Woman Seeks Advice For Subletting Her Apartment With Difficult Roommate Who Can't Get Her Act Together
Difficult roommates are no joke. They can really ruin your entire life. And then how do you deal with asking somebody else to step into your situation?
u/needroomiehelpplease laid out her situation for us:
I'm [22F] at my breaking point with my difficult roommate [23F] over a moving-out mess. Feeling like I deserve for her to be flexible just once. Am I being unreasonable?
I moved in with Holly 9 months ago. We met on Craigslist but she seemed nice, was my age, and so I bit the bullet and jumped in. Where I live, places are extremely expensive as well as very hard to secure - so if you decide to move, you better be ready to move the weekend coming. I wish I'd have had more time to get to know her and look at more apartments, but that's life.
Holly makes $44k, and I make $73k despite being a year younger than her. I think she's a bit resentful of this, and thinks I don't have any money problems or any reason to keep a tight budget. I've explained to her before that I have student loans, car payments, and several other financial 'responsibilities' that I've committed to, and paying for gas and train fare to and from work (30 miles away) etc. but either way - she often makes snide remarks about how I make soooo much more than her (probably undeservedly in her opinion, although I was an ambitious teen and have technically been working in my industry since I was 16, and I got my bachelors in 2 years so I've had more years of experience at work. I'm actually below market salary for my title). Her parents bought her a car and pay for it, and they put her through college debt-free. She also seems to think that her job and responsibilities are far more difficult than mine, and that she's grossly undervalued.
Anyway, when we moved in, it was in a rush, and it was very hard for us to find somewhere within her budget. She was also very picky and inflexible about everywhere we looked at. For a budget of $1200/month, she wanted W/D in-unit, separate bathrooms, a second floor apartment, parking, a large bedroom, lots of light and windows, and something lofty with exposed brick. Unfortunately, those demands are laughable in the area we live. Coming from the mid-west, she really didn't understand that. So, we found a place that is literally the best deal I've heard of in the area - a first floor 2bed 1bath, dishwasher, with a patio, a gym and pool and parking lot, and coin-operated laundry in the building. However, for her to afford it I would have to pay the difference of $175. So, her rent for the last 9 months has been $1200, and mine has been $1375. For this, I got an only slightly bigger bedroom.
I've hated living with her. She's extremely messy and treats the rest of the apartment like it's her bedroom. Her clothes are always everywhere, she never washes dishes or takes out the trash, and the bathroom is disgusting. She leaves used tampons and pads out in the open and uses an electric toothbrush for about 4 mins every morning and night and just drools toothpaste any place she walks while she's brushing. I'm the only one who has ever cleaned the bathroom, and it took me until 3 months into the lease to realize she didn't know how to use the dishwasher. Aside from her gross behavior, she's extremely needy and takes up all of my energy if I'm even in the room with her. Her social skills are lacking because she's so over the top and exhausting to be around and doesn't know how to be 'chilled', and I know she's had issues at work about her professionalism. She is a social justice warrior and will rant to anyone she can get her hands on about issues she's only half-informed on. None of my friends like her, or will hang out with me if she's there. Any guy I've ever brought over turns out to be 'just her type' and she ends up crushing on them forever. She's also a virgin which has been a bit awkward but not a huge thing - it just means that when she's around a guy she misinterprets very small things as being big (e.g. OMG he hugged me what does it mean). She also goes on rants about guys and sex when she's literally never had it. I really just can't stand being around her and sometimes she talks so much at me that I start to want to cry in the middle of her speaking. I just shut myself in my room whenever I'm home, or spend my time on the patio which she doesn't like to do because she gets cold. Luckily I work from about 9am until 8.30pm and do a lot of workout classes or networking events most evenings.
At the beginning I tried to drop hints and make nice suggestions to her, to try and get through it better and make it work. Nothing worked though, and she would only get very insecure and upset - asking if I hated her while on the verge of tears. I just want to be direct, but she can't handle it, and it makes the living situation worse. So I just shut up for the rest of the time and tried to keep busy. I stopped telling her what I would be doing so she couldn't invite herself. She confided in me that she was kicked out of her sorority in college and that 'people always leave her' and she was so happy that I wasn't going to do that to her. I feel so awkward and phony around her and just spend most of my time nodding and zoning out of her rants, or saving errands like grocery shopping or working out until I know she's at home.
I always thought I was an extravert, but I realize now I'm a social introvert. I love going on dates and seeing friends, but I haven't done any of that because an hour at home uses up all my people energy for the day and I just want to hide. I used to go on a date every week or two, but I literally can't face human interaction because she sucks all my energy out, leaving me depressed because I'm not having fun outside of work. She always needs rides places, picking up from the airport (which she won't reciprocate if it conflicts with her agenda or her sleeping from 11pm - 11am) and needs emotional support about her job issues 24/7.
