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Roommate question. Am I being unreasonable?


TRIBE Member

So a bit over a year ago I agreed to let a friend move in. He was looking to move out of his then arrangement because of overcrowding and other problems. I made sure his finances were in order enough to pay $450 for one of the spare rooms in my house. That seemed fine.

In the beginning, things were fine. We both work and the place is big enough that we're not on each other's tits. The company was nice and we'd occasionally go out etc., we were respectful of each others stuff and space. Basically, things worked as expected.

Then he got a GF. I met her, she's fine, we get along. She started staying over occasionally and leaving her stuff, including dishes, all over the place. I told her to be more clean and she did. So that was fine.

Then she started staying later in the mornings. This is annoying because her car blocks me in when I'm trying to go to work, she won't park on the street cause she gets a ticket. It's annoying to have to wake her up and get her keys to move her car around, especially in the winter. Sigh. But whatever, I could deal with that.

THEN she started staying even later than when my roommate goes to work, and she was now staying over on a daily basis. This meant she was home when no one else was, and that she couldn't lock up the place when she left. I spoke with my roommate about this because leaving the place unlocked is a problem. My expectation was that she wouldn't be around if no one else is around. Instead, he made her a key without my permission. After that, she was coming and going as she pleased.

So I brought up that she doesn't pay rent and shouldn't be living at my place. And besides, I'm only prepared to have one roommate - not two, and certainly not a couple. He countered this with logic that they shower together so she's not using much water... At this point I was starting to sense that I have a problem on my hands, but can't really fault a person for having a GF. He doesn't pay any utilties btw.

Then, something happened with his job. I don't know exactly, but his hours seemed to be cut and he's now working under the table for cash. He missed rent because of this, and although has made rent in subsequent months, has been behind paying up the missed month for about four months now.

So, I talked to him about the expectation of paying the rent in full and on time. That rent/mortgage is usually everyone's first priority bill. He countered saying that his child support payments are really high -- and that since his ex is native, she gets a flat child support rate regardless of his income. This I found totally unbelievable and, after looking online, am pretty sure it's not true. I believe he's paying a high child support but he shouldn't be based on his income. Whatever... I'm not dying for the money so I can tolerate even this.

IN the beginning, his friends would crash here once in a while. But now it's several times a week that I wake up to go to work and his friends have come back from wherever and are passed out on the couches. I quit alcohol and drugs (yay me!) several months ago and while this kind of sketch I might have tolerated in the past, it's pretty annoying now.

THEN, when he was drunk one day, he showed me a gun he (recently) bought. Like, a real gun, with bullets. I asked him how a guy behind on rent and living paycheque to paycheque could afford a $400 gun. Also asked him where he plans to keep it, since I assume there are laws about how to legally store a gun, and plus I didn't want it in my house.

THEN he asked if he could delay a rent payment, cause he is going to Europe with his GF to see a bunch of concerts. Again I pointed out that his finances aren't my business, but that maybe international concert vacations aren't the most responsible thing to be doing if it means having trouble paying the rent. I said he has to pay on time, but he's still going to Europe anyway.

THEN something changed with the custody of his kid. He now has custody of the kid on weekends, I'm guessing four or five years old. The kid gets dropped off Saturday morning and stays until Sunday evening. During this time the complete living area is taken over by babysitting and kids' netflix. There are lots of parents on Tribe, you know how little kids can monopolize an area. Sure the kid is nice and it's not the kid's fault that it's here, but living around other people's kids during all of my free time is definitely not something I originally bargained for, and I think goes way beyond what someone can expect for a room for $450.

SOO... I talked to him about all the things that can be helped. But in the end, I can't do anything about the fact that he's gonna spend all his time with his GF and that he has a kid. He keeps begging me not to kick him out because he can't afford regular rent in KW. But, what he's trying to get in a living arrangement, and what I'm willing to offer, are two different things. He basically needs his own place for his small family and friends over to do whatever they want and whenever they want. But the most basic apartment in KW costs about $1000 and requires things like proof of income and previous landlord references, so I don't think he'll be able to get his shit together to MOVE THE FUCK OUT. His rent is only $450 a month, I won't miss it at all.

I'm thinking I'll alert him that I won't rent to him past February. That gives him plenty of time to find another place and save up for any first and last and deposits. I don't think physically I could get him out any earlier without involving cops. THat would just be messy. He's not protected by any tenant laws since he lives with me in my house. Ideally the GF and KID and SKETCH would be gone immediately but I doubt that'll happen.


Alex D. from TRIBE on Utility Room


TRIBE Member
Since KW is very much a student city, there are lots of options for cheap housing around. You can easily find rooms for $400-$500 per month, often including utilities and internet. The catch is that you'll also be living with 5+ other students in the same house. This is fine for people living single or even with a significant other, although frictions with other people go up when things get crowded. But when you're sharing a common area, you can't really have friends crashing all the time. You also can't take over a common area to baby sit your kid all weekend when you live with a whole bunch of others. So this probably isn't an option for the roommate.

There are also a lot of basement apartments available. These are usually around $800-$900 and often also include utilities. One downside is that there aren't as many around, so you can't be too picky about location. Also, it's a basement. These are usually rented out by homeowners and they come with conditions like single occupancy only or no kids -- while that can't technically be enforced by the law, if they know you plan on living with someone or have kids they'll just not let you in in the first place. SO probably not an option for the roommate.

So probably he needs to get his own apartment, which at the cheapest are $1000+utilities. But the ones at that price go fast and aren't very desirable. Given his financial situation I don't think he has much choice to be picky about where he lives though. These places get advertised and then quickly booked, meaning he has to be on the ball and constantly looking for a place if he wants to score at this price.

A standard, decent, one bedroom apartment is probably about $1500+. THat's out of his price range and I don't think he would qualify for the application process that is also usually required.

Any other ideas where a low income small family could live? I want to help him out cause generally he is a nice guy. Also the sooner he is out the sooner I can turn off DORA THE EXPLORER.


Bernnie Federko

TRIBE Member
Have an Adult Conversation with the guy about him moving on, and if that doesn't go well you already know what to do. It's Business.


TRIBE Member
Jeffsus, you already know what to do. February is more than enough notice. You can kick him out pretty much anytime since he's renting a room from you and not a separate space. If it's ruining your enjoyment of your own home then fuck it.

Also, congrats on cutting out the substances.
tribe cannabis accessories silver grinders


TRIBE Member
So, update.

My roommate got word that I was going to end the arrangement and he BEGGED me not to kick him out. So I relaxed the terms and felt kid of bad for him.

But I pointed out that while I do have room for one roommate, I don't have room for a small family and he should be considering getting his own place. He could see my point and I said he could stay till end of December. So that works out, I guess.

But until then, the kid is over every weekend and the GF lives here rent free. Is plopping a kid in front of netflix all weekend between bong hits a common parenting strategy these days?

So my new roommate is going to be a 20 year old Asian guy who just studies in his room all day and occasionally cooks me fresh rolls. I already know how to target the UW Asian crowd, how do I target the UofT interns who come to KW on a temporary basis??



TRIBE Member
Congrats on the dry year, Jeff! I also lost my patience for the Katzenjammer as well so Sue has been a lot less Crazy.