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Ds (and me i guess) dropped a bollock....why wont he listen!

(27 Posts)
ThatVikRinA22 Thu 27-Mar-14 02:59:10

ok so i know why he wont listen. he has AS and once set on something he is totally tunnel visioned...
am hoping he might learn his lesson from this one....?

he is 22. He has a full time job, which pays about £20k per year.

he has signed up for a 12 month lease on a flat. He did not want help and did this off his own back, stubbornly resisting all advice.

i had been looking for him for modern, warm, bills inclusive one bed flats and apartments which he insisted he couldnt afford because of the agents fees etc etc. and wouldnt even look at what i had found.

so he went and signed for this flat....i saw it this week.
he has been totally ripped off.

its an absolute shit tip, not even a cleverly concealed shit tip - its clearly damp, mouldy, the kitchen has been cobbled together from 2 different types of unit, (that look like they were fished out of a skip) there are holes in the cupboards, the tiling is on top of tiling, on top of must stand 2 inches off the bloody wall....its cold, its stark, its damp, the floors are warped, some of it isnt even double glazed, the bathroom window doesnt shut properly, everything looks bodged, the walls are clearly damp because they have just stuck plasterboard over the original walls and painted means sockets are buried in the walls.... its just horrible, i could go on....and on.....

he has signed a lease, for 12 months, at £525 per month and then he will have bills on top. The place will cost a fortune to heat.

one quick right move search has found several modern city centre flats in which bills are included, for a good £40 per week less. deposits are no more than he has paid (he paid £525) and many include broad band etc.

i want to show him what he could get for his money, but when i saw the flat he has signed up for and pointed out the crap condition he got arsey and didnt want to know.

he hasnt realised what this is going to cost in heating, its a horrible cold and damp, bodged and hastily painted flat. Its depressing. I am so cross with him for being so foolish and stubborn, this was the first flat he saw - he signed that day without showing me it.

I am trying incredibly hard to allow independence. Is this part of my learning curve too....let him make his own mistakes? im worried this one is going to prove costly. I saw it the day he had his phone stolen although my initial reaction was horror i quashed it a bit because he was feeling bad enough having had his phone of a week nicked....(another thread and another learning curve - hopefully)

he just does his own thing and never listens. When he realises im right i get lots of shouting "alright mum!!" but he still doesnt listen! I want to insist he doesnt sign for anything else without one of us seeing it first...he just didnt see any of the problems with this flat at all. He saw pictures on the wall, and a made bed, and thought it looked nice. now the pictures are gone and the bed stripped....he just kept saying it didnt look like that when he saw it.....he totally misses the point...

i could scream in frustration sometimes. I guess he is going to just have to weather this for a year....then find something warmer, smaller, and nicer.

Teeb Thu 27-Mar-14 03:09:43

Ah I sympathise, my older brother was very much this way and even now the uber stubborn, poor decision making streak remains. It's so frustrating. It's very hard to explain to someone when they are in that head space that you are on their team, you don't want to control or antagonise them, just want what's best for them.

On a practical level From what you've said I wouldn't think this place would pass safety checks or regulations, which might be a way for him to extract himself from the place.

SheMovesWiththeSparrows Thu 27-Mar-14 03:11:07

I don't think this is about having ASD. This is about being young and naive, and finding your way in the world. we've all had to learn through our own mistakes and lack of proper research or awareness of what choices are out there. I think everything you've said could apply to most young adults!

I have kids a bit younger than your son and they are no different at all - they don't listen to me, who knows best about EVERYTHING either.

BTW my first flat was exactly like your son's, and so are lots of shared student properties. We all managed. It was character forming. grinwink

GhettoPrincess Thu 27-Mar-14 03:19:42

'cause he just wants you out of his face. You were probably not in his face. He just feels that way. He's a big boy now. How many years have you been telling him that ?

It's only a year isn't it. No doubt you will have to listen to him moaning about it eventually.

Just don't and I mean DO NOT go round there to sort anything out with regards to repairs and maintenance and especially cleaning. Do not engage with the landlord on his behalf about anything, ever.

Any complaints or comments about the place he's now got should just be met with a non-committal reply.