Ok - so fast forward until today. I'm moving to the City to be close to my office. Holly wanted to stick together, but nowhere in the city is in her budget and she wouldn't be able to get any of the amenities she insists on. So, after 2 months of looking for places and gently discussing it, we've come to the amicable choice that we will live in different places. For a while she was sending me links to places that were 2b1ba where I would be paying 2.4k and she would be paying 1.2k - and I told her I couldn't stomach paying double than her for zero extra perks. Anyway, I'm venting, sorry. So we're moving. We thought our move out day was July 1st, so I made plans around that. I found a gorgeous 4bed with a couple friends in the City, a 10 min walk to my office. I'm moving there on Saturday.
Holly on the other hand, can't find anything because she's so damn picky. She won't budge on her amenity requirements. So we went to look at the lease to see if she could do a month-to-month extension and find someone random on Craigslist to take my room while she remains here. It turns out we both messed up and the lease actually ends on July 31st, a month after we had anticipated. Holly was really happy because it meant she had more time, but I am devastated. My move-in costs at the new place are totaling about $5k this month - and I can only just just just make it work. This now means that I also owe an extra $1375 to pay the last months rent at the old place with Holly. It's my own fault for not reading the lease properly before I signed for a new place, but it sucks.
Since she had suggested a new CL roommate for her staying at the apartment, I asked if we could do that for July anyway and she said yes as long as I found someone "not crazy". I put an ad up, and have had loads of responses. We're right next to a famous university, so lots of smart and mature students/executives here for summer have been emailing me. I've forwarded them all onto her for approval and she's said no to all of them for various, silly reasons.
Finally today a girl emailed me saying she was doing a summer medical program at the university, and she was bringing her sister (who wants to do a grad program) to see the school too. They both wanted to stay in my room for 3 weeks but would pay for the full month to make up for extra utilities used. They sounded the most promising, and I was sure Holly would be interested, so I sent their app along. I thought she would be keen on having two potential friends.
She responded saying
Her: I also think the rent should be higher.. This is a downgrade of quality of living for me so I shouldn't pay as much. Kinda like how you didn't want to pay $1000 more than I was paying to share a bathroom with me in the city.
Me: I think that's a bit different because you're already sharing a bathroom, and we were talking about a $1000 discrepancy there for the exact same living situation as each other. How much more would you want them to pay?
Her: Right, but sharing a bathroom with two people is different than sharing with one person. You and I don't have conflicting schedules, so it's a non-issue, but I would be pretty annoyed if I couldn't get ready in the morning because there were two other people in the queue, when I didn't sign on to share a 2BD with two other people. My mom's office weighed in and they all recommend the rent being split in thirds. I mean, I think the point is I shouldn't have to be stuck with anything? I signed on for a nine-month lease with one person I knew. And all the sudden the expectations are changing and I'm supposed to pay the same. How would you feel if you were in my shoes? This is my life, too.
I do see her point. But I'm really frustrated because I thought that this was going to be the one she liked, and I'm at my wit's end. The women can't afford what Holly is asking for, and there is nobody else in the pipeline that she approves of. I feel like I've spent the past 9 months bending to her needs, and sacrificing my time and money because of it, and she can't give me this one thing? Just 3 weeks of having an extra person use the shower, which will be paid for in utilities. Everything I feel like I've done for her is coming down to the line for the bathroom? I've collectively spent 1,575 more than her on our stupid apartment just so she could afford it, only to have her treat it like shit. I just want to get the f out to my new apartment, but I don't know what the fuck to do about the last month of rent I'll owe, and can't afford.
Do I just sublease my place to someone whether she likes it or not? Do I tell her everything I've told you here and hope she changes her mind? Am I being unreasonable? If I am, what should I do about the cost of the last month of rent?
Thanks for letting me vent, I appreciate any insight.
TL;DR: I need to move out of my place a month early, and can't afford to pay rent on two leases. My roommate won't accept anyone for a month-long sublease so I don't know how to afford it. I also feel like I deserve a favor from her, and more than anything I've just reached a breaking point with her and am very upset.
Here was some of the advice she got.
Do I just sublease my place to someone whether she likes it or not?
Yes I think you should. However....
They both wanted to stay in my room for 3 weeks but would pay for the full month to make up for extra utilities used.
I'm willing to bet there is something in the lease regarding guests and length of stay so if you piss off Holly the sublease might not work if she decides to go scorched earth.
I've collectively spent 1,575 more than her on our stupid apartment just so she could afford it
I think that should count for the extra month but honestly you might just have to end up eating the 1/3 cost and file under the "jerkwad tax" for getting her out of your life.
Oh my god this person sounds horrible. Pick someone...it seems she's delaying the inevitable so that you'll end up having to pay that month which you can't. Or just leave her alone to deal with getting a new roommate and move the f out of there when you were original planning on leaving. Or ask if you can shorten the lease by that one month. I'd move the f out of there and let her deal with the bullshit she's created. I don't have patience for selfish children like that.
