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Am I too hard?(87 Posts)
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...
oh dear, that was long (working it out as I went along). HOpe someone's up to give me some advice...
Let her go, she took the piss and you pulled her on it
In future advertise properly for a lodger. Get a proper contract. Don't let someone move in right away.
If you don't click, say No even if recommended by a friend.
It still might turn out badly but at least you've done it properly.
She wouldn't have left without a backup plan. People like that never do.
I should add that we first met at my house at midday for an hour - I showed her the house, explained everything, including the money; then I said we'd both think about it and meet again at 5. so she had plenty of space to think about it.
Quite frankly feck the silly tight cow. I can't stand her type (ie parasites) and is have done exactly the same thing but I probably an on the blunt side of polite when it comes to misers and users
You didn't chuck her out in the middle of the night; you expected her to leave in the morning. She's a grown-up, she'll have a plan.
The contract was on the table, ready to be signed once the money was on the table. It was her dithering to get the money and I was going out - I told her at 5 I'd be going out at 7. The woman who recommended her rents out rooms (she currently has 11 lodgers and has been a landlady for years) but is now full. Even if you advertise, you still get turkeys.
No, don't feel bad. No harm will come to her and it's better she's gone now than pisses you about for weeks.
Has she taken all of her belongings with her?
She's doing it for attention. Ignore.
Well, she's 41 not a fresh 18 year-old just left home.
She can look after herself.
Just been up to check - she's left a few things, accidentally by the look of it. I know she'll be upset - yes, she's manipulative but I do think she's also vulnerable.
Ah yes. Lodgers. I've been advertising on gumtree for one for my townhouse (where I stay when working). This time round, I've been plagued by men in their forties who have been thrown out by their wives/girlfriends and need somewhere urgently. Call me paranoid, but I'm convinced they're on the lookout for some single woman with a house that they can move in with instead. No way! I steer clear of those ones.
I also steer clear of anyone who is a bit ummy and ahhy on looking round. Theres been a couple of women in their forties like that, and they just sound like pains in the neck. When somone describes something as an "issue", I take it as a red flag.
I insist on cash for deposit and first month's rent, or no contract. You do have to be strict, no-one else is going to do it for you. Some of them will take the piss if they can at all do so, its like they think someone should pay for them and provide them with subsidised accommodation!
I've found a nice lodger now though!
She could have taken herself off tomorrow and it was her choice to leave tonight.
Have you checked your porch/gararge and taken a look to see if there's a
sobbing sodden figure sitting on a wall along the road?
shampoo and toothbrush sort of thing?
haven't you got a plastic bag?
leave it by the front door.
Inside if you want to be kind.
Did she take anything she shouldn't have? She could have stayed the night she knew that, so it was her choice to go, not your problem unless she left with the family silver.
oh izzy! she's probably disintegrated into the pavement like the wicked witch of the west [shouldn't laugh]
She left with aplomb. Everything is present and correct (so far as I can see). I wish I was one of those decisive, level-headed people, instead of a hothead who swallowed her hooks and got irate. I wasn't vile but I was tough. I'd like to be able to channel cool and collected - still the same end result but not as hot iyswim.
3 lodgers so far, over the years: one a hot french athlete who said english food was crap (quote), put raw meat on my wooden chopping board, and expected sex
I was tempted ; an aforementioned married bloke chucked out by his wife, who expected to slip into my warm house and take up where he left off with his wife and was also an alcoholic and on probation, it turned out and now Madam. I've hosted hundreds of foreign students and you get a different type of shit with them, but some gorgeous ones too. I'm used to living with difficult people - albeit ruling with an iron rod. You have to with foreign students.
I know I will berate myself that I didn't think quicker. I just see red/shut down when people start pulling shit like she did tonight.
The first two lodgers I got through advertising; this one I got through someone who advertises but was too full and passed her on to me.
this should be in chat, sorry.
The messing about would most likely have carried on and got worse. I think you've had a lucky escape.
taking pity on a friend of a friend default, I acquired a part-time lodger that I wasn't looking for and he's been an absolute gem. He's a chef who works all the hours god sends for six months a year in the UK in order to fund his home in Europe.
I barely see him and, being that he spends his days and sometimes nights slaving over a stove, he never wants to use my kitchen. Other than a change of sheets, there's no chance of anything in the bedroom department as he's not that way inclined, iyswim.
