give me my money back?
March 12, 2009 11:21 AM   Subscribe

I paid first, last, and 1/2 month finder's fee when my roommate/best friend and I moved in a year and a half ago. Should I get her to pay up (explanation below) and if so, how do I get her to pay up?

My roommate/best friend and I moved across country a year and a half ago. We originally agreed to split the costs of the move. I paid for the new apartment's first, last, and half month fee since I had enough money in my account at the time and my friend had none. She promised to pay me back. Then, her parents decided to pay for the moving truck and movers, which cost about the same as her half of the apartment fees. I suggested that we call it even, but she insisted that she would still pay her half.

Fast forward a year and a half. She has a job, but little or no savings. She paid her half of the finder's fee, but nothing else. She wants to move this summer. I asked her a few times over the winter when she started thinking about moving if she was still planning on paying me back, and she said she would. Now her parents have said that they're not paying for her second move. I haven't asked her about the money she owes me since her parents made their announcement, but I'm guessing my chances of being repaid have been sufficiently diminished.

So my first question is, am I still entitled to ask for the money since I originally offered to call it even when her parents paid for the first move even though she repeatedly said she would pay me back? If I should ask for the money, what is the best way to go about it? Her original plan was to pay my half of the rent the last month, but that still leaves the another half month she owes me. Now, I think she's planning on taking that last month and using it for moving expenses.

I want to be as nice as possible about this as she gets upset if it sounds like I'm lecturing her or picking on her. She's my best friend after all. And yes, I know now not to loan money to friends. Thanks for your help!
posted by mandapanda to Human Relations (15 answers total)
You told her she didn't have to pay? Then she doesn't have to pay. Furthermore, it doesn't really sound like she has the means to, so trying to get her to pay is just going to put a strain on the friendship. Yeah, it sucks.

BTW, I once lent a friend/roommate money for rent, and didn't get it back (despite repeated requests) for four years. And you know what? He turned out to be a pretty shitty friend in the long run. Just sayin'....
posted by lunasol at 11:26 AM on March 12, 2009

What's more important - getting the money or keeping your best friend? Sounds like you should chalk this one up to experience.
posted by gnutron at 11:27 AM on March 12, 2009

I don't understand what the problem is. Is the only money in question the stuff from the fees back when you moved in? Because it sounds like the money for the move/fees is a wash. If it came out to about even and you tried to call it even back then, don't keep on about it. Let it go.
posted by phunniemee at 11:27 AM on March 12, 2009

Let it go and never bring it up again if you want to remain friends with her. You aren't really out anything, since you didn't have to pay for the truck. Are you entitled? Maybe. But it's not the gracious thing to do.
posted by kimdog at 11:28 AM on March 12, 2009 [6 favorites]

What she covered for you in the moving cost was about the same as what you covered for her in the apt cost? And she's since paid for her part the finders fee portion of the apt cost? I say drop it, regardless of what she's said about paying you back.
posted by inigo2 at 11:28 AM on March 12, 2009

Consider it a gift, stay friends and move on, for the good of humanity.

If you do this, promptly FORGET ABOUT IT. Don't bring it up, don't mention it, just don't loan her money again.
posted by bensherman at 11:28 AM on March 12, 2009

Response by poster: You guys said what I was already thinking. Alright, chalking it up to experience and never loaning her money again. Thanks.
posted by mandapanda at 11:32 AM on March 12, 2009

Her insisting that she pay you back may have been something she blurted out but not thought about how she would do it. She just knows that she should say that because it's the right thing to say. I know I've done that.
posted by spec80 at 11:40 AM on March 12, 2009

I don't understand what the problem is... You wanted to call it even because she paid for the movers, but she didn't.

She has since paid you for part of the initial apartment fees, but doesn't want to pay the rest.

If you compare the current situation to what you originally wanted (and thought fair), you're actually better off.

Am I missing something?
posted by qvtqht at 11:43 AM on March 12, 2009

Her original plan was to pay my half of the rent the last month, but that still leaves the another half month she owes me. Now, I think she's planning on taking that last month and using it for moving expenses.

I agree with the people above that you probably shouldn't hassle her about the finders fee, and first month's rent may just be an expense you have to eat, but it sounds like she's planning on not paying for her half of rent in the last month she's living there?

That doesn't sound right to me. (Unless, I guess, you're moving out at the same time and so the last month's rent doesn't have to be paid at all.) I wouldn't expect her to cover your half of the last month's rent, but I would definitely expect her to cover her own portion if she were, in fact, living in the apartment for the month. If it were me, and she mentioned something about using her last $x on moving, I'd probably casually ask about whether that was going to leave her enough to pay for her share of the rent the last month.

It seems really weird to me that she would *not* pay for her share of rent in a month that she's living there, just because you had to put down a deposit on the last month's rent. Doubly weird if she has the money, and is planning on using it for something else now instead.
posted by iminurmefi at 11:43 AM on March 12, 2009

Response by poster: To clarify, we had agreed to split the apartment fees before her parents offered to pay the moving expenses. Her parents paid the moving expenses because they thought their daughter had paid me the apartment fees and didn't have any money left. I didn't know the reason behind the parents paying until after I had offered to call it even.
posted by mandapanda at 12:18 PM on March 12, 2009

I don't see how you even loaned her money. You paid X for the apartment, she (or her parents, whatever) paid X for the movers. If you paid her (or her parents, whatever) back half for the mover and she paid you back half for the apartment, you'd both still be at X.

Since she paid you back for half of the finders fee, you actually came out ahead.

Let it go. You're not owed anything.
posted by crankylex at 12:25 PM on March 12, 2009

That is what happened when I misread the question. Ignore my comment above, except for the part about letting it go. She doesn't have it to give you, obviously, and if you keep bringing it up, you're going to lose the friendship.
posted by crankylex at 12:27 PM on March 12, 2009

Did you pay the parents for your half of the moving fees? If not, then let it go, because it is technically even.
posted by Vaike at 12:27 PM on March 12, 2009

Response by poster: Ok. I am letting it go. I was happy to let it go until she insisted on paying me. I asked my question because I need to plan for my own move, and I need to know how much money I will have to do so. I didn't want to ask my roomie about this if it was something I should let go. So, now I know and I will leave it at that.
posted by mandapanda at 12:32 PM on March 12, 2009

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