Equal split doesn't make sense if you're splitting a 2 BD/1BA by 3 people. It shouldn't be 50/50 or by thirds. Something in between if she had been paying a fair amount (which it sounds like she hasn't).
But it honestly might not be worth arguing this. You're dealing with a baby who goes to mommy and whines, rather than deals with something herself. If I were you, I might take the financial hit for two reasons: one is she might do something shitty that causes you not to get your security deposit back and two is you don't want her to treat your subletters like shit. I know it's not your fault that she's a sh*tty person, but I would feel bad about that.
If money weren't an issue I would just pay July's rent and tell her to f*ck off at this point. I am completely exhausted by her just from reading your post. She has literally had a negative affect on almost every aspect of your life, you can't go on dates or hang out with friends because of her. You have convinced yourself that you owe her something or that she's too weak and would be devastated when you leave so you are putting your entire life on hold just to appease her. Honestly I hope you completely cut contact when this is all said and done, this is not a healthy relationship.
You can be nice for only so long. If it comes to it say something along the lines of "Out of respect for you I brought you into the sublet process, even though I didn't have to. However, it has reached a point where I have to make a decision. These people seem really nice and will be here just 3 weeks. I'm sure you will get along with them during that time."
Does it say anywhere in the lease that you need the other roommates acceptance to sublet your room? If no, just do it. You met this person on craigslist 9 months ago, you owe them noting.
I agree with /u/Slayer1791 -- if her permission is not required, do it anyways. You've already let her dictate the terms of your arrangement for this long. Unless she's legally able to dictate this, don't budge. You don't owe her anything and it's not like you want to continue being friends with her anyways.
She sounds awful but in an effort to reduce your losses would you be willing to throw in the difference between what the potential subletters would pay and what she thinks she should be paying? In this example they'd pay the 1375 you were to pay and you would throw in the difference between the 1/3 share she thinks she should pay and the 1200 she owes
It would suck to let her "win" here but may be the best compromise so you don't get stuck w the full 1375 and no subletter.
Hi! I remembered my old post and figured I'd update since I love updates, especially juicy ones. Old post is here.
Re the moving out situation: I didn't bring on a subletter, and let her live alone for a month. My plan had been to move to the city and live happily ever after. I was planning on moving into a shared house via a startup called Campus. Literally the day before I was supposed to move, they shuttered their operations. SO, I moved in with my parents because I did NOT want to go back to living with Holly. This worked out well for me financially. After a couple of months I found a new place in the city and moved in there - all was great. Holly renewed her lease with an acquaintance from college who was moving to our area.
I mentioned that Holly had issues with professionalism - well, Holly ended up getting fired from her job. I reached out to another agency in her industry I knew well, in the same field, to set her up with an interview (ugh, why) and she ended up getting the role. After she got it, I went for coffee with her to talk about it, which was the first time I'd seen her since the move.
She told me she wasn't enjoying living with "Emma" because Emma would never invite her to things or be home as much as she originally said she would (shocker). In general, it sounded like Emma dealt with a lot of what I'd dealt with.
Then I brought up something funny, that I'd matched on Tinder with a guy who'd worked with Holly at the agency she'd been let go from. I had met him once at some company thing I'd gone to with her. She immediately asked me to message him and ask him what he thought of her. She told me she'd had the biggest crush on him the whoooole time she'd worked there and that he was The One for her. We left it at that, with her asking me to promise to message him. I said maybe.
Well, I did message him. And we went on a date. She texted me almost every day asking if I'd heard from him and when I finally responded and said we were going out, she became extremely upset. She asked me to make a choice between him or her. She said I was boyfriend stealing, and that I wasn't a good friend. I wanted to tell her I WASN'T HER FRIEND. So I took her up on her ultimatum, and I chose him over her.
2.5 years later that guy and I live together and have the most gorgeous dog and life. We have a great friend group, great jobs, and our families are so close we've all spent Christmas and Thanksgiving together too. He's so hot and cool. I'm 25 now and he's 29. Our dog is a 1 and a half Aussie!
I've never spoken to Holly again, but since my boyfriend is close to his old coworkers (don't worry, he wasn't fired) who keep up with Holly on social media, I've heard that she moved to L.A. and has cycled through FOUR more companies, each time getting fired. I don't know much else about her life since she blocked me on every single form of social media INCLUDING VENMO. I've never met a person who knew her that didn't think she was bats*it, so that's validation.
Racism is an insidious, and unfortunately prevalent, force in all of our daily lives. Maybe we're on the receiving end of it, being treated differently and losing opportunities because of others' preconceived notions.
Or maybe we're on the other side of things. Even those who aren't actively racist or discriminatory still have to process the world through the filters of the things they've been told about people who are different.