Alice, My "Roommate" Doesn't Pay Rent

Alice, My "Roommate" Doesn't Pay Rent

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Ask Alice
May 4, 2015
(Image credit: Shutterstock / Allard Laban)

Dear Alice,

I've gotten myself into a bit of a pickle. Over a year ago I agreed to move in with two friends. The plan was that one friend was going to pay the second friend's rent until he found a job (he had just moved back from out of state). Fast forward to now, over a year later, and my second friend still doesn't have a job. This has grown to really bother me. Not only does he not pay rent himself but he doesn't contribute to anything but the mess in the place. I want him to start contributing or find someone that will. I like the guy but he's living in a space that I help pay for and is living with the same perks that come with being a tenant. I've grown to find it very unfair. I don't want to be part of enabling him anymore.

Best,

Guilty third party

Dear GTP,

I get that it's frustrating watching this all play out (and you probably feel like your friend is being taken advantage of), but I don't really see that you have much to say about the finances of either of your two friends. If I understand you correctly, there are three of you living there; you are paying 1/3 of the rent while friend A pays 2/3 and friend B pays nothing. Sounds to me like the person that should be annoyed about friend B's lack of contributions is friend A, not you.

You say this person also "doesn't contribute anything but a mess" and I'm assuming you're talking about chores around the house. That is something you should all three deal with as keeping your space livable is an important part of any roommate relationship, regardless of any finances. Might I suggest a roommate meeting to determine a rotating chore schedule?

If I was advising friend A, I would say he needs to get out of this open-ended "covering his rent until he gets a job" situation right away. As for you, I don't think it's any of your business.

Love,

Alice

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