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to think they wouldn't be here ALL the time?

(95 Posts)
winkywinkola Wed 25-Nov-15 12:59:42

So we've got a couple of lodgers. They're very nice - a young couple.

They're students but also told me they have part time jobs.

Turns out one has a job in a bar one night a week. The other tutors a child in English once a week. Okay, more fool me for not getting more details. No problem with paying the rent.

But they are here all the time. In the kitchen. Working on whatever assignment they've got. They never go into university, they just work in the kitchen.

I work from home in my kitchen too. It's starting to get on my nerves.

They have a double ensuite room with a large desk big enough for two. The room is warm and light.


Queendedede Wed 25-Nov-15 13:01:25

You posted in the wrong forum......

TheOnlyOliviaMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 25-Nov-15 13:08:00


You posted in the wrong forum......

Moved now
Yikes at your dilemma though OP

yankeecandle4 Wed 25-Nov-15 13:13:38

This is exactly why I wouldn't take in a lodger!

I can't see what you can do, other than be patient. You can hardly send them to their room . Do they have a contract?

Arfarfanarf Wed 25-Nov-15 13:18:26

I thought a lodger pays for the use of their room and reasonable use of shared facilities? So kitchen for cooking in, not for being in all day to the point where you feel you can't use it?

I don't think there's anything wrong with saying to them that they need to study in their room because you need to use the kitchen.

biscuitkumquat Wed 25-Nov-15 13:19:00

Very petty, I know, but can you spread out all of your work onto the kitchen table, so there's physically nowhere for them to work?

Suggest to them that they work upstairs in the own room, because your papers will be spread like that for the forseeable future?

winkywinkola Wed 25-Nov-15 13:23:08

So I'm not bu?

HaydeeofMonteCristo Wed 25-Nov-15 13:24:34

You need to tell them that they can't work in the kitchen, only in their room. This is what they are paying for. Explain that your kitchen table is where you work.

EssentialHummus Wed 25-Nov-15 13:41:38

What Haydee said.

I think you need to be clear that they are welcome to use the kitchen to prepare meals, but you're not happy with them working there semi-permanently. I have had a lodger and found it difficult to negotiate communal areas, and have had friends complain that their landlords are unclear in what is /isn't permitted. It's your house, let them know plainly what is and isn't acceptable to you.

EssentialHummus Wed 25-Nov-15 13:42:02

*need to make it clear

ImperialBlether Wed 25-Nov-15 13:43:38

Get up before them, spread your work out on the kitchen table and put the radio on.

CFSsucks Wed 25-Nov-15 13:48:00

What pps said. Tell them you work from home so the kitchen is your work space and you were under the impression they would be at uni/work more so they need to do their work in their rooms given there is plenty of space.

YANBU, I'd hate this. Tbh they should have thought this themselves. I would have automatically done my work in my room if I was a lodger.

OnlyLovers Wed 25-Nov-15 13:49:49

For heaven's sake don't do what Imperial suggests, or anyone else saying 'just spread out so they can't use the table.'!

Be a grown-up and talk to them properly. Say calmly but firmly that your kitchen table is your workspace. You provided a desk big enough for two in their room, which is what they pay for. You're sorry not to have made that clear when the agreement was made, but there it is.

AnchorDownDeepBreath Wed 25-Nov-15 13:52:08

What does your contract say? Are they lodging in their room, with some use of shared facilities, or in the house? It'll boil down to that.

I would have automatically worked in my room if I were a lodger, but perhaps they think that your contract allows them use of the house, and as they are home so much, they are seeing it as an opportunity to be in a different place rather than in their room all the time.

Review your contract. If it is clear, tell them that they need to start working in their room because the kitchen is your workspace and you need to make confidential calls or something.

KeepOnMoving1 Wed 25-Nov-15 13:52:55

Have a chat with them explaining that it is your work space, and they have space in their room to work. Surely they will agree.

DrGoogleWillSeeYouNow Wed 25-Nov-15 13:54:35

Have they been with you long?

