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Am I too hard?

(87 Posts)
springyhope Wed 03-Oct-12 23:36:17

A lodger arrived today and, how to say this - she was difficult from the off. I need the money, she needed the room and I thought ah well, see how it goes (didn't expect it to last long). We bashed out payment terms and, as the intro had been short notice (both of us recommended to the other by a friend last night), she said she would go to the bank to get the money. Then she decided she would transfer it on the internet ("I don't want to go out now") - by now her stuff was in the room [<< yy I'm an idiot]. There was a problem with transferring it on t'internet (...) and she put her boots on to go to the cashpoint, while I left to go out for the night. She said she would put the money on the table for when I got back - "A nice treat for you" (treat? er no, payment , love)

Got back, no money on the table. She's upstairs in her room, showered and cosy. I call up "where's the money?" and she mumbled about, dithering up there. "Can I have the money please? I expected it on the table when I got home". Waited. Waited. Eventually she comes downstairs (I was pretty pissed off by now), purse in hand. Purse stayed closed. Waited. She launches into a speech that she's had second thoughts (purse still closed) and I was quick to say she can't 'have second thoughts' when her feet are under the table and she's freshly showered and had spent the evening at my house (I had also given her a bit of supper); to which she retorted that she hadn't signed a contract....

to which I was short and deadly sharp. She tried various manipulations <yawn> but no joy for her on those. PUrse still closed. She said she was going to leave there and then, I said not without paying me. I thought for a bit, then said £30 for the night (for mucking me about, chiefly). Dear God, that purse creaked open very, very eventually, and she put the £30 on the table, folded up.

She cranked up to manipulate a bit more and I cut her off, saying I hoped she'd sleep well but I expected her to leave in the morning. I'm here logging on to MN and the door goes - she's gone, it's pouring with rain, she doesn't know where she is (new to the city), no buses running now, no taxis here. And I'm still sitting here....

too soft, more like. But she's a woman in a strange place who doesn't know where she is and has gone off in a flounce. yy I get mighty pissed off when people manipulate, heart turns to stone: absolute zero tolerance. But... should I go after her? She doesn't know where she is. She's obviously a vulnerable sort, in her way (iyswim). She's 41 and a royal pain in the arse

I expect she's sobbing up the road...

izzyizin Fri 05-Oct-12 09:28:00

God, no, nor would I be, tzella. In time it's possible to reach some accomodation with such a dreadful occurence, but you never get completely 'over it'. I hope your neighbour is at least able to enter her home without 'seeing' the past, as it were [sad}

tzella Fri 05-Oct-12 08:56:16

izzy We haven't spoken at length but she is being breezy. I can't imagine she's quite over it yet though. I wouldn't be.

izzyizin Fri 05-Oct-12 08:41:10

How awful for your neighbour, tzella sad I hope she's recovered from the shock and the subsequent trauma of the police investigation etc.

I also hope the poor man's family have found some way to come to terms with his decision to end his life.

chipsandmushypeas Fri 05-Oct-12 08:31:39

Screw her. She took the absolute piss and I would've done the same as you op. I thought you were talking about a 16 year old by her behaviour not a 40-something year old woman! Terrible behaviour.

springyhope Fri 05-Oct-12 08:02:39


tzella Fri 05-Oct-12 07:43:25

Apropos of not much; my neighbour recently took in a colleague (seperated middle-aged man) as a lodger (she variously has lodgers) and he ended up hanging himself off her bannister. Seriously. She opened the front door and there he was sad In summer too sad She knew he wasn't doing that well but... sad

spookytoo Thu 04-Oct-12 23:19:57

I have a property which is let (now by an agent) and was too soft on someone who didn't pay on time, upshot she owes a packet and I have also had lawyers fees etc to try and recoup the money.

Learnt the hard way to 'be hard' and stick to the rules.

Opentooffers Thu 04-Oct-12 22:27:06

Ok, point well made without the snide sarcasm by panic. Thanks for clearing that up. I was questioning, not accusing. All seemed to occur fast for being above board but I concede that it may well of been.
In a nutshell, and more to the point, no she was not too hard but is obviously a nice person for considering her needs regardless of behaviour.

panicnotanymore Thu 04-Oct-12 19:38:05

Under the government 'rent a room' scheme you can let a furnished room in your house, and receive up to £4,250 gross p.a. tax free, without having to declare anything. This applies to owned or rented homes (although if rented you need to clear it with the landlord)

It is a bit much to bandy round accusations of illegal lets opentoffers

geegee888 Thu 04-Oct-12 19:31:57

What was illegal about it? I assume you mean in the civil sense? The OP offered a contract but it wasn't signed before the prospective tenant moved in. Hardly illegal or even that unusual.

