Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Roommate Situation

Life with roommates has both pluses and minuses. For me the biggest plus is the help with paying down my mortgage...and the minus is the roommate who thinks she can live here for free.

Here's the situation: Nerdy homely roommate moves in swears up and down she has the funds to pay rent and does pay, in cash, on the spot of day of move in. Great! I think. I don't care who you are, even if you are a bit anti-social, I have a roommate and don't have to keep wading through the kooks on Craigslist. A month and a half goes by, roommate blames economy for not being able to find a job. You'd think that would be a valid argument except...you still have to pay for the place you live in no matter what. This has apparently escaped her understanding.

But this particular roommate has also holed herself up in her room all day and all night playing on the computer and hasn't even looked for a job for an entire month and a half since she has been here. My other roommate, bless her heart, then took it upon her to hook her up with a temporary job. Except she didn't go. She has social anxiety disorder. Uh-huh. So other sweet roommate brings the supervisor of the job to our house to introduce himself and make her feel more comfortable. Jobless roommate then complains that she can't get up that early in the morning...oh, and she can't stay late at night, and has no work clothes to wear...Supervisor guy assures her she can show up whenever she wants, wear whatever she wants, she just has to show up...Next day roommate doesn't go. She says she can't go because she doesn't have money for the bus (did I mention she is also carless? as in she's 27 years old and has never somehow had a drivers license). She would go, but of course the bus costs money...even though she mentioned the other day she has $25. I remind her of the $25 she said she had and she says she needs that to pay for her phone minutes. Hmmm, job that pays or phone minutes?

Call me crazy but the girl just doesn't want to work. In fact, I feel more like her parent. I actually offered to give her a ride to work the first time. And if that wasn't enough, woke her up this morning and told her to go get ready for work. She started making more excuses (oh, but this one is only temporary work and I need a real job...blah blah blah) so I told her to go to work before I threw her out, then I drove her. On the way she started saying she was really more like a kid. I told her she was a big baby and a burden on everyone around her and what she was doing was extremely rude. Then I told her she'd have to find her own way home. :)

I've contemplated just kicking her out but thought if I gave her that jump start that at least I did everything I could to help this girl not wind up homeless. Funny part is she has a brother in town that basically loaded her off on me cuz he didn't want to deal with it. He actually came to the house about a week ago and thanked me for taking care of her for him. I was livid. I don't know why I'm helping her. My other roommate is taking everything so well. But the burden of mortgage payments does not rest on her. I have determined that if she does not figure out how to get herself to work tomorrow without anyone's help she will be out on the street. I don't want to kick someone out, but what else can I do? I've done everything to help someone who seems determined to fail.

3 comments:

Damian said...

I rent out rooms in my house too. This is difficult, but I find it helps to make discussions emotionless and let the money do the talking.

I ALWAYS get a deposit in addition to rent. I have had good friend up and leave without letting me know and left me holding the bag for rent. If you get a deposit, then no hurt feelings and you are covered for that month that they struggle, but at the beginning of the month when they haven't paid, you can say, "well I have your last month's rent, so if you want to make this your last month that is fine, or you can get me this months rent now."

If you are interested in helping her though you can give her work to do around the house equal to her rent. I am not talking about doing dishes either. I am sure there is work to be done and I have "paid" roommates 10-20 dollars an hour to be paid in trade for such work.

It also helps if you explain, "listen, if I don't pay my mortgage, I lose my house, so if you don't pay, I need to find someone who can." often tenants think you are sitting on a huge cash stash and are just making less money and don't realize that you have pressures as well.

Dainon. said...

She's already lasted longer there than she ever would have here.

Steve said...

I think you need to tell her that she has to pay you $X buy Feb 1 and if she doesn't, she is out.