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To ask a lodger if they're away??

(94 Posts)
JayTay Sun 21-Jun-15 14:14:03

I've rented out rooms in my homes for 20 years, always to 20something girls. For the last 3/4 months for the first time I have a male lodger, 39, never married, no kids, serial monogamist from what I can work out, lived with ex's in their houses, never owned a home of his own. He travels frequently but NEVER tells me if he's away. EVERY previous lodger has always automatically told me if they're going to be away overnight or going on holiday or whatever, and vice versa, never had to ask. I've asked a few times in the last few months that he let me know if he's away and our WhatsApp conversation is a constant repeat of the same conversation:
Me: Are you away??
Him: Why?
Me: excuse/reason can you just let me know if you're going to be away, thanks!
Him: Oh... Erm... ok, sorry.

I think he thinks I'm being a controlling girlfriend or mother type trying to check up on him or something but I want to know for a number of reasons which I've explained to him so many times now. He's renting my spare bedroom in my small 2 bed house and we share bathroom, kitchen, entrance, hall, etc so he's very much in my home and we're on top of each other.

- if I'm on my own I might double bolt the door from the inside at night, I won't if he's coming back
- if I know he's coming back I won't worry if I hear noises at midnight and think a mad axe murderer has broken in
- if I'm on my own I may nip to the loo at 3am in just my pants and leave the bedroom & bathroom doors open/unlocked & won't flush. If he's here I obviously won't do that but I cosleep with a 7month old and putting on clothes, closing doors, locking the bathroom, flushing etc risks waking her, and if she were to cry or roll I'm that much slower to hear and get back to her through 2 closed/locked doors.
- I'm on my own with the baby and sometimes I have to leave her to cry and wait for me while I do things like clean up after dinner, Hoover and mop, clean the bathroom, get my washing out the machine, all in case he's coming back and will want to use these things. If I know he's not I might leave it till the morning or something and saves the baby being left to cry or waiting for her bath and bed getting overtired which makes me feel like shit but I feel I have to keep the place spotless and empty the machine straight away if he's here.
- he has been out since Friday and left his bedroom windows open and last night we had torrential rain which woke me up, had I known he wasn't back I'd have closed his windows.
- baby has a horrible cold at the moment and was so snotty and miserable last night, had I known he was out i'd have tried her in a steamy bathroom but as its next to his room I didn't want to disturb him.
- because he works shifts I try to keep her quiet as possible and I don't sing to her or squeal and play till I know if he's out or sleeping and I feel it's not fair to her if he's out and I'm staying silent and shushing her in her own home for nothing.
- it's driving me mad and making me feel really gross and uncomfortable but his room STINKS and he's not washed his bedsheets since he moved in, not hoovered or mopped or taken his bins out or taken dirty cups down since he moved in and if I know he's away it's driving me mad enough to go in and wash his sheets, open the windows, mop, wash the cups and empty the bins, open the curtains FFS before the neighbours think someone has died in there and a family of rats move in. It's not my job and probably not my place to do this but that's my daughter's room, her bed, her curtains, and this is my home and the smell is awful. I'm going to have to burn her mattress when he goes and buy a new one. sad When I have opened the windows you can smell it in the garden, and I'm desperately trying to stop the rest of the house stinking too. God help me in the winter when I can't leave all the rest of the windows open - the only good thing at the moment is I have 2 hall windows putside his room I can leave open but won't be able to in the winter. sad Honestly he's like a teenage boy. He's 39 years old!! It's horrible. sad
- the house is on the market and it's disgusting for viewings and I don't want them thinking that's me so if he's away I'll pop in and air it out and check it's not too disgusting for viewings!!

