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WWYD on discovering nice lodger is in hospital, probably alcoholic and has been smoking (+worse) in their room?

(63 Posts)
Neome Mon 17-Apr-17 19:08:22

A few weeks ago a really nice short term lodger moved in, after a relationship break up, while looking for a new flat. I advertise the room as non smoking but recently started to wonder if he was smoking in his room.

He's a nurse who works night shifts so I was only slightly surprised we didn't bump into each other for over a week.

Family staying over Easter commented that his light had been left on continuously and I thought there was a bit of a pong developing so I sent a 'haven't seen you for ages/Happy Easter' text and got the reply that he's in hospital as a patient.

I went into the room to switch off the light and found the sink full of cigarette butts, the floor littered with bottles and the bed urine soaked. Also lots of dirty dishes & rotting food.

Very sadly there was also medication for alcohol abuse.

Drinking alcoholically and smoking is a fire risk I can't accommodate and DP, although not living with me and DS, is a long-term recovering alcoholic who would find it difficult having a heavy drinker around.

I believe lodger is still in hospital. I really want to deal with this kindly but I honestly don't know what to do.

Dailymaildailyfail Mon 17-Apr-17 19:11:38

That's a tricky situation. I can understand wanting to deal with it sensitively, but it's YOUR home and he is just a lodger. Can you maybe tidy/clean up the room back to how it was originally, and then maybe send the lodger a text/email explaining kindly your concerns and explaining that when he is released from hospital maybe you can catch up, but some house rules together and see how the next few weeks go?

It feels harsh to just evict him but you need to gently but firmly outline your rules and requirements and hope he can adhere to them.

JennyOnAPlate Mon 17-Apr-17 19:11:47

You have to do what's best for you and ds. I feel for the guy but you can't have him expose your child to that.

HerOtherHalf Mon 17-Apr-17 19:13:40

I wouldn't worry about being kind, you don't owe him that given his total lack of respect for your home, your rules and your safety. You need to be hard as nails. He probably has very few options and will probably try and take sdvantage of your good nature to let him stay a while, just till he can make other arrangements. Given the state you've found the room in you are perfectly entitled to tell him not to come back other than to collect his belongings.

DakotaFanny Mon 17-Apr-17 19:14:32

I wondered if this was about a friend of mine..:it's not, though very similar tales!

I think you can say that you can't support him because of do and ds and that he's going to have to leave for that reason. Explain that you would like to be supportive and have no issues with him as a person but it doesn't match your family situation. Could you give him a week or so to find sownwhere new? I also wouldn't tell him until he is out of hospital.

Alcoholism is the pits and you will feel crap about it, I'm sure, but he is not your responsibility and he is not what you thought he was. He is also abusing your rules, which is totally out of order.

Good luck- a horrible position to be in, but you need to look out for yourself on this one.

Neome Mon 17-Apr-17 19:19:10

Thank you for understanding.

I don't think the mattress is cleanable given its an adult bladder's worth of soaked in urine that's been sitting there for a days.

I have no idea when he'll be able to leave hospital and I hope for his sake he'd be able to stay with a friend initially for some tlc. He told me by text it was gallbladder before I saw inside the room. It's tragic, I imagine he's been a great nurse sad

CaulkheadNorth Mon 17-Apr-17 19:19:31

How long is his contract for?

charliesfavouritebook Mon 17-Apr-17 19:20:39

Look up his rights and evict him in the minimum time you can. I believe lodgers have few rights. Have you got a contract?

Have you cleaned the room? If not take a picture.

He knows your house is a family house with a child around. He knows he is an alcoholic. He was utterly irresponsible to rent the room from you in those circumstances and had lied by omission.

You do not owe him anything. Evict him while he's in hospital, don't allow this man back into your home.

I speak as an ex-heavy drinker and someone who has spent 15 years of my life in relationships with alcoholics (2 of them).

You do not need this shit in your life, no matter how nice he seems.

He's not nice though - not to you anyway. He deceived you to gain access to your home. He used you.

Don't forget to change the locks.

luckycatclover Mon 17-Apr-17 19:23:50

Sorry not got much to add practically but that's a sad situation. sad hope you manage to find a solution.

charliesfavouritebook Mon 17-Apr-17 19:25:12

Stop it! Stop feeling sorry for him - you can afford yourself that luxury once he's out of your life!