I'm in the fortunate position of not having to share my home through economic necessity but if I were, given that I've got a low boredom threshold, I'd be looking/advertising on gumtree for those who want short term accomodation at a reasonable rent with preference given to chefs/caterers.
Now I know why I stay away from Chat... this is the closest I've come to revealing information that could out me
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.
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.
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
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?
landladies!!! What am I on? Whatever it is, I'll have another
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?
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
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.
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
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
It's not as if the OP cast her out into the dark rainy night, bit.
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
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.
What do you think the OP should have done, then - locked her in?
sorry to butt into the convo here, on my own thread and all
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).
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.
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
Nor me - read the thread.
Just found a half-smoked fag on a shelf. oh SO well rid <wipes brow>
And I'm sorry, I didn't realise we weren't allowed to post without your authorisation so back at you!
Op, you sound like a peice of work. Sorry.
Op you asked a question and we have all given our differing opinions. Was that not what you wanted?
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. 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.
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
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.
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.
Hmm, Hmm, <<clears throat>> this isn't AIBU, Bit, and I suspect that some responses here would differ substantially had springy entitled her thread 'Was I Too Soft' which, clearly, from the outset she was.
Oh no! So it isn't
Rather oddly its in relationships
I agree with you that op's question was wrong. Neither party comes out of this smelling of roses and I hope they are both wiser in future
I still hope the lodger is ok <hopeless softy>
ffs - of course I expect differing opinions - read the blarsty thread. I don't like third person stuff, wherever I see it - usually when a poster is launching an attack on the OP. Bad form.
and of course I hope she's ok - read the blarsty thread. nightmare woman who is probably sodden somewhere, bleating that springy isn't running a charity. nightmare!
Lived and learnt!
Just another little nugget - she told me she might play her guitar in the night when the inspiration came; and was put out that I said it would wake others in the house. But if I get the inspiration, she started...
Bitter Experience leads me to believe that we need have no fear for the lodger, Bit, and that, given this is Relationships, our concern should be reserved for Springy who has had a narrow escape so nearly became the victim of an arch manipulator.
As The Bard has it, all's well that end's well.
Springy, you don't do yourself any favours with that tone, you really don't
I've just remember she said she had a relative in the city.
PHEW!!! that bloody woman, putting me through that shit!
excuse the tone though
<goes off to brush up on my tone>
Yes, ffs And I have read the "blarsty" thread thanks
I disagreed with you. That's all. I don't need your rolly eyes and for fucks sakes.
You sound very hot headed
Sadly, I can't clone my chef but I can lend you my guitar tuner
in the hope that it will improve Bit's tone, Springy
You went with your instincts. A normal lodger would have paid immediately. She was trying it on and it would have got worse. She is not your problem. You need the money.
You're well rid!
You did the right thing OP, she'll be fine.
God OP, can't believe you're getting a pasting. Sounds like a total nightmare. Yes, IMO you were hard, because you had to be. People like this home in on people who they think are a soft touch. I think what happened was that the penny dropped that you are not a soft touch and that's why she had second thoughts. They force you to either put up with them, or be hard to get rid of them. I'm not saying this from a landlord POV but I've met people like this socially.
When you said she was 41 I was like this - from her behaviour she sounded more like 19.
Begonia, hardly a pasting. Just little old me
Oh Bit. Sorry I was nice to OP about the non-pasting!
Maybe she could live with you?
I don't think that arrangement would last as long as the one described here
before one of us killed the other
Btw we are not allowed to speak about her in the 3rd person. House rules
Women like her have a relative in every town, a date in every oasis, a port in every storm, and when they're between gigs, as it were, they use others to perfect their act.
Don't give her another thought, Springy.
an aforementioned married bloke chucked out by his wife, who expected to slip into my warm house and take up where he left off with his wife
Oh yes, there are a lot of those ones on the lookout. Out of 9 enquiries I had recently, 2 fell into this category. One of them told me he was "being chucked out by his girlfriend at the weekend". I knew I wasn't even going to let him view the room, and told him I got on better with housemates from a similar background and age to myself. This led to him informing me that I sounded younger than him, as he was 45, but as his girlfriend (the one chucking him out) was only 29, it could work!
