Another roommate issue
June 21, 2011 8:25 PM   Subscribe

Roommate is mad that I'm moving out. We're on a month to month rental and I have contacted the landlord to end with the last day being July 31. I was typing a text to friend and the current roommate ended up receiving it. He's pissed that he received it through a text message and not through face to face interaction. He's now threatened to withhold July's rent until July 15, 2011, the last day possible according to the Saskatchewan Tenant Act. How do I make the current living situation as good as possible? I don't intend on escalating the situation and I'm going to ignore his threat.

When he called me back, I let him know that the text wasn't intended for him and I was going to talk to him later. He's threatened to withhold rent for the last day possible.

He was a referral from a roommate I liked and initially he was supposed to have the apartment while I moved out. I got a job though. I told him clearly that I was fine with moving out still. I told him that I would wait until May 15 for him to get money for the damage deposit so that he could take over the apartment and I was fine with moving out. When he couldn't, I decided things would remain the same because he would just end up leaving anyways. I'm the primary tenant. But I now want to live on my own.

I'm was tolerant about weed once in a while, but he smokes up daily. He stopped smoking up, but he still makes oil in the living room. I just don't like seeing that instinctually. I've told him I'm uncomfortable about it before. Initially, I let him make it because it doesn't stink as much as weed, but it's just the fact that him and his friends are doing it daily that bugs me now. He never told me he did weed when he moved in.
posted by DetriusXii to Human Relations (18 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
The details don't really matter from a personal perspective - presumably your leaving will leave him scrambling to find a new roommate, so, it's crappy that you kept that information under your hat. It's reasonable that he's angry to have found out by accident - when were you going to tell him?
posted by moxiedoll at 8:36 PM on June 21, 2011 [8 favorites]


He's threatened to withhold rent for the last day possible.

I'm not following. He's going to pay rent the last day he can? So what? The rent's still getting paid and you're moving out, right?

He was a referral from a roommate I liked and initially he was supposed to have the apartment while I moved out. I got a job though. I told him clearly that I was fine with moving out still. I told him that I would wait until May 15 for him to get money for the damage deposit so that he could take over the apartment and I was fine with moving out. When he couldn't, I decided things would remain the same because he would just end up leaving anyways. I'm the primary tenant. But I now want to live on my own.

I can't parse this. It doesn't really sound relevant, but could you restate this more clearly if you think it is? It sounds like you were going to move out originally, then delayed the move out, and are now going to move out.

I'm was tolerant about weed once in a while, but he smokes up daily. He stopped smoking up, but he still makes oil in the living room. I just don't like seeing that instinctually. I've told him I'm uncomfortable about it before. Initially, I let him make it because it doesn't stink as much as weed, but it's just the fact that him and his friends are doing it daily that bugs me now. He never told me he did weed when he moved in.

You're gone in six weeks. Let it go.
posted by spaltavian at 8:38 PM on June 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


you told your landlord and you tried to tell another person before you even discussed it with him, then you accidentally texted him and your defense was, basically, that he wasn't supposed to know yet? yeah, of course he's mad. lay low. you'll be out soon. pay all your stuff on time, clean all your areas when you leave, and maybe be more straight up in the future.
posted by nadawi at 8:48 PM on June 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


How do I make the current living situation as good as possible?

You apologise profusely. You be as helpful as possible with finding a replacement. Maybe buy him a few beers.
posted by pompomtom at 9:04 PM on June 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


You didnt give him much notice. He has a right to be angry. And if the rent gets paid anyway, why do you care? Rent is the landlords money, not yours.
posted by twblalock at 9:08 PM on June 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


OP, please please please don't mention the pot smoking and the rest in any confrontation, ok?

That's background noise you will be done with shortly. (If smoking pot is illegal in your jurisdiction, I totally get why you are pissed about that. Having tons of stoners in your space daily? Def something to be pissed about. It's just. Don't. Don't go there now.)

You should apologize for the way he found out, again and in person. Be really conciliatory.

Then you should start packing up your valuables. Do this anyway.

Proceed as usual.

Good luck in your new space!
posted by jbenben at 9:27 PM on June 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


@spaltavian: Rent is due on the first of the month in Saskatchewan. Anything later is considered late. Repeated lateness is grounds for an eviction. if rent isn't received by the 15th of the month, it's ground to petition the rental ombudsmen to seek an immediate eviction.

Also, when I moved in, I was working with Sasktel as a Gradworks intern. My internship was set to end on June 16, 2011. I would have moved out and he would have lived in the apartment by himself. I explained to him fully that I would be gone by June 30 prior to him moving into the apartment.

