I've been too soft....

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    I've been too soft....

    I am hoping you people can give me some good advice. I own a two bedroom flat and have always been so lucky with my lodgers.. However, three months ago I moved a girl in and I have really regretted it ever since...

    She came across so perfect and normal when I interviewed her. She is from the same country as myself and seemed to be a bit down on her luck (workwise) but had managed to get a job in London and really seemed to want everything to work out for her.

    As she had arrived and had just started a new job, I felt a bit sorry for her as I knew she must not have much money. So I took a ‘leap of faith’ (first time I have done that) and let her move in without a deposit... Big mistake...

    For the first month or so, she was ok, talked a bit too much.. But then it was obvious she was a bit ‘unhinged’, would get very down in herself and generally, seemed to really dislike a lot of things about herself... I also started to notice chips on my furniture, my plates, etc but never said anything to her as I couldn’t accuse her outright. I would of course mention so that she would know I have noticed it... Also, my dvd, my housephone broke and both had to be replaced... by me...My gut feeling is telling me that it is her as she is so ‘heavy handed’, wrenching open doors, banging them etc... It’s almost like she has a bad day and comes home and takes it out on my furniture...

    As it’s just me and her in the flat, I have avoided ‘falling out’ with her as I am afraid of what she would do if I was to antagonise her, but yet, I do not want her to feel she can walk all over me.. I have been too soft and as I am naturally not a ‘confrontational’ person, it makes it even more difficult for me to be assertive with her... 

    I gave her a month’s notice two weeks ago and she has two weeks left. I told her a family member needed the room.. I can’t wait to get her out and would nearly pay her of to leave just to get rid of her.. I have offered her a discount on the last two weeks of rent just so she cannot use having no money (she has been saying this) as an excuse to stay on for longer. She is obviously not happy about having to leave but I don’t care, I made a big mistake with her and just want her out of my flat.

    I know some of the above mistakes have been mine but I really want her to know that if she breaks anything in my flat, she will pay for it and there will be no alternative... I will get my money, if I have to go to her parents...But, as I have not said anything outright to her, have I left it too late to be that assertive or am I taking a risk by ‘upsetting’ her and then her taking it out on my furniture!!

    If she tries to stay beyond her last day of notice, can I just throw her out? I am not a heartless person and sometimes, it can come against me as I find it difficult to be nasty to anyone, but I cannot let her walk all over me either and would appreciate some sound advice on how best to deal with this...

    Thanks a lot

    I think the more important thing is, good luck trying to prove any of the damage. The fact that she is a lodger and you live there too is going to make it a nightmare to prove, and ultimately is it actually worth it? I think stuff like this happens to everyone, and it could be considerably worse, at least she pays you rent etc.

    In terms of the last day of the agreement, being a lodger gives her very few rights indeed, perhaps someone could clarify this!
    [I]The opinions I give are simply my opinions and interpretations of what I have learnt, in numerous years as a property professional, I would not rely upon them without consulting with a paid advisor and providing them with all the relevant facts[I]


      Thanks Johnny. Perhaps your right, I cannot prove it was her, I just know it was... I just want her out now, so maybe it's best to 'keep the peace' until that wonderful day arrives...


        I think the most important thing (and I think you do), is getting her out after these final two weeks are over!

        As she is only a lodger, you have been more than fair with her, you have actual gone above and beyond with the rent deuction etc.

        If she doesnt appear to be preparing to make a move a couple of days before this final two weeks are up, you need to remind her tha under no cirrcumstances will she be allowed to remain in the property after 4pm? on that date.

        You will be perfectly in your rights to pack her stuff up and leave it outside and change the locks. This is your home.


          Thank you for your responses. I will be sure to keep asking her how the house hunting is going etc and ask her if she needs help to move on the 12th to make it clear, she is out on that day.

          Any trouble and it will be 'binliners at dawn'!


            Suggest that you get a supportive friend to witness/ensure her departure on that last day.

            You'll also feel better if you change the locks on that day too.


              Originally posted by natalie75 View Post
              Thank you for your responses. I will be sure to keep asking her how the house hunting is going etc and ask her if she needs help to move on the 12th to make it clear, she is out on that day.

              Any trouble and it will be 'binliners at dawn'!
              If you have transport and she does not, you might consider offering to take her and her stuff to the station/wherever she's staying next (within reason - 10 mile limit!) Some people 'put off' moving out because they cannot bear the thought of tramping along the street with all their stuff in bags. I acted as free chauffeur for our worst ever tenant on the day he moved out, with no repercussions. It meant we parted company in a civilised way.

              Good luck - hope it goes smoothly. It will feel great to have your home back. As advised above I don't think it's worth the emotional stress of trying to prove she damaged your stuff. Unless she responds to your request for damages (it's worth a try - present her with an invoice) - I'd chalk it up to experience.
              'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations


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