Roommate takeover - I helped someone out - now regretting it

Renee Smith

New Member
Jurisdiction
California
Hello,
My roommate was in an abusive situation and needed to get a new place and I was looking for a new place. I knew she was a little eccentric and had a lot of pets (6 cats and one dog) but she found a really cool house and since I had met the dog and cats and was ok with them, I decided to try it out. I paid the full deposit and she paid the full rent. We went in separate visits to the landlord for this.

She said there was something on her record which would make her not pass a credit check so I just put the lease under my name. I added her name to the lease but they did not run her credit and she did not sign it. So I am pretty sure that means I have sole legal responsibility.

So we moved in, everything was fine at first. We needed to find a third roommate and we hadn't found anyone yet when I had to leave town for a week. While I was gone she found a good roommate and charged her more. So this subleaser roommate is paying $1250 and doesn't have to deal with any utilities.
The way I figure is that we would split the rest of the rent - each paying $975 plus utilities. (The total rent is 3200.) She seems to think she should get the extra money that the subleaser is paying to go toward her rent and that I should be paying a third.

Also since I was out of town she collected the rent and a $500 deposit From the subleaser - I asked if she had her sign anything and she never gave me a straight answer so I don't even know. I said I should probably hold half the deposit but she insisted she would be responsible for it. The second month before I had a chance to collect the rent from the subleaser - my roommate collected from her and paid me through venmo but she shorted me on her own rent and bills. She will not spell it out to me how she is figuring it out - she is very vague with her calculations.

She also got 2 more dogs without asking me and when i got mad about it as being inconsiderate she accused me of abusing her! I did knock on her door loud and I did yell at her because she kept sending me petty text messages about leaving the bathroom light on or stuff about the kitchen that I'm not even sure what she is referring to. And I thought her audacity was uncalled for since she had no consideration about what I thought by bringing in two more dogs - So I did yell, but being abusive is quite an exaggeration. Since then - it has been a week and she has given me the silent treatment and will only communicate through text. The internet bill is in her name and I already paid it but she refuses to show it to me. I had no problem showing her the electric bill in my name.

Basically I am going to try a last time to get along and make it work before telling her to move - obviously she has too many animals - but I am not sure how to deal with her taking the rent from the other roommate - she has sent me texts saying that this apartment is her parttime job - leading me to believe she is trying to be some kind of manager or something. Also when I texted that we have only been here two months and we have to get through a whole year she said, " I plan on staying here a lot longer than that." She is a freelancer but she is always home and I am pretty sure she isn't getting much work.
She plants things in the yard but honestly I feel that is her choice - she's not doing much cleaning.

I want to tell her that I will collect the rent from the subleaser from now on but I should probably also ask for the deposit too - I am dreading this conversation. I also don't want to freak the subleaser out.

Does anyone have any insight on how I should handle this?

Hope this isn't too difficult to follow,

Thanks in advance.
 
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First, does your landlord permit the sublease? If not, you could have bigger problems. Some lease agreements will specifically address whether this is allowed or not.
You can deal directly with your subtenant and tell that person to only pay the rent to you. By allowing your roommate to collect the money you risk never seeing it at all.
The sooner you begin an eviction against this roommate the better. It will be a long process so don't delay. You will have to discuss this with your landlord though. The landlord could handle the eviction or allow you to do it on your own, but you can't evict your roommate without the landlord's permission.
Your landlord might find it easier to have all of you removed, especially if the sublease was not authorized.
You have quite a mess on your hands.
 
ah! Thanks... I'm trying to work it out and let her stay if she will be cooperative.
well it is a 3 bedroom and the landlord only knows of two of us.
 
