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Is my friend being grabby?

(33 Posts)
PuddinginPerth Sun 16-Dec-18 00:36:53

My friend wants me to pay to have her lounge suites professionally cleaned - this post is long so I won't drip feed.

I have recently moved out of my friend's house. I was a tenant in her property for several years and over the years we became very close.

I paid board and occasional bills if she deemed them to be excessive. There was never any disagreement about money.

I decided to move out recently due to some erratic behaviour on her part. She would go through the bin and accuse me of not recycling (items which I put in the bin would find their way back onto the kitchen bench), I would receive nasty text messages and there were rants and stomping around the house which were pretty scary.

There were too frequent alcohol binges which involved her passing out in her own vomit and me having to make sure she was safe (often the vomit wasn't cleaned up until an entire day afterwards).

She would regularly tell me I was fat and criticise what I was eating. She once told me "I have reconciled that you will always be a fat person and I have accepted that". For the record, I am not fat - my BMI is healthy.

We had a cleaner (which we both paid for) but I found the house was always messy as she worked from home and also had a lot of hobbies including a craft hobby. I tried to contribute as best I could and would often clean her dishes and tidy her mess before the cleaner came each week.

Frequently her family members would stay over, which meant a lot of noise (which was a major contributor to my moving out). Her behaviour, combined with the noise meant I couldn't concentrate at work and I had started stress eating.

I had also become very unwell, which I suspect may have been caused by the black mould growing over the ceiling in the lounge room.

It wasn't always like this, the behaviour became strange after I lost a lot of weight and started dating a guy. Before all this (other than the alcohol and vomiting binges), we were pretty happy. She got a dog and said I was allowed to get a cat. I bought a cat; a pedigree fluffball named Winston Churchill.

Winston is a lovely cat, he was spayed as a kitten and he was well behaved. The problem with Winston was his hair. Although, I deliberately got a cat the same hair colour as the dog (who malted excessively), The one area which was clearly Winston's was a lounge suite and I bought a handheld vacuum specifically for this purpose (which my housemate broke - I won't go into this here) and later a mit to remove the hair (which worked very well at removing the hair). Between the vacuum and the mit I used a damp cloth to clear the hair.

After receiving a particularly nasty text message one night while I was at my boyfriends, I left his house, drove around the corner and cried. This message was so nasty (and completely untrue) that I knew that the environment was so toxic and I had to leave (the message had nothing to do with the cat).

The next morning I informed my housemate that I would be leaving., Things were relatively amicable; I provided notice and I moved out. The day I was moving out she told me not to bother cleaning. Still I cleaned Winston's preferred chair with the cleaning mit. It wasn't dirty, it just had hair on it. I said I had removed all of the hair but as I was taking the hair mit with me I told her that if there was any hair I missed it could be removed with a damp cloth. Nothing was mentioned further about the chair and we discussed other things.

As I was leaving I asked about the bond money which I suspect she had forgot as nothing had been said about it at all. She then looked to the side and said that she was deliberately holding the bond money until she had the chairs and the blind cleaned because of the cat.

At the time I thought this was reasonable. The last time she had her mattress steam cleaned and the lounge I contributed $ as I sat on the lounges.... but now I am thinking her making me pay to have her lounge suites cleaned is rather grabby. I wasn't the only one who used the chairs, many visitors (and toddlers) came over and this was the first time she suggested a professional to clean the chairs.

I can understand perhaps a partial cleaning cost but I think it is grabby for her to expect me to pay for the steam cleaning of two lounge suites plus two blinds for the lounge room.

My question is - is my ex-friend/housemate being unreasonable to expect me to pay this or am I?

I explained that I needed the money for bond for the new place. It is right before Christmas and I suspect that she doesn't have the money and just delaying and will then pay me a lesser amount.

I thought the bond money was if I left without giving enough notice or if I broke anything. The lounge suites don't need a professional steam clean other than to freshen them up.

I would be thankful for your thoughts on this.

Hadalifeonce Sun 16-Dec-18 00:42:03

Your friend is definitely out of order, but from everything you have said here, I wouldn't hold out much hope in getting any money back.

JollyGiraffe Sun 16-Dec-18 00:42:19

Pretty sure you'll never see any of that money again

AtrociousCircumstance Sun 16-Dec-18 00:45:35

She’s unreasonable, she just wants to keep your money. And she sounds absolutely batshit. What a nightmare. You’re well rid of her.

TemptressofWaikiki Sun 16-Dec-18 00:48:52

Sorry but you won't see that money again. Not because of what you did but because she sounds a massive cuntywanker.