He will probably want a row with you along the lines of, 'are you happy being right ?'

Never mind. Just another row. You both know the script, yes ?

Sorry, but it sounds to me like you are far to close. You know how much your son earns. Do many parents know how much their twenty year old sons earn ?

The umbilical cord was cut moments after he was born, I assume. It's now time and well overdue to cut the apron strings.

GhettoPrincess Thu 27-Mar-14 03:22:18

OP why are you up at this hour ? Are you losing sleep over it ? I live overseas btw.

ThatVikRinA22 Thu 27-Mar-14 03:34:46

ghetto - did you miss the bit about him having special needs - he has aspergers (and another couple of dx's for good measure) im not helicopter parenting. my 16 yr old fends for herself....

im up at this hour because i came off nights and i cant get myself back around to days.

GhettoPrincess Thu 27-Mar-14 06:27:34

Sorry, didn't take that in.

Don't know what else to say.

Noteventhebestdrummer Thu 27-Mar-14 06:52:04

Although it's not great it won't actually be terrible to let this run and for him to find the natural consequence of his hastiness, will it?

Buy him a particularly snuggly fleece to wear indoors to help with keeping warm?

Ohbyethen Thu 27-Mar-14 07:18:33

Ghetto - how about "I was so keen to rip into you and the perceived flaws in your parenting I didn't bother to read properly. It turns out I have no actual advice, support or useful input due to my current lack of knowledge in this area. Unfortunately I made myself look like a dick and was hoist on my own petard. Having left myself no wiggle room in my haste to crow I can at least give a gracious apology." Or not.

Sorry Vicar, take a breather, maybe there is some legal out, maybe there isn't but until he gets to a point where he's able to listen you'll be butting heads. Have you/are you doing a budget together? Would that be a way to bring him round a bit - the numbers won't lie and it's not the same argument over deposits etc he's already had with you and dismissed.
But I also agree a lot of us had housing like this, or worse, as students and lived to tell the tale - with a renewed appreciation for a functional boiler and good maintenance - so all is not lost. It's not ideal but it's pretty usual tbh! However galling it feels seeing that money wasted on such a crook. Summer is around the corner so at least it's not coming up to the depths of winter.

ThatVikRinA22 Thu 27-Mar-14 07:29:24

grin obeyone....
its actually a lot better than my first flat. .....but its still a dive. what grates is looking at what he could have got for the same (or.less) money, bit its done now, I think ds does, its.just a bit too late. he kept saying that he couldn't have got anything as big. ....thi didn't have an answer as to why, when living alone, and not exactly being mr sociable, he would need such space. .....
hey ho.

ThatVikRinA22 Thu 27-Mar-14 07:31:07

*ohbyethen. ...
blimey. not obeyone!

Ohbyethen Thu 27-Mar-14 08:21:33

Well it was just one not so d H that went Oh Bye so it works just as well.

It's a lot of money to be dropping each month on a place that won't be much fun to live in. However it's only a year and if it is stealing up on him this might have been a misstep then the next one is likely to be better. Is it possible that this could be viewed slightly differently? You may know why he made this mistake but he has asserted his independence. He made his choice ultimately and didn't go with yours - the rights and wrongs of this decision (usually the consequences of knowing best, lets be honest) have shaped young people for yonks and will long into the future.
It takes us all our own time.
As it is done then maybe take it as an investment in a bit of personal growth?
I don't know him but I would be tempted now I've said my piece to stay silent unless explicitly asked, to give him some space to come around. Then see where you stand. There's no point wasting an argument. I don't know about him learning his lesson (as it was quite typically asd ) but you may be able to get him to engage with you and negotiate for next time if he doesn't feel ganged up on. Because, through necessity, his decisions are actually being undermined (because they're not great) - I wonder how difficult it must be when he clearly thought he was making a good choice without you to find that he hasn't. You are right again but for reasons that totally and utterly escape him, he can't see what is wrong with it yet I suspect in terms of the bigger picture. It's tough, but maybe not the worst for creating a situation that helps you both find new boundaries - he'll need more support with shoddy housing, then he'll find his feet and things get easier in a new, up to date place. It's transitioning for you both. May as well try and get a positive out of it?
I would definitely be on high alert for landlord shenanigans though.