Surely it's basic common courtesy just to say in passing to someone you live with that you're going to be away for a few days?? Is this a girl/safety thing that the previous ones have all automatically just said "oh by the way I'm away this weekend" and men have never had to do this? Is it a mysogynistic/chauvinistic thing he's not "answering to"/"being controlled by" some woman? Is it a bit of a creep thing - let's see if I can catch her in her pants one day (I regret it now but I did joke about this in the early days and he's made borderline creepy "jokes" CONSTANTLY since). Is it an immature thing, a laugh to wind me up? Does he just genuinely not see any reason or need to tell me, it's not my business, he pays his rent so that's all I need to be concerned with? AIBU to ask him to just let me know?

mileend2bermondsey Sun 21-Jun-15 14:19:16

I was actually going to say YABU, but after reading its clear this bloke pays no mind to you and is being disrespectful to your home. I would actually say it isnt working out and give him notice.

SavoyCabbage Sun 21-Jun-15 14:22:25

Yes, I agree with Mile.

NeedsAsockamnesty Sun 21-Jun-15 14:26:55


Lodgers should remember they are living in someone else's current home so decent manners are required

Anon4Now2015 Sun 21-Jun-15 14:27:42

YNBU to ask him to tell you when he's away for all but one of the reasons you listed. Maybe he hasn't got that though and needs you to explain it to him.

YABU though if you go into his room to clean it. You said it's your daughter's room, but it's not. He pays rent so it's his room and you've no right to go in it when he's not there. If the mess is that bad explain things aren't working and asking him to move out.

ScrambledEggAndToast Sun 21-Jun-15 14:28:31

I'd be looking for a new lodger ASAP if I were you, he sounds like a right pain.

LadyCuntingtonThe3rd Sun 21-Jun-15 14:32:40

I just read it all twice and my advice to you - give him a notice to move out. To me he appears dangerous and antisocial. I wouldn't risk my baby's health like that.

mileend2bermondsey Sun 21-Jun-15 14:34:34

that's my daughter's room, her bed, her curtains
Nope, you rent the room out so its his, he's paying to live there. If you were letting a mate stay there for free thats one thing but a rent paying tennant? No.
Also YWBVU to go in his room and clean it, change the sheets etc. I would be livid, total invasion of privacy.
But like I said before, he's making your life difficult and your house unpleasant, ask him to leave.

SurlyCue Sun 21-Jun-15 14:37:35

I dont think this lodger is a good fit for you tbh. Personally as a lodger i woul not appreciate landlord going in and cleaning my room, opening windows etc and treating it like one of their own rooms. It isnt your daughters room, he is paying for it. If you want to keep it as your daughter's then you cant let it out. And he's a filth bag, i'd get rid. Surely you'll need the room for baby soon anyway?

Floggingmolly Sun 21-Jun-15 14:38:19

Get rid of him! How could you bear to share your home with a filthy maggot like that?

HappySunflower Sun 21-Jun-15 14:39:32

I wouldn't want anybody lodging with me and treating my home so disrespectfully.
Give him notice to leave!

Bluetonic123 Sun 21-Jun-15 15:17:22

I would hate to live somewhere where I had to tell my landlord what I was doing. I'd find it intrusive. Having said that if he's making you feel uncomfortable in your own home then I'd ask him to leave and find a new person.

JayTay Sun 21-Jun-15 15:32:35

See Bluetonic I've never rented and always had my own place with lodgers so I don't know if he's thinking like that too - like he's having to answer to me and I'm invading his privacy, because all previous lodgers have all automatically told me in passing and I've done the same with them. But the fact he seems to purposely hide the fact he'll be away and answers with why when I ask him instead of just yes or no, and he is also given me a full state before when he's told me he was going to be away in a couple of days for 10 days but actually it was in a months time and he didn't tell me when he went, it just feels very suspicious and like there's something sinister behind it rather than this isn't just usual to him or he hasn't thought of it. It's always been usual to me to just tell each other when we are away but I don't know if that's unusual?