CherryPavlova Sun 16-Dec-18 00:50:04

She’s not a friend anymore; she is jealous. She’s an alcoholic by the sound of it. You won’t see your money again.

Aquamarine1029 Sun 16-Dec-18 00:50:37

Forget about the money and just move on. Block your "friend" in every way possible and let it go. She is seriously unhinged.

stabulous Sun 16-Dec-18 00:55:31

You won't see that money again. Like other folks, I suggest you block her at everyone conceivable Avenue because something tells me the abuse isn't going to stop just because you've chosen to move out. She sounds absolutely fucking awful.

TheChristmasBear Sun 16-Dec-18 00:58:09

I think she is being unreasonable, perhaps a bit spiteful. I don’t know what you’re going to be able to do about it though. I’m guessing you’re in Australia due to your user name and use of a $ symbol, so is there local equivalent of Judge Judy?

Chloe84 Sun 16-Dec-18 00:58:54

She isn't a friend, stop seeing her that way.

Try and get your money and then go no contact.

NoShelfElf Sun 16-Dec-18 01:02:14

I think she's mid breakdown 😬. With reference to your money, I'd have a chat to CAB or send a solicitors letter, but from the sounds of the situation, it's probably pretty difficult to price in either of your favour. I wouldn't expect to see it in your account anytime soon, that's for sure. If she does insist she needs professional cleaning, it would be reasonable to ask for receipts and offer half.

PuddinginPerth Sun 16-Dec-18 01:02:48

The money is $1,000 - so it's significant. I can't put this down as collateral damage, as I have so many other things. I need this money to rent a new place as I am currently homeless.

Bigonesmallone3 Sun 16-Dec-18 01:04:22

Ask her to show u any receipts from work carried out and deduct that from money she owes u.. and I would ask what she is contributing as u was sharing the sofa/blinds..

I doubt ul see anything again but Iv gotta push for something..

SendintheArdwolves Sun 16-Dec-18 01:09:47

Morally, you are in the right.

Practically, what can you do? Are you prepared to take this person to small claibs court? Because I don't think there's any amount of reasonable discussion or pointing out how batshit this woman is being that will make her just hand over the deposit.

You can always try sending a solicitors letter to threaten legal action unless she returns it - do you have access to the CAB or equivalent?

tigercub50 Sun 16-Dec-18 01:12:15

All very odd - I particularly noticed that you said you “ were allowed to get a cat”. Your “ friend” sounds controlling & I think very likely to be suffering from mental health problems ( although the behaviour could be from her excessive drinking). Not sure about the money. Small claims court? And/or CAB

PuddinginPerth Sun 16-Dec-18 01:12:41

@TheChristmasBear - there's the local Magistrates Court, which I will have to do if she isn't reasonable. I am thankful that I am no longer there and I can understand why her former best friend ghosted her before I met her. She has absolutely no self awareness.

Jenny70 Sun 16-Dec-18 01:14:34

I thought all bonds had to be paid into a bond agency, in Aust and UK. You should have got a receipt for this, and there are big penalties for those that don't protect bonds this way. Do you have a bond receipt of any kind (even email/text that confirms payment)?

I would tell her that you will be seeking a full refund from the bond authority (RTA in Australia). If she says it isn't lodged with them, tell her to refund it within 24hr or you will be contact the RTA Investigations Unit to make a complaint about this offence.

If she has lodged it, there are certain advantages to lodging the first form to claim it all back - the onus of proof then lies with her to prove the damage/complaint, and if she does nothing it gets refunded.

Regardless of how close you were, don't just write this off.

19lottie82 Sun 16-Dec-18 01:19:42

I thought all bonds had to be paid into a
bond agency, in Aust and UK.

In the UK, you don’t have to legally protect the deposit of a lodger, only a tenant. So the first stage to claim it back would be a letter before action, then the small claims court.

I don’t know if the same legalities apply in Oz though.

PuddinginPerth Sun 16-Dec-18 01:24:01

@SendintheArdwolves - there is the equivalent to CAB in Australia. I was trying to see other's perspectives on it. People who don't know the entire situation. I am capable of taking this further, I just wanted to ascertain what others thought. I don't think it is right. If I was in the wrong of course I would pay - without hesitation. But I really need the money. I am only working part-time at the moment due, in part, to health issues. Although, since leaving the house I feel so much better.

@tigercub50 - it was her house - but you're right, she was controlling. I didn't even have a ceiling light in my bedroom. She said it was because the room was too messy. I didn't have a lot of space for my things. When she organised the electrician I moved my bed and cleared everything - but she told him not to do my bedroom (he told me she told him specifically not to). When I questioned her about this she had the same look on her face that she got with the bond money. Which means I know she had just thought of it then.

delboysskinandblister Sun 16-Dec-18 01:25:54

www.moneysavingexpert.com/mortgages/rent-a-property/
I bet Martin will be able to help you.

