Roommate's Girlfriend Over Constantly, But She Owns The House
April 6, 2016 1:40 PM   Subscribe

My roommate's girlfriend is now over on a near constant basis. The problem is my roommate owns the house. Do I have any leverage?

I met my current roommate through my roommate's girlfriend Jane, who I was already friends with. I like Jane, however she is not the kind of person I want to live with on a daily basis.

I went into the situation knowing that Jane would be over a couple nights a week. Fine, I could deal with that. However that few days a week is turning into most days a week, and they almost never go to Jane's house (Jane owns a separate house of her own).

Also, Jane has basically abandoned her dog here in the care of her girlfriend/my roommate and the dog has been here for the last 10 months. I end up taking the stupid dog for walks because I pity it, but it smells, eats its own poop then comes in and starts licking the carpet, and is really annoying. My roommate also owns a dog which I like, and I actually am a dog person, but the point is that I end up taking care of the two of them because Jane almost NEVER does the bare minimum for her dog--and Jane's dog is just not the kind of dog I want to deal with. But she has left it here because I guess my roommate agreed to it. I wasn't consulted.

So, the point is that I suddenly now have a third roommate and I don't know if I have a leg to stand on because I'm renting a room in my roommate's house which she owns. I just wish that they would try to balance their time by going to Jane's house once in a while. But they almost never do. Also, Jane is starting to be at the house when my roommate is at work. Jane is sick right now and is staying at my house these past few days while her GF is at work. WHY I don't know. And tends to act like she owns the place.

So, do I have a case to bring this up? Or do I just have to find another place? I like living here because the roommate and I are actually great as roommates, the place is nice, and the rent is very good. But I just don't want to be living with Jane on a daily basis. It's straining my friendship with her.
posted by argylesockpet to Human Relations (13 answers total)
Yeah, you find another place. This will go toxic fast once you bring it up.
posted by Marinara at 1:46 PM on April 6, 2016 [66 favorites]

The irony is that your presence is allowing them to continue a charade of "not moving in together." As soon as you leave, they'll probably cut back because they can't pretend anymore.

But, yeah, I think you do have to leave. No good will come of getting between lovers who have progressed to the "basically moving in" stage. Maybe they even kind of want you gone? Maybe they want to sell Jane's house and are trying to give you a really-not-subtle hint?

Probably they like your house better because it's close to work, or cleaner, or bigger, or some other random factor that they won't compromise on. And clearly making you uncomfortable is not a worry of theirs., I doubt you have any leverage here.
posted by quincunx at 1:46 PM on April 6, 2016 [3 favorites]

You don't have a roommate, you have a landlady that you live with. I've done the same thing and it's not a great situation for all the reasons you enumerate. Sorry!
posted by theodolite at 1:50 PM on April 6, 2016 [14 favorites]

Please move somewhere else. They will be as relieved as you will be, I bet. Situations like this are where renting from a roommate who is also the owner gets tricky. You can't really tell your landlady what to do re: pet or partner/personal life; you can't tell the landlady's GF to go home; you're not equals in negotiation power the way two regular roommates might be.

I suggest you look for a place where it's just a regular roommate and the owner lives elsewhere. Even better if there will be no pets for you to start looking after by default when the pet owner is lazy or distracted or whatever. Lazy people don't do more when they realize someone else in the household will do it for them.
posted by zdravo at 1:54 PM on April 6, 2016 [4 favorites]

Maybe offer to rent Jane's house?
posted by Rock Steady at 2:01 PM on April 6, 2016 [29 favorites]

I had almost this same situation, except my roommate did NOT own the place. She simply behaved like she did. Both she and her constantly-there boyfriend were total assholes to me and never even pretended to be friendly. Whether that made the situation better or worse, I don't know.

They asked me to move out before my lease was up, which I did, gladly. The boyfriend moved in an hour later without missing a beat. I heard they're married now and still living in that goddamned apartment.

You're the third wheel. Leave. Find a roommate who doesn't own the house, has no delusions they do, and is not in a serious relationship.
posted by redlines at 2:15 PM on April 6, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I'd start looking. No good can come of this.

One thing I might bring up is how the utilities are split. Thirds is what I'd aim for.

But no, you have no leverage here, except to move, which you should do. If you have a lease, I'd ask to be let out of it.