In some ways he is a very good lodger, he's not once cooked a meal in the whole time I've been here, the bathroom is left pretty clean, not bad at all, The rest of the house is left pretty clean, he works long hours and when he's not working he's out socialising or playing sports, he pays his rent in full on time every month, it's just this thing about not telling me when he's away despite me asking, and that he's been fucking stinks. If it wasn't for that and sometimes creepy messages and "jokes" i'd be very happy with him here. This is winding me up now but I'm not sure if I'm fair to be wound up.

JayTay Sun 21-Jun-15 15:33:35

Full state?? False Dady. Stupid phone.

JayTay Sun 21-Jun-15 15:33:56

Dady??? Ffs! Date!!!

Crinkle77 Sun 21-Jun-15 15:35:36

Until recently I lodged with a work colleague. I would always tell her if I was staying out. It's just nice to if you have the place to yourself or not and walk round in the nude if you want to.

mrsfuzzy Sun 21-Jun-15 15:40:01

give notice, creepy messages and "jokes" i'm not paranoid but that sounds a bit iffy, i'd give notice sooner rather than later. it is your home, but his room while he rents it. you do not sound happy or that comfortable with things tbh. get rid !

MyPelvicFloorTrainsItself Sun 21-Jun-15 15:42:23

I don't think he needs to tell you when he is away and think of you go into his room and change the sheets etc that you are really stepping over the line.

DinosaursRoar Sun 21-Jun-15 15:45:46

I would give notice, it's not working sharing with him. You can use your DD needing the room soon as an excuse.

But then I think you need to think if this is a rentable room anymore, or if you a) need the room for your DD and b) having a DC who's getting more alert and sensitive to noises, if it's suiting your family to have a tenant at all (even if you don't need the room yet).

QueenBean Sun 21-Jun-15 15:46:42

From a flip side, I would hate to have my landlord snooping in my room, feeling like I had to let them know when I'd be out / back etc. You just have very different lifestyles, would give him notice to move out and find someone else

Disagree with a pp who said he sounds dangerous. A bit odd, yes. Dangerous, no.

londonrach Sun 21-Jun-15 15:47:52

Op give him notice as he doesnt sound right for you. Id be worried re the jokes and creepy messages and where he been eating. Yes give notice and change locks. However next lodger dont go into their room unless they ask you in. Do find that very strange to but ive never lodged only rented flats as a whole. I dont think even my mum changed from bed after early teenage years.

notinagreatplace Sun 21-Jun-15 15:48:37

I think it's a bit intrusive to expect him to tell you every time he's away and particularly to text him chasing up.

I don't think he's a great fit for you - suspect that the 20somethings worked better because they probably were used to living with their parents and having to do this kind of thing, including you going into their room.

I'd give him notice but, if you don't want to, you might consider getting a cleaner and charging him a bit extra (if he agrees) for them to do his room.

catlovingdoctor Sun 21-Jun-15 15:51:45

Give that inconsiderate bastard notice to leave! Take it from me, nightmare lodgers will drive you up the wall

DinosaursRoar Sun 21-Jun-15 15:53:49

oh yes and agree with notinagreatplace - the 20-somethings are probably not used to not having someone keep tabs on them, so don't think it's weird you do this. I never really mentioned it to my housemates prior to moving in with the now DH if I was going ot be away, other than if they say, asked what my weekend plans were, I didn't feel I had to tell them. If you have a young DD then you probably don't just randomly stay out and your trips away are planned long way in advance, whereas with my old housemate we'd sometimes go a week without seeing each other, neither of us worked shifts, but would stay over with friends after nights out, go away for the weekend etc and just not have mentioned it. It's not that strange to live like that when you're single and child-free.

Moomintroll85 Sun 21-Jun-15 16:14:04

I would give him notice and find someone else if you need to continue letting the room. He's probably harmless enough just a slob and a bit shifty but you're obviously not comfortable with him there.

He also should be making more effort to keep his room from turning into a cesspit (though you should stay out of there while he's still renting it unless you have permission).

Make up a story about needing the room for your LO or something else if you can't face telling him the truth.

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