Is my friend being grabby?(33 Posts)
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.
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?
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.
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?
@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)
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.
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.
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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