The lease says that it should be an extra $100 if any extra people move in.
I tried to talk to my roommate yesterday when she had the door open to her room - " I said we need to try to get along" and she said " I think we're getting along fine and she started to go on her room and shut her door - I wasn't finished talking and said "I need to talk to you - " I held the door so she would stop closing it and told her I would collect the third roommate's rent from now on and she said "no that is unacceptable - I am doing all the work around here - you are being aggressive" - which I was not.
Then she sent a bunch of nasty texts that I am aggressive and forced my way and that we have different roles etc.
here is an example of one of the texts:

"@Don’t bully me and try to hold my door open when I shut it
Y be aggressive with me - you yelled at me and abused me n multiple occasions so I don’t have to be friends with some disrespectful mean person who has violated my space. You left the business to me you are the one trying to take over. I have dxeqlt with everything and clean this dust bowl. Daily after you leave. Messes everywhere. You should be grateful Not nasty, dear.
U ridiculously claim to walk on eggshell after attacking me . Don’t expect things to be the same after the way you acted wrong. There are effects to your venom and aggression."
That is only part of it but trust me she is exaggerating profusely. I'm just trying to have a conversation with her. She's making all these decisions and not running them by me and then when I try to discuss them she won't talk about it and tells me I am being aggressive or abusive and acts like I am a big slob which I am not. I have been so nice - I even moved in 10 days early - while I was paying double rent at my old place because she needed to get out of her place so fast.
Honestly I want to move so bad - I wouldn't even mind leaving the place to her with her animals and another roommate could move in and pay my rent – she could even charge them more – but I don't trust that she will give me the rent! And we are only two months into this lease! If I get charged for everything it could be very expensive!
 
The answer is the same. You need to let the landlord know what is going on. Expect the rent to be increased due to the third person.
You might ask the landlord to evict the nasty roommate or to assign you as the master tenant with a degree of authority to handle problems.
You will need to go through the landlord to resolve any of this. The landlord might opt to resolve the problem by kicking all of you out. Be prepared to move.
Your third roommate would be smart to get out fast and leave the two of you to your troubles and with full rent.
 
I am a master tenant – I am the only one who signed the lease. Her name is on there – but she didn't sign anything and her credit was not checked. To further complicate things,it is her art name and not her full name – which I learned later. The last names are different. I do have a copy of her drivers license though that I can give to the landlord. But since she didn't sign I don't know if she will be held accountable for anything although I did see some situations on the Internet where people were held accountable that did not necessarily sign the lease
 
If she is named as a tenant/occupant then she can be held responsible. Rather than holding her responsible you might focus on removing her. You should also have a conversation with the third tenant about making payment directly to you, the master tenant, and to obtain a receipt from you. You still need to get that third tenant reported to the landlord before it becomes a reason to evict all of you... You are cheating the landlord of $100/month.
 
Roommate situations rarely work out well. When you get out of this mess, find something you can afford on your own. Show the 3rd party the lease in your name only and tell them to pay you directly no matter what. Talk to the landlord and together ya'll figure out the best/correct legal way to evict the problem roommate. If you're very lucky maybe the landlord will let you out of the lease and all 3 of you go your separate ways.
 
If she is named as a tenant/occupant then she can be held responsible. Rather than holding her responsible you might focus on removing her. You should also have a conversation with the third tenant about making payment directly to you, the master tenant, and to obtain a receipt from you. You still need to get that third tenant reported to the landlord before it becomes a reason to evict all of you... You are cheating the landlord of $100/month.
ok thanks - I'm going to talk to the 3rd roommate and get the details. Worried she will want to move if she is aware of the conflict. As for the landlord, he is pretty hands-off so far which could be a good thing or a bad thing. The place wasn't in tip top shape. They didn't even clean the stove and the blinds were dirty. The place is pretty janky. Honestly i don't think he really cares as long as he gets his money.
 
Roommate situations rarely work out well. When you get out of this mess, find something you can afford on your own. Show the 3rd party the lease in your name only and tell them to pay you directly no matter what. Talk to the landlord and together ya'll figure out the best/correct legal way to evict the problem roommate. If you're very lucky maybe the landlord will let you out of the lease and all 3 of you go your separate ways.

I originally was looking to live by myself. I moved out of a previous roommate situation which in hindsight was great compared to this! I lived with normal people for 4 years without much drama. I just wanted to live somewhere with an outdoor area. I live in LA and rent is so expensive! To get a one bedroom worth living in is at least $1600!
 