But then I was hired by the City of Regina. I told him that I would still move out and that he could have the place provided that he could show the ability to take over the place. If I moved out and he then moved out, it would have been inconvenient for me to set up the internet and utilities and it would have been a pointless move out. I waited until May 15 to give him time to find money for a security deposit for the place so that when I told the landlord I was moving out, he would be in the position to become the primary tenant. When May 15 came, he said he didn't have the ability to give the landlord the security deposit. Because on May 15 if he had the security deposit, I would contact the landlord and tell the landlord that I would end my tenancy on June 30. (Ending a tenancy for the last day of the month is sometime in the month before). I gave him some time to get a security deposit ready rather than just contacting the landlord on May 1. Because if I announced on May 1 I was moving out, my landlord may have found someone other than my current roommate to be the primary tenant. It was just some strategic thinking to give my roommate some time to scrounge up a security deposit. Maybe the paragraph is still difficult to parse.

I ended up continuing to be the primary tenant just because I didn't see the point of having to move out when my current roommate would have to move out too and we would both end up losing the apartment. But I ended up realize that living with him isn't the greatest and I don't enjoy it fully. I gave my required notice to move out and he should have been prepared to handle me moving out long ago.

@twblablock: I'm the primary tenant. I pay the landlord the full rent. The roommate pays me.
posted by DetriusXii at 9:35 PM on June 21, 2011


I don't understand -- in your update, you say that you got a job and told your roommate that you would still be moving out as you had originally planned, but only if he could "show the ability" to take over the place? Why does he need to prove his financial ability to you, if there is no lease and you are not going to be living there anyway? And why wasn't "prove you can afford it" a condition in your original plan, when you had no job and planned to move out on June 30?

I'm also really not understanding this: "If I moved out and he then moved out, it would have been inconvenient for me to set up the internet and utilities and it would have been a pointless move out." You were always planning to move out, so I'm not following your logic.

Honestly, to me it seems like you've kind of jerked this guy around by changing the plan and making sudden financial demands that didn't seem to be in place before. The absolute least you should have done was notify your roommate that you would be telling the landlord you'll both be moving out on June 30 before you spoke to the landlord. Giving notice and texting a friend the news first is never the right thing to do. Doing all of that, but accidentally sending that text to your roommate and then being all, "Dude, that wasn't for you, and anyway I was going to tell you eventually" about the situation? Really, really, really not good. How long were you planning to wait before you told this guy he needs to find a new home?

You definitely owe this guy an apology.
posted by palomar at 11:20 PM on June 21, 2011


By notifying the landlord you effectively made it so he has to move out? On a certain date (six weeks ahead)? It would annoy me if you did that without telling me.

By paying late, will that let him save up the security deposit so he wouldn't have to move? I'm imagining he could use the July 1 paycheck for the deposit and pay you rent using the July 15 paycheck? If you can swing that cashflow, it'd be a nice gesture to help him out in that way.
posted by salvia at 11:41 PM on June 21, 2011


He doesn't have to move out. If he comes up with the security deposit like he was supposed to have done over a month ago, he would be able to take over the tenancy. Sounds to me like the OP has given the guy more than enough opportunity to take over his lease so he can stay in the apartment. If he'd rather do drugs than keep the apartment that's his business but he can't complain if he can't afford the security deposit and his drug use has made his roommate so uncomfortable he wants to leave.

I think what the OP is saying about the utilities is its an inconvenience to get new utilities set up in a new place and the only reason he is moving is to be rid of his roommate so if him moving out means the roommate also has to move out then it seems like a waste (since he would rather stay in the current apartment and have the roommate leave to save all the trouble of moving and having new utilities set up)
posted by missmagenta at 12:06 AM on June 22, 2011 [5 favorites]


if rent isn't received by the 15th of the month, it's ground to petition the rental ombudsmen to seek an immediate eviction.

Okay, but he is paying by the 15th, and you're moving out. And while I'm not familiar with Canadian rental law, if he doesn't pay rent, I really can't imagine this process takes less than the two weeks you'll still be there after the 15th. If you end up being out of half a month's rent, this will be one of the cheapest moves ever.
posted by spaltavian at 4:31 AM on June 22, 2011


It is very confusing. It doesn't really matter about the stuff in May, does it? You were planning on moving out July 31, you decided that and attempted to tell the landlord. Why didn't you tell your roommate first or at the same time? Just as a heads up? I realize he was supposed to take over the lease and now if he doesn't have the cash you might be accidentally evicting him (?) and that's an issue. I get that you are trying to say you warned him before but there is a difference between "i might move out or i might get a job" and "the landlord (but not you) knows that I am moving out July 31st". He (the roommate) is trying to pull a 'dick move' by withholding the rent because he is (justifiably?) pissed that you withheld information from him. I definitely agree with all of the above 'apologize and hide your valuables'. Please be upfront with people, it's very difficult for them otherwise, pot-smoker or not. (sorry for the term 'dick move', i'm late for work!).
posted by bquarters at 4:37 AM on June 22, 2011


missmagenta, regardless of the roommate's drug use, the OP has changed the plan. It's confusing, but the OP stated that he originally planned to move out on June 30 when he had no job lined up. It was after he got a job that he told his roommate he would still move out but only if the roommate could prove he could afford it. There didn't seem to be any concern about that before the OP got his job, which is strange -- but according to all the OP has said, he never had any intention of staying in the apartment. He was always going to move out, which makes the issue about utilities moot in my eyes.

