I share an off-campus apartment with two of my friends, at least by the terms of our lease agreement. Since the beginning of the lease, which started before the college semester, one of my roommates has been living at the apartment with her boyfriend; this was fine with me and my other roommate, because at least someone was getting use out of the apartment and it wasn’t just lying empty while we were paying for it.
However, even after the two of us moved in, roommate 1 (let’s call her Tamara) has had her boyfriend (let’s call him Joe) over every single night.
At first my other roommate (alias Jen) and I were considerate even though we were uncomfortable with the matter, but when we finally spoke up about two weeks into the semester, Tamara gave us hell. She stated that she would never had lived with us if we weren’t okay with her and Joe being together all the time, and that we were attacking her by asking her to have Joe over less often.
Jen and I tried to reason with her because having a fourth roommate (which Joe pretty much is), who is not on the lease could get us evicted. Plus it is frustrating living with an extra person who gets in your way in the morning when you are getting ready for classes, or at night when you are trying to cook dinner.
We then asked Tamara if she planned on staying with him since the beginning, why didn’t she add him to the lease? She didn’t respond. He lives with us and doesn’t contribute to bills or cleaning. What can we do to have him over less?
Oh, and Jen and I discussed Joe pitching in for part of rent or utilities, but Tamara refused to consider it, saying that “Joe is barely ever there” and that “he doesn’t even use anything” despite the fact that he eats, sleeps, cooks and showers at our apartment. This guy is 26 years old and we are all 19-20, so the situation for Jen and me is more awkward due to how much older he is than us.
What do you think I should do?
No Privacy in My Own Home
Dear No Privacy:
Take a long, hard look at your lease and read it line by line. Most landlords in multi-tenant lease arrangements have clauses written into the lease which define the duration which “guests” can stay without the rent increasing to cover the additional costs (since landlords often pay water/garbage and sometimes heat).
Based on the contents of the lease (which I am hoping say no more than three days concurrently), you and the other roommate could then write “Joe” and “Tamara” a letter that tells them he is not allowed to stay over more than the lease permits, and as of this moment they are in violation and can both be evicted. She needs to understand that it’s fine for HER to support and coddle her boyfriend if she wants, but she has no right to demand that you and the other roommate do the same.
On the other hand, if there is no clause about guest stay in the apartment, then let her know that effective immediately, any and all bills for the household will be divided into quarters instead of thirds. Demand that he pay his fair share or GTFO. Of course if she wants to cover his quarter, that’s fine too. Bottom line is you don’t care WHO pays it, long as it’s not you.
Other than that, I would suggest you consult with a local tenant’s rights agency. They know the laws in each municipality and can give you more specific information and guidance on how to get this guy out of your home, which may require getting the landlord involved to get him out if he won’t go willingly. Perhaps he can legally be served with eviction papers for non-payment of rent, because whether he is on the lease or not, there is NOWHERE he can live 100% free of charge.
If your roommate “Tamara” doesn’t like it, she can go with him!
With all that said, I am really wondering why some random almost 30 year old dude is living in a place with three college girls still in their teens? He is a sponge and a mooch, and your roomie is less than intelligent because she doesn’t even understand that she is being used. This is an older guy taking advantage of a silly, desperate young girl. Sad sad sad.