Roommate situations rarely work out well. When you get out of this mess, find something you can afford on your own. Show the 3rd party the lease in your name only and tell them to pay you directly no matter what. Talk to the landlord and together ya'll figure out the best/correct legal way to evict the problem roommate. If you're very lucky maybe the landlord will let you out of the lease and all 3 of you go your separate ways.
This woman has 9 animals now! I would feel so bad displacing them - I don't think she has anywhere to go - no one ever visits her - one girl came over twice but I think they had just met and i haven't seen her since. So it could turn into a potential squatter situation.
 
The USA is comprised of 50 states, 5 inhabited territories, which equal 3,007 counties, 64 parishes, 18 organized boroughs, 11 census areas, 41 independent cities, and the District of Columbia for a total of 3,142 counties and county-equivalents in the United States

A one bedroom apartment with great outdoor access can be obtained for $300 a month in some of these locales.

LA isn't now, nor has it ever been the be all, end all; some believe it to be.
 
Bless your heart, but you have to do what you have to do for your sanity. One bedroom or studio, even in not great condition but with peace and quiet and no drama, you would be better off.
Brothers and sisters fight, married couples fight because it's very difficult to find two people who can live together. My husband works out of town 5 days a week and that's how we survive.
 
The USA is comprised of 50 states, 5 inhabited territories, which equal 3,007 counties, 64 parishes, 18 organized boroughs, 11 census areas, 41 independent cities, and the District of Columbia for a total of 3,142 counties and county-equivalents in the United States

A one bedroom apartment with great outdoor access can be obtained for $300 a month in some of these locales.

LA isn't now, nor has it ever been the be all, end all; some believe it to be.

Yes I totally agree - LA is ridiculously overpriced and I have thought of moving but don't know where to go! I've been here 11 years and have friends and a job here. I'm also single and in my 40s if that makes any difference. But definitely would consider getting out.
 
The USA is comprised of 50 states, 5 inhabited territories, which equal 3,007 counties, 64 parishes, 18 organized boroughs, 11 census areas, 41 independent cities, and the District of Columbia for a total of 3,142 counties and county-equivalents in the United States

A one bedroom apartment with great outdoor access can be obtained for $300 a month in some of these locales.

LA isn't now, nor has it ever been the be all, end all; some believe it to be.

OMG - where can i find a place for $300 - that sounds great if I'm not in a horrible area. My dad lives in Florida and he has a 2 bedroom for $550 but it's in a pretty lame area of Florida.
 
OMG - where can i find a place for $300 - that sounds great if I'm not in a horrible area. My dad lives in Florida and he has a 2 bedroom for $550 but it's in a pretty lame area of Florida.


Most rural areas, and small towns and villages all across this country offer such accommodations.
They may not be palaces, but they clean and in safe, quiet, secluded areas.
Jobs, however, might be a problem.
You're not old, so I suspect you have to work.
Have you considered looking at other countries?
We own a home in Belize.
A very sweet deal for old folks like me and my wife.
I was there in October, going back in December.
Some people like Mexico, Panama, Bahamas, etc...just start looking.
Our US Passport can take you to amazing places.
The places you can't go, you probably don't wanna be.
Seek and ye shall find.
 
Single and at your age this would actually be a great time to relocate. Maybe try somewhere near your Dad or check with friends and family in other places. Start saving your pennies and nickels for just that purpose.
 
Most rural areas, and small towns and villages all across this country offer such accommodations.
They may not be palaces, but they clean and in safe, quiet, secluded areas.
Jobs, however, might be a problem.
You're not old, so I suspect you have to work.
Have you considered looking at other countries?
We own a home in Belize.
A very sweet deal for old folks like me and my wife.
I was there in October, going back in December.
Some people like Mexico, Panama, Bahamas, etc...just start looking.
Our US Passport can take you to amazing places.
The places you can't go, you probably don't wanna be.
Seek and ye shall find.
Yes it would be cool to check out some other countries - there are so many! I definitely need to work though unless i find some kind of online work that I can do from anywhere - I'm a graphic designer.
 
Yes it would be cool to check out some other countries - there are so many! I definitely need to work though unless i find some kind of online work that I can do from anywhere - I'm a graphic designer.

Graphic design work can be from almost anywhere that has Internet access.

There are few places on our planet today where there is no internet access.
 
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