How to get out of my apartment?
June 30, 2008 12:36 PM   Subscribe

How do I get out of the Brooklyn sublet I just moved into without pissing off my other tenants?

I just moved into a nice sublet in Prospect Heights, planning to look for temp work for a couple of months and catch up on some reading otherwise. The other two tenants seemed cool enough when we first met, but a new condition of my residency came up two days after I moved into the apartment. One of the other tenants day-trades and spends the whole day in the apartment, and he feels that having me in the apartment during the day "messes with the energy." He only mentioned this to me last night, but suddenly I am not allowed to be in the apartment from 8am to 6pm every day. He seems adamant about this, and he got pissed off at me today when I came back from job interviews to change clothes.
Now, I plan to talk to him tonight, but this is a major warning sign to me. Until I find work--and it will only be temporary work at that--I need someplace to function, and going out implies spending money that I really don't have. I love to wander Brooklyn, but I need a place I can crash when I get tired, and my rent should cover more than just a bed every evening.
So, how do I handle it? If this is going to be an impasse, am I justified with cutting and running? I have no written agreement, and I'm paying my rent to another tenant who is on holiday, so I suppose I could tell the day-trading tenant to "deal with it." However, I don't want the hassle over the next two months. Can I just pay the rent of the past three days, or should I offer to pay the coming week's rent as a gesture of goodwill while they find a new tenant?
posted by whitedoor to Home & Garden (16 answers total)
Either you should have the day-trader deal with the absent-tenant about it, or you should find a new place and let them deal with it. In both cases: not your problem. Get a place to live that you like and tell these people to pound sand. And keep the schedule you need to keep until you find that new place.
posted by rhizome at 12:49 PM on June 30, 2008

If this is going to be an impasse, am I justified with cutting and running?

Yes. That is bullshit that has nothing to do with you, and if it's his thing, then he can deal with the consequences.

Can I just pay the rent of the past three days, or should I offer to pay the coming week's rent as a gesture of goodwill while they find a new tenant?

If the whole thing about you not being allowed in your own apartment doesn't change, then yes, I think you should just bail.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:50 PM on June 30, 2008 [1 favorite]

The day-trader is apparently an asshole. Since there's no contract, I'd be an asshole right back.
posted by notsnot at 12:51 PM on June 30, 2008

Seems like the "trader" is not the one collecting the to the main "renter" of the place and see what he thinks...If that person is not available now you can tell this guy that you do not pay rent only to use the place at night...if he doesnt "adjust" HE can move out...if you dont want to deal with it you can move out as well...
posted by The1andonly at 12:53 PM on June 30, 2008

Just leave, who gives a crap if the asshole gets pissed off at you, and the other guy shouldn't be surprised that the asshole forces your hand.
posted by BobbyDigital at 12:55 PM on June 30, 2008

Speak to the tenant you're subletting from, tell them they need to deal with their roommate. Do not play the day trader's game -- go in and out as you want. I'd see what happens first with the original roommate, but if need be just find a new place, pay rent for the time you were there and go on your merry way. You do not need to pay time for whenever you weren't there.

How does the day trader not let you in the apartment? You have a key, so just open the door and ignore him. Try to take the high road and not be louder than necessary during the day, but use your room and the bathroom and kitchen just like a normal person would. Sure, it's completely distracting to have people coming in and out when you're trying to work, but if you have roommates, that's what you signed up for -- if your job requires monastic calm, live alone.
posted by jeather at 12:58 PM on June 30, 2008

I would definitely call the guy who you're paying rent to and telling him about what's going on and that you'll move out immediately if things don't change immediately. Perhaps he'll be able to talk his roommate down so you have another month to find another place to live.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:59 PM on June 30, 2008 [1 favorite]

You should move out, because for you, pissed-off day-trader being around will probably mess with your energy. But until you do, don't feel any reluctance to be in the apartment during the day. What a ridiculous idea.
posted by grouse at 1:00 PM on June 30, 2008

