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February 1, 2012 11:49 AM   Subscribe

What's the nicest possible rejection text I can send to the people I don't pick to be my new housemate?

I've had 7 people through my place and despite hearing horror stories from friends about housemate searches all of these people have been great - my hardest thing today is going to be working out which one I want to keep. I've told them all that I'll let them know one way or the other and while I'm planning on texting I'd like it to be as nice as possible since they were all pretty cool in their own ways - and I'm not great at saying no to people!
posted by Silentgoldfish to Home & Garden (16 answers total)
 
"Hi X, I'm sorry but the room's been taken. Best of luck, Silentgoldfish."
posted by Tomorrowful at 11:51 AM on February 1, 2012 [12 favorites]


Exactly. You don't help things by dwelling on how much you like them. Just keep it short and sweet.
posted by alms at 11:52 AM on February 1, 2012


Agree with Tomorrowful, but don't send the text until your chosen housemate has agreed and given you a deposit, as people may quickly accept other offers.
posted by PercussivePaul at 11:54 AM on February 1, 2012 [15 favorites]


I would go with, "Hi, X, it was great to meet you but the room's been taken. Best of luck finding a place, Silentgoldfish." But I'm a sap.
posted by Snarl Furillo at 11:54 AM on February 1, 2012 [7 favorites]


Either of the above examples is good. Also, you're already being nice by telling them that you haven't picked them. A lot of people don't, at least in places where housing is competitive.
posted by needs more cowbell at 11:55 AM on February 1, 2012


I like Snarl Furillo's more, just because it's friendlier. Everyone understands that for a nice place there are always lots of potential applicants, but it's always pleasant to get positive feedback in your "thanks but no thanks" rather than an impersonal ding.
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:56 AM on February 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


nthing short and sweet, with the emphasis on short.

One thing I didn't see mentioned by others is that the nicest thing you can do is tell them they're rejected as quickly as possible. They may need to know and it can't hurt to tell them ASAP once your side of things is covered with the person who you did select, which should also happen quickly before that person A) potentially backs out or B) simply delays you from sending out the aforementioned notification text to the No listers.
posted by RolandOfEld at 12:02 PM on February 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


You do want to make sure that the person you pick has said ok before you send out these texts; otherwise you might be in the awkward position of trying to retract them. Otherwise, Snarl Furillo has my vote.
posted by nat at 12:12 PM on February 1, 2012


I think a phone call is in order. It would take you less time than composing a text as well as allow you to be more personal. A text just seems like a cowardly way to break that kind of news and is impersonal.

But that is just me.
posted by handbanana at 12:24 PM on February 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've been here a lot -- usually I say that it was a hard decision, but I've picked someone and they accepted. Then I say that "I know a lot of actors who move a lot and go out of town on tour, so if I hear of anyone who needs a roommate in the next couple weeks I"ll let you know."

I've had people thank me for such a nice note.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:33 PM on February 1, 2012


I'm with handbanana. My first thought upon reading your question was, "This is done by text now?"
posted by emelenjr at 12:38 PM on February 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm among the first to decry it when people use texting for overly personal things, but this seems like a perfect use of a text. This is a business transaction where there is a very simple message to be conveyed. You aren't breaking up with someone or telling them their dog died. Reasonable people understand that you can't give the room to all 7 people and don't need to have their hand held through the traumatic experience.

I agree with the sooner-the-better philosophy (although not until you have a deposit from the person you pick); it's giving them important information in their housing search and shows that you're being considerate. Something like, "Thanks for coming to look at the room. Sorry to say that it's been taken. Good luck in your search!" would be a very nice message, I think.
posted by Betelgeuse at 1:12 PM on February 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm among the first to decry it when people use texting for overly personal things, but this seems like a perfect use of a text.

Agreed. There's something really icky about getting bad news* over the phone, and having to do that cheery "Oh, that's okay!" response. And then hanging up and wondering why they needed to call to tell you that.

Anyway I like Snarl Furillo's answer. The "nice to meet you" part is a kind little hint at "I didn't reject you because you're really weird."

*Not that this is terribly bad, but it could be for someone who's really stressed about finding a place.
posted by DestinationUnknown at 1:25 PM on February 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


As a person who just went though a search for housing, I really appreciated it when people who rejected me bothered to send me any response at all! Mostly I got mine through email, since that was how I'd contacted the people in the first place. Don't draw it out, a sentence or two will do.

Remember, those people have probably seen a lot of other places. For all you know, you weren't THEIR top pick either!
posted by showbiz_liz at 1:30 PM on February 1, 2012


After new roomie has agreed to terms, and provided deposit,

I've asked a new roommate to move in. I really appreciate your interest. It was a difficult choice; I met a really terrific group of people that made me wish there were more bedrooms. I wish you the best, Silentgf

posted by theora55 at 5:52 PM on February 1, 2012


Ok, it's done! I've already had one text thanking me for letting them know so I feel I did the right thing. Thanks all!
posted by Silentgoldfish at 10:36 PM on February 1, 2012


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