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Am I too hard?

(87 Posts)
springyhope Wed 03-Oct-12 23:36:17

A lodger arrived today and, how to say this - she was difficult from the off. I need the money, she needed the room and I thought ah well, see how it goes (didn't expect it to last long). We bashed out payment terms and, as the intro had been short notice (both of us recommended to the other by a friend last night), she said she would go to the bank to get the money. Then she decided she would transfer it on the internet ("I don't want to go out now") - by now her stuff was in the room [<< yy I'm an idiot]. There was a problem with transferring it on t'internet (...) and she put her boots on to go to the cashpoint, while I left to go out for the night. She said she would put the money on the table for when I got back - "A nice treat for you" (treat? er no, payment , love)

Got back, no money on the table. She's upstairs in her room, showered and cosy. I call up "where's the money?" and she mumbled about, dithering up there. "Can I have the money please? I expected it on the table when I got home". Waited. Waited. Eventually she comes downstairs (I was pretty pissed off by now), purse in hand. Purse stayed closed. Waited. She launches into a speech that she's had second thoughts (purse still closed) and I was quick to say she can't 'have second thoughts' when her feet are under the table and she's freshly showered and had spent the evening at my house (I had also given her a bit of supper); to which she retorted that she hadn't signed a contract....

to which I was short and deadly sharp. She tried various manipulations <yawn> but no joy for her on those. PUrse still closed. She said she was going to leave there and then, I said not without paying me. I thought for a bit, then said £30 for the night (for mucking me about, chiefly). Dear God, that purse creaked open very, very eventually, and she put the £30 on the table, folded up.

She cranked up to manipulate a bit more and I cut her off, saying I hoped she'd sleep well but I expected her to leave in the morning. I'm here logging on to MN and the door goes - she's gone, it's pouring with rain, she doesn't know where she is (new to the city), no buses running now, no taxis here. And I'm still sitting here....

too soft, more like. But she's a woman in a strange place who doesn't know where she is and has gone off in a flounce. yy I get mighty pissed off when people manipulate, heart turns to stone: absolute zero tolerance. But... should I go after her? She doesn't know where she is. She's obviously a vulnerable sort, in her way (iyswim). She's 41 and a royal pain in the arse

I expect she's sobbing up the road...

CurrentBun Thu 04-Oct-12 02:21:51

I admire your assertiveness OP for nipping it in the bud immediately. I'm too soft and had to learn the hard way and have been ripped off by manipulative little cows like her before. Well done for standing your ground.

izzyizin Thu 04-Oct-12 03:25:02

Seems to me you're well rid of the potential tenant who'd have turned you into a lodger in your own home from hell who, I suspect, may have flung herself weeping on your mutual friend's bosom in the middle of the night.

Assertiveness is a quality that you should never beat yourself up for, and you have reason to be proud that you didn't let your rising red hot anger blood pressure tip assertiveness into agression.

As CB has said, well done you for standing your rightful and righteous ground.

BitOutOfPractice Thu 04-Oct-12 03:41:46

Hmm. It depends on what her reasons / excuses were. I'm sure you're in the right op but all your bits in brackets <yawn yawn etc> make you sound rather hard faced tbh. And quite scary.

I hope she's ok

izzyizin Thu 04-Oct-12 03:56:23

The OP's not a social worker, Bit, nor is she hardfaced.

How many landladys allow their tenants to move in before they've paid a penny in rent and how many tenants tell said landladys that they'll leave their rent payments on the table as a 'treat' for them?

izzyizin Thu 04-Oct-12 03:58:19

landladies!!! What am I on? Whatever it is, I'll have another smile

BitOutOfPractice Thu 04-Oct-12 04:07:46

I didn't say she was a social worker. I said that she might be more intimidating than she thinks.

Sorry not to just agree with everyone like!

I think they both have lessons up learn from this episode don't they?

MayTheOddsBeEverInYourFavour Thu 04-Oct-12 04:16:12

I think you did the right thing

She decided to leave and she's a grown woman, don't worry about her just enjoy your lucky escape

izzyizin Thu 04-Oct-12 04:34:46

If the OP was 'more intimidating than she thinks', Bit, I suspect she wouldn't have a had a problem in getting her new tenant to pay, as is customary, upfront before granting her possession of the room.

Some see kindness as weakness; others take the piss. Whatever category this particular would-be tenant falls into, IMO the OP's well rid.

BitOutOfPractice Thu 04-Oct-12 07:09:13

She was certainly rather gungho about the whole thing. The situation was also of her making as well as the lodgers

Either way, it makes me feel rather unhappy to think of any woman alone at night without a roof over her head, no matter how much of a piss taker she is or was and I hope she's ok

joblot Thu 04-Oct-12 07:54:33

I'm with bit, op sounds a little ott from what she's written here. I use the do as you would be done by principle. But I am a bit soft. But also I'm quite kind I hope.

I have a lodger and I gave him the benefit of the doubt, as one has to when you don't know someone. Hes come up trumps I'm pleased to say. If I'd been rigid I'm not sure that would have helped any, it certainly wouldn't have encouraged goodwill

izzyizin Thu 04-Oct-12 08:09:49

It's not as if the OP cast her out into the dark rainy night, bit.