Actually I am a bit gobsmacked at all these older men who are functionally homeless and think they can just move in with another woman, because you just know they would try it on with you! I actually got one of them by default, a friend's ex, and while he paid the rent, he did try it on (unsuccessfully, obviously) but oh my god, getting him to leave - I had to actually give him £200 to move out - money well spent!
lucky escape. Not too hard AT ALL. she would NEVER have paid rent on time and ust been a gigantic pain in the butt. Well done on getting rid so quickly
She sounds a nightmare, you are well rid imo. Sounds like she was after a freebie for whatever reason.
I'm notoriously soft, but wouldn't have wanted her in my home for any longer than necessary, and I think you were firm but not unduly harsh. A friend in need would be completely different, but you didn't know her nor owe her anything, and she sounded to be rude from the off.
Not too hard at all. The fact you agonised about her and posted here says that. But I agree with those that say be more professional.
Is your need for cash making you liable to cut corners a bit? Better to take it steady and find a good lodger.
And the angsty 41 year old with the guitar? She must have an interesting back story leading to her pitching up on your doorstep but fortunately she is not your problem.
Is your need for cash making you liable to cut corners a bit?
that'll be the one <pfft>
That, and foreign students just arrive, I do the drill - explain everything - and it's short and sharp, done and dusted: we both know why we're there and the score. Different with a lodger - the 'drill' isn't the same - but they are neverthless not housemates, but lodgers. They can be housemates if they take equal responsibility with me if eg the toilet is broken but, if not, they are lodgers.
Hmm... sub-letting rules and tax fraud springs to mind - wouldn't there be contracts otherwise. Live by the sword ?
*Hmm... sub-letting rules and tax fraud springs to mind - wouldn't there be contracts otherwise. Live by the sword
I think someone's imagination is running away with them a little.
How dare you rent a room in your house OP! Be more professional about it!
I think you had a lucky escape and weren't too harsh. What would've happened if you'd accepted her non-payment? She'd still be staying with you now, for free, and at your inconvenience. Well done for insisting on payment and not being soft!
geegee a strangely aggressive way to express it, but I think the point is if one is not doing a legal let, then not much room to complain when it goes 'tits up'.
... and if you take the piss, be prepared to have i taken out of you too.
What was illegal about it? I assume you mean in the civil sense? The OP offered a contract but it wasn't signed before the prospective tenant moved in. Hardly illegal or even that unusual.
And as far as I'm aware, renting a room in your home isn't going to join the traditional professions any time soon and attracts rather generous tax allowances.
I'm not really getting the vibe that the OP is some criminal landlord mastermind, somehow.
Under the government 'rent a room' scheme you can let a furnished room in your house, and receive up to £4,250 gross p.a. tax free, without having to declare anything. This applies to owned or rented homes (although if rented you need to clear it with the landlord)
It is a bit much to bandy round accusations of illegal lets opentoffers
Ok, point well made without the snide sarcasm by panic. Thanks for clearing that up. I was questioning, not accusing. All seemed to occur fast for being above board but I concede that it may well of been.
In a nutshell, and more to the point, no she was not too hard but is obviously a nice person for considering her needs regardless of behaviour.
I have a property which is let (now by an agent) and was too soft on someone who didn't pay on time, upshot she owes a packet and I have also had lawyers fees etc to try and recoup the money.
Learnt the hard way to 'be hard' and stick to the rules.
Apropos of not much; my neighbour recently took in a colleague (seperated middle-aged man) as a lodger (she variously has lodgers) and he ended up hanging himself off her bannister. Seriously. She opened the front door and there he was In summer too She knew he wasn't doing that well but...
Screw her. She took the absolute piss and I would've done the same as you op. I thought you were talking about a 16 year old by her behaviour not a 40-something year old woman! Terrible behaviour.
How awful for your neighbour, tzella I hope she's recovered from the shock and the subsequent trauma of the police investigation etc.
I also hope the poor man's family have found some way to come to terms with his decision to end his life.
izzy We haven't spoken at length but she is being breezy. I can't imagine she's quite over it yet though. I wouldn't be.
God, no, nor would I be, tzella. In time it's possible to reach some accomodation with such a dreadful occurence, but you never get completely 'over it'. I hope your neighbour is at least able to enter her home without 'seeing' the past, as it were [sad}
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