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redhead64
16-03-2009, 17:56 PM
Hi any advice that anyone can give me would be gratefully appreciated. I recently responded to an ad for two women to houseshare in a house with the female owner. After must discussion - which included agreement that it was fine to have visitors if mutually agreed in advance, it was fine to have guests ocassionally as long as not too often and also mutually agreed in advance, rent would include bills and share of whole house other than owners bedroom, and sunroom could be used ocassionally with mutual advance agreement for me to have the odd client for Reiki. I moved in a month ago, the other lady 2 weeks ago. Everything appeared to be going swimmingly, we all get on well (or so I thought). I had my aunt to stay for 2 days (with plenty of prior discussion and agreement) and I gave her my bed and I slept on the sofa (again agreed after discussion in advance - all before my aunt was even invited to come). Owner is lovely but a bit OCD, house has to be kept like a showhouse at all times (to minute details, nothing moved even an inch etc) - this I can live with, I too am tidy and the house is lovely so feel I am happy to live with this. Sunroom turned out to be a no go area for a client - again although not what previously agreed I feel I can live with this. Two nights ago as we were preparing to go to bed owner asked me to move a couple of books I had NEATLY sitting on a long table which we all use for mail, piles of mags, phone, keys etc etc. I agreed immediately but asked politely if she mind I do it first thing in the morning as they were going out to the car. All hell then broke loose - how many times do I have to ask, surely I have made it clear etc. I was extremely surprised and said its fine ok Ill move them now and did so. Once in my room I was rather shaken by this and couldnt understand where this had come from so I went back downstairs and asked if she had five minutes to discuss what had just happened (other lady already in room by this time). This turned into a very upsetting event. Owner started calling us lodgers who she has tolerated and compromised enough for in HER livingroom. She told me I obviously dont know what a lodger is and then told me she had no obligation to put up with our clutter (we dont leave clutter, we respect her home very much and are both extremely tidy at all times - I am literally talked 3 neat stacked books here), she said she had already tolerated my aunt for 2 days what more did I want. When I asked her to explain what she meant by 'clutter' so I could ensure I didnt inadvertantly upset her again this turned out to be anything in the communal areas that wasnt hers. She repeatedly called all areas HERS and that we had rooms only. She went further and said that she may even have to start charging bills. She said that she had hoped that she would not have to outline exactly was a lodger was but felt it apparently was now necessary and pretty much told me that my room is my room and that is pretty much it. Not at all what was agreed upon. My room is small, has only a bed wardrobe and chest of drawers in it. It has no tv, radio etc facilities and nor am I allowed any. The other lady was not privy to this altercation and is oblivious to what has been said. I ended up going back into my room feeling very unwelcome in what I had thought of as my home (I have agreed to SHARE for 12 months) and have been extremely distressed since. I dont want to cause upset, but nor do I want to be mucked about and have the goalposts changed on me. I pay quite a large rent (I could rent a small flat per month for it in the same area - the other lady pays enough for a small house in the area since her room is larger). I feel for the owner (especially as she is rather obsessive) as I know that this must be such a huge adjustment for her, and until this altercation got on very very well with her, and so do not wish to cause her any further unecessary distress. Im very confused and dont know where I stand or indeed what I can do to sort it. Can she do this? What is the difference between houseshare and lodger status if any? Any advice urgently given would be greatly appreciated. Thanks. Readhead

mind the gap
16-03-2009, 18:08 PM
I'm sorry it hasn't worked out as you hoped. It sounds as if you are a lodger (not a joint tenant in a proper houseshare), as your landlady is resident.

It also sounds as if she is enjoying the extra income (presumably £200-£300 per week?) but is being unrealistic about how much she needs to compromise and share her living space. Whilst it may have proved a shock to her too, to have to share her home with two others, that was her choice and it is not fair of her to expect you to stay in your rooms whilst begrudging you the use of the other areas, especially if you were originally told they were included.

If you can rent a house or flat locally for what you are now paying for the one room in her house, surely that is what you ought to do? You could try talking to her again and negotiating a better deal, but she does sound rather inflexible. If the other lodger is experiencing the same problems, perhaps you could find somewhere together.

What does your lodger's agreement say about your notice period?

If you pay weekly, I belive you only have to give one week's notice, but I'm not very well up on lodgers' rights.

redhead64
16-03-2009, 18:22 PM
thank you very much for that, it was very clear and concise, something I wish I was lol. May I ask you one more question? Since what has been said may also affect other lady mentioned, should I tell her what happened. As I said earlier thus far she is not privy to this altercation and although it is her business I feel, I do not want to be seen to potentially be causing trouble. What do you think? Thanks again. Redhead

mind the gap
16-03-2009, 18:46 PM
thank you very much for that, it was very clear and concise, something I wish I was lol. May I ask you one more question? Since what has been said may also affect other lady mentioned, should I tell her what happened. As I said earlier thus far she is not privy to this altercation and although it is her business I feel, I do not want to be seen to potentially be causing trouble. What do you think? Thanks again. Redhead

It is entirely up to you whether you tell her or not; if you decide to move out and find somewhere else, it would be a matter of courtesy to let her know. If you hope to find somewhere else with her, it would be useful to ask her how she feels about doing that, obviously! She may be perfectly happy with the situation as it is; she may not. There could be no harm in sounding her out, as long as you do it tactfully and discreetly.

Good luck, whatever you decide to do.

jta
16-03-2009, 19:02 PM
Since you say you pay a lot for the room, it might make sense for you to find a place that you can rent for yourself, at least you would then be in a position to make it your home, rather than have to put up with arbitrary rules. If you found a 2 bedroom place you could even lower your accommodation costs, by sharing, either with your co-lodger, or someone else.

Mrs Jones
17-03-2009, 13:36 PM
It is pretty obvious that your landlady needs the cash from renting out rooms, but is totally unable to happily share her living space. It is unacceptable that she keeps going back on previously agreed paramaters and to expect you to stay in your room without any of the normally expected entertainment facilities is simply unacceptable. You sound like a very nice person who does not wish to "make waves". However, you cannot go on living like this - never knowing when the next explosion will happen over something trivial. You should be able to give notice (week if you pay weekly, month if you pay monthly) and find somewhere more congenial.

You are entitled to a life and sharing in any situation can be difficult. I seriously considered letting rooms when I was hard up but I realised that I would be impossible to live with and would find it really hard to share my space so I took an evening job instead!!

I hope you sort this out ok, and don't be too hard on yourself for the fact that this situation has not worked out.

Bel
17-03-2009, 15:21 PM
You need to have a chat to explain how you feel about what happened and that you are unhappy as this is not what you agreed to.

Suggest to her that she may be happier if you find somewhere else to live where you can relax. Hopefully she will change her expectations or let you go without further fuss.