except for when you meet someone you want to bring home, then it won't be. I have a partner so I usually ask when I move into somewhere if having someone over now and again is a problem. Before this, I assumed that inviting guests (friends or not) would be fine as long as they didn't stay for days or hog communal space, and I would not be happy living somewhere that restricted this.

I would be uncomfortable living in a place where other housemates had more say over house rules - I would be unlikely to houseshare with a couple for similar reasons, as I've seen it happen to friends when a partner has moved in. I would also be unlikely to move into a vegetarian, religious or entirely-foreign-language-I-don't-speak household - not because I am anti those things (I am entirely respectful of the diets and beliefs of others and languages are cool) but because I am not those things and it would be difficult for tenant and household to accommodate the other without tension or feelings of awkwardness, and could easily go wrong.What you have here is an incompatibility problem which isn't going to be solved without at the very least a lot of quiet resentment from one or both sides.

If you haven't signed a lease, you're a houseguest, not a tenant. Houseguests live by owners' rules. Tenants have rights, but you're not a tenant.

I've only lived in one houseshare in seven years that has required a contract to be signed, and that was the one which was least hospitable and fair. However, in the UK at least, if you are a lodger, your legal rights in terms of your tenancy are much diminished, and your informal rights (how much say you have over use of the home) may also be much less as you are essentially living in another person's house, not sharing the house between you.
posted by mippy at 4:21 AM on February 18, 2013


Also, my SO chose not to look at a house-share when the ad specified that he only wanted a straight room-mate - not because SO is gay himself (I'm pretty sure he's not with me for my boyish good looks) but because he did not wish to live with someone homophobic. It's fine not to be cool with this - it doesn't mean either of you are right or wrong, just that you're a bad fit.
posted by mippy at 4:24 AM on February 18, 2013


« Older Help me choose between 5 Vangu...   |  In Montreal for vacation. Saw... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.