AIBU to not allow DS to pay bills?(95 Posts)
My DS is 19 and has lived in a shared house in his university town since September, and he has moved out early.
Each month himself and four other boys have been paying a set amount, £60, I believe, towards utility bills and internet, regardless of the amount of time they have spent in the property.
My DS's housemates had a falling out with him before he arrived in September for no reason at all, I've seen all the conversations and it seems as though they suddenly conspired against him, and therefore, during this past year at university they have made his life a living hell, to the point where he has developed anxiety, of which is no way for a young man to live.
He wasn't able to find another tenant to take his room, so he had to stay, only spending as little time in the property as possible.
He moved out very early because he could not stand the way his housemates made him feel and now they are demanding he pays £120 towards the bills for May and June, even though he left the property before the end of April, and only spent approximately 8 days in the property before he moved out.
They are now hounding him for this money, but I don't feel he should pay - He has contributed an awful lot already, and he doesn't even live there anymore... AIBU???
If he is under the contract for May and June then he has to pay.
If he entered a written agreement to pay then of course he should. I'm guessing this set amount for bills is part of his tenancy agreement? Why should the others pay for him for terminaing his contract early? Sorry but that's just the way life goes, you can't just not pay when you feel like it.
was there a contract?
I would be inclined to tell them to go take a running jump, under the circumstances.
They bullied him out and now want him to pay. Seems really unfair.
I don't know what the law is on it though.
I guess though that you have to ask yourself is it worth the continued stress of them hounding him for the money? Is it a price worth paying so that they have no earthly reason to contact him again? Whether morally or legally he has to (legally I don't know) would it still be worth giving it to them just because the stress of them harassing him is far worse than paying a few quid and being done with them?
They aren't going to leave him alone if he doesn't pay it, are they? His other choice is to involve the police perhaps, if it could be considered harassment? Or the university who may take a very dim view of it?
Won't it increase his anxiety if his housemates keep hounding him for money? I'd pay it and think of it as helping your son get better. If there's a contract relaying to these bills legally he'll be obliged to pay anyway.
He needs to pay - if he's contracted to live there, he has to contribute to the bills, I'm afraid. He chose to leave (in bad circumstances, yes) but that doesn't mean he's not financially obligated to the household.
They're not asking for extra, just his share of bills, which he needs to give them.
He's had a contract, I assume. He needs to pay. He's 19, you'd be VU to attempt to not allow him to do something, unless it's a your house your rules type of thing.
Did someone else move into his room in May and June? If not, then he is responsible for those bills. It's unfair, but probably the quickest way to put it all behind him and move forward.
Unfortunately many bills are largely the same whether you're there or not (water if not metered, Internet, etc) and he probably is obligated to pay
I do sympathise because it sounds like they've ganged up on your son and made his life miserable. But I think if you/he can afford it, you should just pay, it's only going to increase his anxiety if he keeps getting hounded
I've been in the same situation and paid, fwiw
When people moved out of my shared house and others stayed we felt the fairest way was to split standing charges between everyone as this would need to paid even if empty but anything on top was split by the remaining people using it, maybe offer this? If the boys have been as horrible as you say and he isn't going to see them again (uni next year?) I would be tempted to refuse, however if one of them will be getting the deposit back they could easily not give him his share if its done jointly so worth thinking about that.
He is a young man, not a boy. Also, an adult...you can't not allow him!
He had a verbal agreement, which is as good as a contract. He should pay.
£300 a month on bills seems like an awful lot for a council-tax exempt household of 5. I would ask to see the actual bills before paying, as they may be taking him for a ride and profiting from his contribution. If they have overpaid on any of the utilities etc it doesn't sound like they would share the refund with him.
If the amount does turn out to be roughly correct though he ought to pay.
The tenancy agreement mentions nothing of utilities, he's left the university and starting again at another because of them, so he won't see them again.
He's offered to pay towards the internet because that was a set price but they haven't been responsive, nor accepting or denying.
DS had requested to see the bills, but they never showed them to him, so he doesn't know exactly how much everything is and how much would be left.
Surely paying them would end the situation, but it then shows the boys they've won by bullying and belittling someone... And therefore, will my son then think it's okay for people to treat him that way from now on?
I completely disagree with the posters above. He has to pay his rent, but the utilities are for the people living there to deal with. He left because of their behaviour - of course he doesn't have to contribute towards their electricity bill now!
OP, Have you ever heard of this saying?
'Never wrestle with pigs. You both get dirty and the pig likes it.'
Seriously, I would just pay up and let it be an end to it and not just because . your sons health is worth way more than 120 pounds.
Some people are just not worth getting yourself dirty for.
If there is no contract for the utilities, then he does not have to pay (Although if he moved out before the end of tenancy he may be liable for any share of rent until the end of the contracted period).
I would not pay if I was him. (Utilities that is, if he is liable for rent still definitely pay that)
I'd demand to see the bills first and then either just pay the standing charges and wifi or pay it all just to settle the argument, in shared houses the deposit is usually in one persons name and its their responsibility to give it back out so I'd tell them to take it from that otherwise you risk paying them the bill money and then also not getting deposit back
It's up to him, and he should do what he thinks is right - there's no "not allowing" about it.
Having said that, if there's nothing on paper then there would be no consequences for him if he told them to go whistle for it, and I personally wouldn't pay anything without seeing the paperwork.
You can give him advice/your opinion, but after that I'd back off and let him deal with it.
He chose to leave early (I get he probably didn't have much choice), but I wouldn't be paying any more until I'd seen all the bills. £300 a month sounds like an awful lot of money for bills - even in a large house.
Make sure he asks for his deposit to be returned too.
I hope he has reported all of this to the university and the student support people in the students' union.
That is an awful lot of money for shared utility bills in a student flat. As pp pointed out, students don't pay council tax, so I would be a bit about whether the amount is really that much.
I would want to see the bills before even considering paying. In any case, if he isn't living there he isn't consuming utilities.
In theory he should still pay something. There are standing charges and it could be the bills are calculated so they are spread out over the year. For example our energy bills are higher than the actual usage over summer so that they are more manageable over winter. If this is the case then he should pay more.
Another reason to pay is that the other boys may argue that they haven't been in the flat the whole time either.
I think I might just pay the full amount and be done with it although I'd try and get to see the bills.
What's happening with the deposit?
He's never going to see them again. Who cares if they think they won?
What matters is his mental health. If they have no reason to contact him, he can put it behind them.
I think £300 a month for five students is fairly reasonable, actually. Internet, gas, electric and water bills aren't cheap. I wish my share of all those bills only came to £60 a month!
Plus things like TV license, any TV packages etc. It all adds up.
I paid £50/month for bills as a student ten years ago, and we were very frugal with the heating! We didn't get anything more than about £10 each back at the end, either.
I would suggest that he pays the money and then forgots about them and their awful behaviour. The stress is not worth it. No, they won't have won, he will, because he won't have the stress hanging over him and you.
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