"It seems that things are getting serious with you and Jane. Would it be possible to break the lease with no penalty?"

Don't judge or get huffy about it, not to their faces. (Feel free to slag them to your friends though.) This is a really shitty situation and it's dicey. If you're on month-to-month, that's cool, just find a place, give notice and bounce.

I preferred to live alone when I was single, so much less drama and hassle.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 2:20 PM on April 6, 2016 [5 favorites]

So here is a situation I was in. I was living in an apartment with a roommate, but she was the one on the lease, she was the one who had lived there for a few years, I was just renting the extra room. Her boyfriend was over a lot, then kept coming over more and more often. I went on a trip out of the country for several weeks, and while I was abroad I got an email from her saying that she and her boyfriend were "deeply in love and planning to get married," and that I was, in so many words, harshing their groove, and if I wouldn't mind finding another apartment and gtfo so they could live happily ever after. And oh by the way, she wanted me out within a week of returning to the country.

Let me tell you, THAT was not a fun situation to be put in. They realized pretty much overnight that they didn't want me there and it made my life very difficult.

Move out now while it's easy!
posted by phunniemee at 2:20 PM on April 6, 2016 [1 favorite]

You have no leverage against the homeowner who you pay your rent to.

I can't say I agree with this, I don't think it's common for people to let rooms but not care at all about the money they receive in exchange. The money is the leverage.

If you could be mollified with a rent decrease, I think you have a decent chance of getting it. If the only thing that would make you happy is for the homeowner and girlfriend to change their behavior, just move now. You're not going to get satisfaction.
posted by telegraph at 2:41 PM on April 6, 2016 [3 favorites]

My roommate's girlfriend is now over on a near constant basis. The problem is my roommate owns the house. Do I have any leverage?

She's not your roommate, she's your landlady .
posted by EndsOfInvention at 3:23 PM on April 6, 2016 [3 favorites]

1. Jane's dog is not your dog. I get that you are an animal lover who doesn't want to see a dog suffer, but frankly I'd just absolve yourself of any responsibility for caring for Jane's dog. Also, re stuff like Jane's dog coming over and eating its own poo and licking the carpet, this is something to take up with your roommate completely unrelated to how often Jane is over. "Jane brings her dog over and it shits in the house, makes messes, behaves inappropriately because it's not being watched, etc, how can we find a solution for this?"

2. You and your roommate should sit down and talk about how often is OK for Jane to be over, and whether it's OK for Jane to be de facto living there. Note that it is not OK for you to dictate to your roommate what the arrangement will be, just that you guys should communicate about all the issues and talk about what's going to happen in the future. Maybe your roommate says "I'm in love with Jane, and we need to see each other every day" or "Jane is moving in next month." Maybe she says, "Oh no, I had no idea this was bothering you!" and they go to Jane's place more. But you need to talk it through. Ideally with both of you listening and understanding the other's concerns.

3. At the end of the day, it's her home that she owns. You don't have equal standing to dictate the house rules.

4. I've been on the other end of the "gradually I de facto move in with my S.O." situation, and to be honest, there aren't a lot of ways this can end that are going to make you 100% happy. At a certain level, you're basically asking these people to break up. More likely, the two of them decide that they want to live together, which means (in this situation where your roommate is your landlord) you're probably out of an apartment. So... if you really hate it that much, you might as well move out. You may want to decide whether you want to rock the boat on it at all, since doing so might lose you your home.
posted by Sara C. at 3:35 PM on April 6, 2016 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks for the input everyone. It's pretty much as I expected. The two of them are generally mature and considerate individuals and we all get along, so it's not all bad. I'd actually be happy if they just split the time between the houses, or at least just tell me they want to move into the one house. But yeah, don't know how I can bring that up. The funny thing is that Jane rents rooms in her home too, and actually complained to me about one of her tenants having his GF over all the time.
posted by argylesockpet at 4:30 PM on April 6, 2016 [1 favorite]

Your update gives a hint as to why Jane is always at the place where you live; she doesn't like the extra person being around, so bring an extra person of her own (your landlady) would make it worse.

You have no standing for telling them where to spend their time. You're a tenant, you rank below both your landlady and your landlady's girlfriend, and that's not going to change for the better.

Move on before it permanently scars your friendships.
posted by mountmccabe at 5:16 PM on April 6, 2016 [1 favorite]

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