ThatVikRinA22 Thu 27-Mar-14 13:27:55

you speak much sense ohbyethen. I am actually getting quite good at turning a blind eye....and after id said my piece i did actually try to back peddle (seeing his little face, he was already gutted because he had his phone nicked that day by 2 little scumbags who asked to borrow it and then legged it....) and i did say "oh its not that bad, we can do something with it......"

i want to know its got safety certificates though....its habitable. i think. sort of....

MistyB Thu 27-Mar-14 13:32:03

Have you read the lease? Does it have a six month break clause? Too months notice required? Perhaps he could find another flat before the winter???

ThatVikRinA22 Thu 27-Mar-14 13:43:43

read the lease.....nope. he hasnt even brought it home. its in his drawer at work....

the landlord pressured him into signing by saying he had 2 other people coming to view it and if he wanted it he needed to pay the deposit to secure it....

like i say - they see him coming.

nobeer Thu 27-Mar-14 13:50:45

Can you do some kind of inventory, take lots of photos etc and get him to email landlord with stuff which needs fixing? Will show the scumbag landlord that your DS isn't a pushover, and give him protection for when he wants his deposit back.

BigArea Thu 27-Mar-14 13:54:15

Hi Vicar, I read your previous thread - sorry your DS has got into this situation. I did a quick google wondering whether there was any 'cooling off' period in tenancy agreements. It seems there's not but this link has some advice which might be useful.

GentlyGentlyOhDear Thu 27-Mar-14 14:32:56

I've thought of a couple of practical points which might be useful to check up on:

I would second looking at the lease as many 12month contracts have a 6 month break clause so he could get out in the Autumn.

I also think there's someone at the council (environmental health?) who will come out to rented properties and serve landlords with a notice to improve if there is anything that is below standard.

Perhaps also advise him that landlords have to place the deposit into an independent deposit protection scheme - he should get a letter confirming this from the scheme itself.

Can't think of anything else at the minute, but I suppose if he doesn't want to hear the advice, then there's not much you can do. I can imagine it must be so frustrating for you though!

AgaPanthers Thu 27-Mar-14 15:49:26

Is the deposit protected?

InsertUsernameHere Thu 27-Mar-14 16:59:05

Your options maybe depend on the state of the flat and the degree of impairment your son experiences due to his ASD etc? Eg do you really need him out of the flat? Is he competent in the eyes of the law to sign the lease? If he would not be deemed competent then the flat he signed the lease is irrelevant - it surely isn't binding. National Autistic Society, Citizen Advice Bureau or local disability rights/advocacy organisation may be able to advise you and your son. It maybe that the issue about competence isn't relevant - but it does sound like the ASD impacted his ability to make a sound decision due to being unduly influence by detail (made bed/pictures) and not being able to evaluate the overall picture. Also sounds like the social pressure from sales person also adversely impacted his ability to make a good decision. Is your son viewed as a vulnerable adult?

mercibucket Thu 27-Mar-14 17:04:34

this is so like my db
it is a learning curve for him. db is older and wiser but not all that much!
he is young, it isnt actively dangerous (check though!) just a bit of a rip off

magimedi Thu 27-Mar-14 17:21:48

I would also try to check that the deposit is in the new regulated & protected deposit scheme - if not landlord is illegal & contract is not worth the paper it is written on.

BreakingDad77 Thu 27-Mar-14 17:29:37

An interesting quote someone said when there was the cold war disputes between Russia and US - dont leave the only option as humilation for someone.

He's young 22 thinks he knows everything as many do at that age, is it possible to console him in that you think the place will be bad for his health and you can try to help get him out of it - you could possibly threaten and or getting environmental health/building inspectors in to quash the contract and allow you to give early notice??

ThatVikRinA22 Fri 28-Mar-14 23:29:21

well, we moved him in today. its rough around the edges but its ok, and when we got his stuff in, and had the heating on, etc, it looked quite homely.

going next week to take him for a spree in ikea....

mercibucket Sat 29-Mar-14 10:38:02

awww grin

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