The woman eventually stumped up paid £30 for a roof over her head for the night and she had no need to vacate it until the morning.

As for do as you would be done by, joblot, is it customary to agree terms to rent a room without paying the required sum before you take possession of it?

Or am I missing something here hmm

BitOutOfPractice Thu 04-Oct-12 08:26:37

Hold on, the op was just as dippy as the lodger here. She didn't handle things very professionally either, or cover herself in glory.

And like I said, I wouldn't like to think of anyone being out alone at night, let alone an upset woman.

I say all this as a pretty hard headed businesswoman and landlord. But I didn't like all the "oh well, it's her own fault, she'll be fine" comments about this woman.

Anniegetyourgun Thu 04-Oct-12 08:44:27

What do you think the OP should have done, then - locked her in?

springyhope Thu 04-Oct-12 08:56:44

sorry to butt into the convo here, on my own thread and all hmm

how some of you can have read the situation the way you have is beyond me. So, this woman walks into a shop and tries on some clothes, goes to the cafe wearing said clothes, comes back saying she's not ready to pay for them yet and she doesn't want to go to the bank because it's cold and the draining board is on the left and she makes a point and a fuss about the draining board being on the left - which is wrong for her because she's left-handed - so puts the washed up stuff the other way around so the water drips onto the floor (I kid you not) and she might leave the money on the counter for the shop assistant as a treat and, after she's been wearing said clothes for hours she starts arguing about the price, the fabric, the colour; still no sign of any spondus...

She was a pain in the jeffing arse and I suspect flounced to get back some kind of control. YOur comment izzy that she would have turned me into the lodger in my own home is smack on. I hated that she was out in awful weather - read the blarsty thread. Her choice, she's not a baby (though you wouldn't know it).

BitOutOfPractice Thu 04-Oct-12 08:57:46

Not got to that stage to start with.

I'm not saying the lodger sounds great. She sounds like a nightmare. But the whole situation was badly handled on both sides and I don't like to think of anyone, no matter how nightmarish, being out alone at night.

BitOutOfPractice Thu 04-Oct-12 09:01:28

Op you shouldn't have let her move in without a. Paying her deposit and b. getting references c. Possibly a credit check d. The contract signed

It was all too rushed. You left yourself open to being taken advantage of.

In fact, in answer to your question, you should've been a lot more professional and hard faced about it before it got to this stage

As I have said, she does sound a nightmare. I don't dispute that. But if you don't get more savvy, these things can happen

Hope your next lodger works out better

springyhope Thu 04-Oct-12 09:01:58

Nor me - read the thread.

Just found a half-smoked fag on a shelf. oh SO well rid <wipes brow>

BitOutOfPractice Thu 04-Oct-12 09:02:27

And I'm sorry, I didn't realise we weren't allowed to post without your authorisation so hmm back at you!

MorrisZapp Thu 04-Oct-12 09:06:04

Op, you sound like a peice of work. Sorry.

joblot Thu 04-Oct-12 09:08:25

Op you asked a question and we have all given our differing opinions. Was that not what you wanted?

springyhope Thu 04-Oct-12 09:09:17

When I first spoke to her, she was staying in a hostel (long story, not as dodgy as it sounds) and said 'I'm just checking out of the hostel and will be with you in an hour'. 'just checked out??' I said, alarmed 'are you expecting to stay here tonight?'. 'don't jump to conclusions' she said. hmm I thought.

I was under pressure because she had nowhere to stay and I was going out. I asked for references - 'you can't expect me to find references just like that, I need time' - me: 'you wouldn't turn up to a job with no references saying you had no time - I'd like some references please' (I swear I had to battle on every point). After mucking about on this and that - endless mucking about - I said (at 5pm, after she had had 4 hours to decide what she was going to do) that she could leave it and start the tenancy at a later date if she preferred. no, no, she said.

izzyizin Thu 04-Oct-12 09:14:30

The bottom line is she wouldn't have gone anywhere if she didn't have somewhere to go.

Drama queens always have a plan b if plan a doesn't work out to their advantage satisfaction, and that would hold true if this diva was put down in the middle of the Sahara desert.

Go for short term gay male lodgers, honey, and be on the lookout for a chef - if I could clone mine I'd send you a Dolly copy grin

BitOutOfPractice Thu 04-Oct-12 09:17:36

Op it's clear that you started this thread so everyone could agree with you sigh sorry, AIBU doesn't work like that. People will disagree with you.

You played your part in this sorry mess. You also handled it badly. Next time, be more professional. Then nobody gets hurt or inconvenienced.

panicnotanymore Thu 04-Oct-12 09:19:49

You did the right thing - I had a tenant do this to me too, but I fell for her sob stories and ended up considerably out of pocket. I have since discovered that far from being a vulnerable old lady she is a semi professional con artist who takes advantage of nice women who don't want to be 'hard'. I have wised up now - no one gets a foot in the door until I have a deposit, rent and a water tight contract.

I never let to friends of friends. It never works out as they seem to think you will waive payment because of the friend link.

Whatever you think about how the OP handled the situation, she did not make the "tenant" go there and then, just said that she wanted her gone in the morning. It was the "tenants" decision to flounce out in the middle of the night so she should take responsibility for her actions.

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