Ask them to sit down with you for a "how are you settling in, lets have a talk through what is/isn't working for us with this arrangement" chat.

And just be honest - that you didn't expect them to be at home so much (but that's not a problem), that you use the kitchen for your work and whilst you're happy for them to use it as a kitchen, they can't also continue to use it as an office - and that's exactly why you provided a lovely big desk in their room.

AlisonWunderland Wed 25-Nov-15 13:55:47

Your kitchen is your office from 9 to 5.
Perfectly reasonable to ask them to work somewhere other than your office

iwantbrewstersmillions Wed 25-Nov-15 13:58:37

Only in mumsnet world is a lodger someone who can use a bedroom and a kitchen sometimes!

Basically if you decide to accept money from people then why shouldn't they be able to work from the kitchen? Maybe put a desk in your bedroom and you work from there?

sadwidow28 Wed 25-Nov-15 14:00:41

Did you establish what times they have access to the kitchen for cooking?

For example:

Breakfast time: flexible for travel to Uni/library and may have to be shared - but them sorting out their own food.

Lunch time: 1-2pm (to make a sandwich, hot drink, eat and clear up)

Evening meal: 6-7.30pm (kitchen to be cleaned and tidied after use)

You will have to work around being gone from the kitchen between those times also - so make sure that the timings suit your own work/cooking practices in the kitchen. That would mean no work left on the kitchen table - perhaps have a big 'Tidy Box'.

I wouldn't do the passive aggressive route personally (spreading your stuff all over the kitchen table) just establish or re-establish your rules. They did NOT rent the kitchen full time. They should only have access to it for cooking/eating at the set times.


mummymeister Wed 25-Nov-15 14:01:43

...and you couldn't reasonably have foreseen that having lodgers in your house would cause these problems? really?

working from home means that your home isn't just where you live but also your place of work. I am in the same position and no way would I get lodgers any lodgers of any background for any period of time.

I hope to goodness that you have a proper agreement with them so that when it runs out you can move them on. and that you have let your mortgage company and insurances know of your change in circumstances.

so much more trouble than it is worth. so yes yabu. you should have foreseen that this would be unworkable for someone self employed working from home.

SiegeofEnnis Wed 25-Nov-15 14:04:09

I feel for you, OP, but this is exactly the kind of thing that needs to be clarified before someone moves in. I suspect it's the reason many people won't take in a couple, as you may then feel outnumbered in your own home. You need to talk to them and explain gently but firmly that the kitchen is theirs for meal prep and eating, but not during your work periods, when they need to write essays in their room or in the library.

Be prepared for them to possibly move on to a student house, though. And if you get someone new, be very clear in advance about use of communal space.

winkywinkola Wed 25-Nov-15 14:07:32

I've got lodgers so I should retreat to my room and work there? Sorry but that's just a ridiculous statement.

mummymeister Wed 25-Nov-15 14:11:26

"winkywinkola" no absolutely not. you shouldn't be retreating into your room to work. they need to. what does your rental agreement say? does it say room and use of communal areas or is it all a bit informal?

BeachysFlipFlops Wed 25-Nov-15 14:11:51

In the States this is known as 'renting a room, with kitchen and bathroom privileges' grin. I was discussing it with a US friend who has rented out her ds's room, now he has left home. Her lodger can prepare food in the kitchen, but eats, socialises and studies in her bedroom. She has no use of the sitting room at all.

Not sure what you discussed at the outset, but generally I would expect them to study in their room.

winkywinkola Wed 25-Nov-15 14:12:14

Iwantbrewsters, you seriously think that because I've got lodgers I should be the one to spend time in my bedroom because they are paying money for a room? In my own home, I should be the one to retreat? Tosh.

We've had lodgers for two years now. All been good. None have done this. We've really had no issues at all so far.

Who could have foreseen that they would spend all day from 9-5 in our kitchen?

I will have a chat in a couple of days about it.

Thanks all.

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