It may involve a visit to CAB and a trip to small claims court.
Keep a written record and when you take a photograph ensure they are dated to record when and what was cleaned. fwink

I am sorry you are going through this but I really think you have dodged a bullet from this crazy bat. flowers

PuddinginPerth Sun 16-Dec-18 01:33:48

@Jenny70 I have evidence of the payment of bond money. The residential tenancy act doesn't apply to boarders. She never got around to drafting any formal agreement. I would just write a formal letter of demand and request she pay the money.

ThumbWitchesAbroad Sun 16-Dec-18 01:55:22

I think that you will have difficulty retrieving the full amount without a lengthy battle, which will probably cost you more.
I think that you should try to get at least half now and then find out how much a steam clean would cost for the lounges, and offer to pay half (since she used them too and has a moulting pet as well).

But like others I don't hold out much hope that you will see the money again sad

And cut her off dead afterwards because she is NO friend to you at all.

puddled2 Sun 16-Dec-18 02:59:18

Not a friend

PuddinginPerth Sun 16-Dec-18 03:26:00

Yes, I am swiftly coming to this conclusion. So many times I rescued her drunk a** and this is what she does when I need my own money back. I have evidence somewhere. I just feel sick with this. I really needed the money for bond. I think it is so nasty and spiteful. I stopped cleaning up after her in the last month and she fired the cleaner, I think this is her way of punishing me.

Jenny70 Sun 16-Dec-18 04:13:39

Not sure whether that is true about RTA and boarders.... maybe the penalties don't apply (and might be best for your own health to walk)...

The Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 (the Act) does not apply to residential tenancy agreements for boarders or lodgers. However, if a bond is taken from a boarder or lodger it must be lodged with the RTA within 10 days, and a receipt provided.

Mummyoflittledragon Sun 16-Dec-18 04:53:48

I also think she’s going through a mental health crisis and you risk much emotional stress and turmoil and taking some time to get the money back if at all. Of course get advice first but I think you are perhaps better to cut ties if you can and try to source the deposit by another means. Can you borrow the money from anywhere?

Pinkprincess1978 Sun 16-Dec-18 06:52:46

I would find a quote for how much a company would charge to clean the furniture and blinds when write a letter stating how much the quote was and you are will to have half that cost as per your previous agreements to go halves on such costs therefore you expect $** to be paid by X date. If money isn't received confirm which course of legal action you will be taking. Hopefully that will be formal enough for her to reply.

ChristmasFlary Sun 16-Dec-18 07:03:17

However, if a bond is taken from a boarder or lodger it must be lodged with the RTA within 10 days, and a receipt provided.

So she should have lodged it then?

Patienceisvirtuous Sun 16-Dec-18 07:13:01

Pinkprincess’ idea is a good one.

IClavdivs Sun 16-Dec-18 07:23:35

@PuddinginPerth: Call her bluff and say you will organise cleaning.

I am in Sydney and coincidentally was looking at steam cleaning companies and tossing up whether to have stuff cleaned or replaced.

Here is one that seems to have branches everywhere: carpetcleaningdirect.com.au/cost.php and for $300 you should be able to get 2X3 seaters and 2X2 recliners - two complete lounge suites - cleaned. Curtains, unless they're silk velvet, into someone's large washing machine or at a laundrette - or a dry cleaners if absolutely necessary. Your half should be only $150.

Personally, though, I would probably dig my heels in and threaten her with a solicitor. (Of course I say that here, when in reality, I would probably be a snivelling wreck)

Underworld345 Sun 16-Dec-18 07:43:50

Take it further. I wouldn’t let her get away with this. Maybe just s formal letter from a solicitor will scare her into sending you what is rightfully yours.

Soso7789 Sun 16-Dec-18 10:35:55

Are you in Australia? If so, call Fair Trading for legal advice, they're fab. She should have lodged the bond. I'd ask her if she's lodged it as you want to make a claim. If the bond is lodged, you need to claim it back in full, she needs to dispute that, and it goes to tribunal where you'll have a 99% chance of being awarded it back in full. If she hasn't lodged it, tell her you will be making a complaint if you don't receive it in full within 24 hours - and then do so.

HolesinTheSoles Sun 16-Dec-18 10:42:05

She sounds like a real piece of work. She's definitely being unreasonable about the money but you might never get it back. AT least you're out of there! You definitely made the right move!

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