But even if the OP was going to stay in the apartment and he hasn't made that clear here... he told the landlord that he and his roommate would both be vacating the premises. That wasn't part of the original plan -- the OP was moving out, the roommate was staying. By telling the landlord they'd both be gone, without telling the roommate "Hey, I gave notice for you, you need to move out now too," he's really screwed his roommate over. It's a jerky thing to do, and the OP should apologize.
posted by palomar at 6:51 AM on June 22, 2011


@palomar: The original plan was for me to announce my end of tenancy on May. My roommate was still going to be evicted if I announced my plan to move out on May. I delayed announcing my end of tenancy in May so that my roommate could get a security deposit. When he moved in on April, he knew he had to have a security deposit ready for sometime within May. He knew that. His girlfriend and my previous roommate were present when I told him that he needed to have a security deposit ready in May.

Under the original plan, if I announced my end of tenancy on May and my roommate was not ready with a security deposit, he would still have had to move out. Him staying in the apartment was always under the condition of him having a security deposit. That was the original plan. He didn't have his security deposit ready for May; he was moving out on June 30 under the original plan.

When I got my new job in May 3, I still told my roommate that I would be moving out. I asked him if he had his security deposit ready. He said he was hoping to "talk to his parents". I told him I would delay until May 15 to announce my end of tenancy. On May 15, I asked him if he had his security deposit ready. He said he would have to talk to his parents. I told him that "talking to your parents for money" is not a yes. So I didn't announce my end of tenancy on May 15 just because he was going to be evicted then anyways.
posted by DetriusXii at 7:18 AM on June 22, 2011


I had this happen to me, pretty much in the end - you screwed your roommate. Regardless of the reason, you screwed him with the apartment. But in your defense, if the security deposit and lease was in your name, then it was your apartment. Did you handle it the best way possible, prob. not but that's a moot point. The easiest way to make it until you move out is to
A) Start moving out, get a storage unit or something,
B) Start locking your personal space
C)Say your sorry, but don't dwell on it
D) Realize the friendship is burned, possibly your referral friend friendship is damaged too
E) Keep your head low, don't mention the drug use
F) Just try to stay out of the place as much as possible pretty much just to sleep and move out

It's going to be an awkward situation regardless, just make it as comfortable as possible for you and protect your stuff.
posted by lpcxa0 at 7:59 AM on June 24, 2011


@lpcxa0: I know that I screwed him out of a living situation. But it's not my responsibility to provide him with a place. If he wanted a longer term living arrangement, he should have signed a lease. I haven't burned my friendship with the second roommate.

He's hiding in his bedroom now and he moved his TV into the bedroom. I still have to give him a written notice of termination to him, just to cover myself. I'm hoping he's cooled down enough so that I can interact with him as a roommate.

In your situation, were you the roommate or I?
posted by DetriusXii at 9:48 AM on June 24, 2011


I was on both sides, I moved out of an apartment after getting an internship in college that started earlier then expected. My stuff was damaged by my roommate who "accidentally" left all my windows wide open in a major thunderstorm after opening them to clear food and weed smoke out of the place. So I would def. recommend protecting your stuff.

Also, your right - it's not your responsibility to provide the roommate with a place to live, you were nice enough to give him enough time to come up with some money. So treat it as a hostile business situation - would you care if a bank was going to be mad at you if you gave notice of ending a loan early or not refinancing your loan? Similar situation, you guys roomed together partly due to finances - it's not your problem what happens to them after it ends; your finances have changed, theirs hasn't. When I was burned by an apartment, it was more of a shoddy situation where the roommate said he was renewing the lease; turns out he didn't (never sent the lease to landlord, landlord rented the apartment to new tenets) and moved back home after it expired. Fun times scrambling to find a place in a week. But it can be done, so since it appears you gave the roommate more then enough time to find a new roommate or place to live, wash your hands of it and be done with it.

In the end, it was a business transaction, you needed help with the rent (most likely), they needed a place to live. Just from experience, protect your stuff and keep your head low until it's over. They can be pissy all they want, but you did your duty and gave notice. The rest is on them which it appears, they were the ones to drop the ball and not come up with the needed finances. Plus roommates.com or Craigslist has plenty of places for immediate rent.
posted by lpcxa0 at 10:42 AM on June 24, 2011


Oh, and I'm not sure how it works in Canada, but in America - if you are the primary lease (lessor/lessee?) holder, you can give notice of your intention to vacate to the landlord. It's then up to the landlord and the other roommates to decide what to do. If you haven't done so already, read your lease to see if there is a clause in there about this situation. Otherwise, just notify the landlord and let them deal with it.

In terms of utilities, similar thing - say you're moving out on XX/XX/XXXX and ask for all utilities to be switched to the landlord that day. If the roommate decides to renew the lease, the landlord will then switch utilities over to their name. With a situation like this, give notice to the landlord of your intention to vacate, and protect yourself. Again, wash your hands of the situation - it's not your problem.
posted by lpcxa0 at 10:51 AM on June 24, 2011


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