Response by poster: This apartment isn't important enough to me for me to want to deal with the hassle of what is inevitably going to be a protracted conflict with the day-trader. I'll feel bad leaving the renter (who is in Europe) in the lurch, but this new issue is something he should have told me about and yet was never mentioned before. Without a contract, I'm pretty much in the clear, right?
posted by whitedoor at 1:04 PM on June 30, 2008

Best answer: Bail. Unless this was a predetermined agreement prior to moving in (not being "allowed" in your sublet apt. for 10 hours a day is PRETTY FUCKING HUGE, and should've been made "crystal" clear) which I doubt it was, you owe them nothing. You haven't established residence there, sounds like you've only been there for a week or so. It's not worth some disgruntled asshole trader pissing in your salsa and splooging in your shampoo whenever you actually do leave to stay some place unless you absolutely have to. Pick your battles. It sounds like you don't really care about finding another place to stay, you're just trying to do the right thing/not get sued... It's probably an illegal sublet (i.e. landlord was not notified) and if there isn't anything in writing between you and the guy who's on vacation, I can't really see anything binding with that. Basically, if the rent is 1/3 short, it's gonna be between the landlord and the three people on the lease. Not you. If you want to keep the universe pleased with you, pay the three days of the rent... (in cash... don't leave a paper trail establishing anything between you/rent/apt.) otherwise... fuck 'em.

Still if you have a serious verbal agreement with holiday dude, he could take you to court. It won't hold without proof, and it doesn't sound like you'd out and out lie (i.e. Your honor, I have NEVER even SEEN this person before), so be careful. Pay the rent for your time there, and bounce, if you want to cover yourself.
posted by Debaser626 at 1:08 PM on June 30, 2008

If you need a free place to stay for a little while, you can check CouchSurfing. There are tons of us who are glad to let strangers stay on our couches.
posted by HotPatatta at 1:35 PM on June 30, 2008 [1 favorite]

So, how do I handle it?

I would handle it by having a huge moving party which lasted from 8 AM until 6 PM. What a colossal asshole this day trader is.
posted by iconomy at 2:08 PM on June 30, 2008 [5 favorites]

If this "new condition" was not mentioned to you when you accepted the sublet, then you certainly have the right to bail.

I suspect that the trader, does not have the approval of the other tenants and the original sublessor will not be happy with this "new condition." In other words, I think he's trying to bully you into staying out of the apartment and the other two tenants may tell him to step the fuck off. The other tenants may be very upset with him for pulling this shit.

But right now your problem is the asshole and I certainly can understand not wanting to deal with him. I would explain to him and the other tenant that this new condition is unacceptable to you and that you will be leaving ASAP. Put it in writing and get a copy to your original sublessor in Europe however you can.

You will pay rent until that time but not a day later (OK maybe up to a week later if you think it will make a big difference in smoothing things over).

In the meantime, you will come and go as you please and if asshole has a problem with that, simply play your TV, stereo or new cheap boombox that you bought for $10 bucks, as loud as you can.

I can't imagine a judge holding you responsible for rent when you were informed, AFTER YOU MOVED IN, that you were not free to stay in the apartment during the day.

Good Luck.

Personally, if it were up to me, I think there's only one way to deal with Bullies, but I can understand you not wanting the drama.
posted by cjets at 2:53 PM on June 30, 2008

Well, you can present them with some options. I'd explain that I thought the rent was for 24 hour access to the apartment, and since that's not the case

A) You're going to need the rent cut by 30% (for the 50 of the 168 hours a week you've lost)


B) You're going to have to seek 24 hour lodging elsewhere.
posted by betaray at 3:45 PM on June 30, 2008

play dumb: ask the other tenants (the other roommate plus the one who's out of town) how they cope with not entering the apartment between 8 and 6. they will surely not know what you are talking about, which will give you the chance to explain that this was asked of you.

who knows? maybe this guy has been bugging them and he'll get kicked out.

at any rate, make sure the other roommates know why you are leaving.
posted by thinkingwoman at 4:02 PM on June 30, 2008

Response by poster: Update: I moved out. Fortunately, he didn't expect me to pay for the three days I'd already spent. Although he was apologetic, it wasn't going to work out. Live and learn.
posted by whitedoor at 6:40 PM on June 30, 2008

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