If you feel sorry for him and he's in any way manipulative he could use that to get what he wants from you.

He's already proved he's happy to lie to you to get what he wants and to disregard your feelings on this like smoking in the house.

ijustwannadance Mon 17-Apr-17 19:27:00

I certainly wouldn't have him back. I would make him pay for a new matress too.

Sounds harsh but he is not your problem.

juniorcakeoff Mon 17-Apr-17 19:32:52

As you are likely to be aware from your DP ne of the difficulties of addiction is that seemingly nice people will lie, manipulate and create an atmosphere of guilt and dependence on the people around them in order to continue their addictive behaviour. If he was a great nurse then he would have told his employer he was unwell and asked to be signed off. I would explain you were concerned about the condition his room was left in and no longer want him to continue the lodging arrangement, however you wish him all the best in his recovery.

Gallavich Mon 17-Apr-17 19:35:56

Serve him notice by text immediately. Tell him you will bag up his belongings and he can collect them at a mutually agreeable time. Change locks if you feel unsafe. Keep whatever deposit you took to pay for mattress. Yuk.
Airbnb is great for short term lodgers and you get a lot more protection than finding someone on gumtree.

Neome Mon 17-Apr-17 19:38:56

caulk & charlie - he pays week to week so currently paid up to the end of the week which, as I understand it, gives him the right to stay until then but not longer.

ijust - a family member suggested asking him to pay for the damage (not just mattress) but only as a condition of staying for as long as he wanted otherwise no reason for him to pay.

I do feel sad for him at the same time as knowing I can do nothing to help. I'm responsible for protecting my family however that affects this person.

Gallavich Mon 17-Apr-17 19:41:17

Don't ask him for more money, you won't see any. Just serve notice.

CaulkheadNorth Mon 17-Apr-17 19:41:20

Do you have a contact stating how much notice has to be given by either party?

Gallavich Mon 17-Apr-17 19:41:59

You don't need a contract when it's a lodger. I'm pretty sure it's 72 hours. A quick google will tell you

marthastew Mon 17-Apr-17 19:43:57

Although it's not nice to deal with, the soiled mattress and messy room are the least of your problems.

He could pose a real risk to your safety (fire, security etc).

I know it's really hard but don't let him back in. Ifhe doesn't return the keys, change the locks.

newtlover Mon 17-Apr-17 19:44:07

agree with all PP, you need to get rid of this man, he may have seemed charming but that's because alcoholics are good at getting what they want, he lost all rights to the room by abusing it. Tell him asap so he has plenty of time to find somewhere new. Change the locks. If possible find a neutral place to leave his belongings so he doesn't need to come back to the house. Are you absolutely sure he's a nurse?
This may seem harsh, but he won't address his alcoholism until he is forced to face up to the consequences (losing his home)
Good luck.

Neome Mon 17-Apr-17 19:46:23

I really appreciate the advice and backbone reinforcement from everyone. You are helping me figure out the right words.

Inconveniently I am away from home from tomorrow evening until Saturday and someone else needs to get in after I leave but if I change the locks they won't be able to. This is just a detail. My head is in a whirl. I should be doing something else right now but I can't think straight.

Gallavich Mon 17-Apr-17 19:50:50

Have you got a back door? If so you could leave your key in the lock and come through the back door.
Who will be in the house from now until Saturday?

ImperialBlether Mon 17-Apr-17 19:53:24

Are you sure he was working as a nurse? It's hard to believe that nobody at work recognised the signs.

I agree with the others - you need to get rid of him. He's taken advantage of your good nature and now is the time to stop that, before he gets out of hospital. They may well discharge him earlier if they think he's got somewhere to go to.

newtlover Mon 17-Apr-17 19:59:24

yes, it might be worth thinking about telling the ward he's on that you are evicting him

Gallavich Mon 17-Apr-17 20:00:55

Last time I had a lodger directly (not through Airbnb) he lied about his employment status. He had the money for deposit and first week rent then it ran out. He stayed in his room all day eating takeaways and stinking up the place envy
Seriously- Airbnb is the way to go.

Neome Mon 17-Apr-17 21:01:24

I will look at Airbnb. So far I've had good or ok people via Gumtree. I think of Airbnb as more upmarket.

I'm now feeling a bit worried in case he suddenly reappears. Good idea to try and contact the ward he's in.

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