And as far as I'm aware, renting a room in your home isn't going to join the traditional professions any time soon and attracts rather generous tax allowances.

I'm not really getting the vibe that the OP is some criminal landlord mastermind, somehow.

Opentooffers Thu 04-Oct-12 19:25:11

... and if you take the piss, be prepared to have i taken out of you too.

Opentooffers Thu 04-Oct-12 19:23:58

geegee a strangely aggressive way to express it, but I think the point is if one is not doing a legal let, then not much room to complain when it goes 'tits up'.

AndMiffyWentToSleep Thu 04-Oct-12 19:11:24

I think you had a lucky escape and weren't too harsh. What would've happened if you'd accepted her non-payment? She'd still be staying with you now, for free, and at your inconvenience. Well done for insisting on payment and not being soft!

geegee888 Thu 04-Oct-12 19:06:07

*Hmm... sub-letting rules and tax fraud springs to mind - wouldn't there be contracts otherwise. Live by the sword

I think someone's imagination is running away with them a little.

How dare you rent a room in your house OP! Be more professional about it!

Opentooffers Thu 04-Oct-12 18:56:36

Hmm... sub-letting rules and tax fraud springs to mind - wouldn't there be contracts otherwise. Live by the sword ?

springyhope Thu 04-Oct-12 18:15:30

Is your need for cash making you liable to cut corners a bit?

that'll be the one <pfft>

That, and foreign students just arrive, I do the drill - explain everything - and it's short and sharp, done and dusted: we both know why we're there and the score. Different with a lodger - the 'drill' isn't the same - but they are neverthless not housemates, but lodgers. They can be housemates if they take equal responsibility with me if eg the toilet is broken but, if not, they are lodgers.

LemonDrizzled Thu 04-Oct-12 13:31:16

Not too hard at all. The fact you agonised about her and posted here says that. But I agree with those that say be more professional.
Is your need for cash making you liable to cut corners a bit? Better to take it steady and find a good lodger.

And the angsty 41 year old with the guitar? She must have an interesting back story leading to her pitching up on your doorstep but fortunately she is not your problem.


carlywurly Thu 04-Oct-12 13:14:33

She sounds a nightmare, you are well rid imo. Sounds like she was after a freebie for whatever reason.

I'm notoriously soft, but wouldn't have wanted her in my home for any longer than necessary, and I think you were firm but not unduly harsh. A friend in need would be completely different, but you didn't know her nor owe her anything, and she sounded to be rude from the off.

lemonstartree Thu 04-Oct-12 12:03:00

lucky escape. Not too hard AT ALL. she would NEVER have paid rent on time and ust been a gigantic pain in the butt. Well done on getting rid so quickly

geegee888 Thu 04-Oct-12 11:06:16

an aforementioned married bloke chucked out by his wife, who expected to slip into my warm house and take up where he left off with his wife

Oh yes, there are a lot of those ones on the lookout. Out of 9 enquiries I had recently, 2 fell into this category. One of them told me he was "being chucked out by his girlfriend at the weekend". I knew I wasn't even going to let him view the room, and told him I got on better with housemates from a similar background and age to myself. This led to him informing me that I sounded younger than him, as he was 45, but as his girlfriend (the one chucking him out) was only 29, it could work!

Actually I am a bit gobsmacked at all these older men who are functionally homeless and think they can just move in with another woman, because you just know they would try it on with you! I actually got one of them by default, a friend's ex, and while he paid the rent, he did try it on (unsuccessfully, obviously) but oh my god, getting him to leave - I had to actually give him £200 to move out - money well spent!

izzyizin Thu 04-Oct-12 10:40:40

Women like her have a relative in every town, a date in every oasis, a port in every storm, and when they're between gigs, as it were, they use others to perfect their act.

Don't give her another thought, Springy.

BitOutOfPractice Thu 04-Oct-12 10:39:09

I don't think that arrangement would last as long as the one described here before one of us killed the other

Btw we are not allowed to speak about her in the 3rd person. House rules grin

BegoniaBigtoes Thu 04-Oct-12 10:37:34

Oh Bit. Sorry I was nice to OP about the non-pasting!


Maybe she could live with you? grin

BitOutOfPractice Thu 04-Oct-12 10:32:20

Begonia, hardly a pasting. Just little old me blush

BegoniaBigtoes Thu 04-Oct-12 10:31:41

God OP, can't believe you're getting a pasting. Sounds like a total nightmare. Yes, IMO you were hard, because you had to be. People like this home in on people who they think are a soft touch. I think what happened was that the penny dropped that you are not a soft touch and that's why she had second thoughts. They force you to either put up with them, or be hard to get rid of them. I'm not saying this from a landlord POV but I've met people like this socially.

When you said she was 41 I was like this shock - from her behaviour she sounded more like 19.

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