Real life MMD: Should I ask for my money?

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Should I ask for my money?

I've just moved into a flat with my friend Bob. I paid his £650 deposit & first month's rent, then found out he had money issues, so made him sign an agreement confirming I'd paid it. He started paying me £35 a week to cover bills but soon stopped. He still buys beer and takeaway food. His father died recently and he's now in serious debt. I need the money as I'm traveling to Australia soon. Should I demand my money back, or just write it off and move somewhere cheaper alone?
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  • PoundPound Forumite
    2.8K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    I don't see any reason not to ask for your money. But don't be surprised if you don't get any.
  • edited 5 May 2010 at 12:08AM
    RuthnJasperRuthnJasper Forumite
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    edited 5 May 2010 at 12:08AM
    Oh. Difficult one. If it were me, I'd defer my travel departure date (if possible) to help my friend. Grief is grief.

    If it were not possible to change my leaving date, I'd have to go - but I'd leave him in the flat to deal with the deposit and rent arrears.

    My friend may be getting beer and take-aways because that is his comfort in times of difficulty or is currently unable to cope with properly cooking and feeding himself - and trying to come to terms with his loss deprives him of his ability to see the "bigger picture".

    But there ARE circumstances when you simply have to think for yourself. You cannot cripple yourself financially, on a long-term basis (think of your credit rating here) for someone else. Supposing you are NOT able to defer your leaving date - then yes. Go. But be sure you have let the rest of your friend's family know that he is suffering and in trouble. And put him in touch with CRUSE - the bereavement charity http://www.crusebereavementcare.org.uk/.

    Good luck. The original question-poster sounds like a caring person. x
  • droniddronid Forumite
    592 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts Combo Breaker Photogenic
    Firstly I wouldn't've let the £35 slide and would've made sure that they were budgeting - where possible.

    If it'd been a friend of mine, or not even a friend, I would write off the money - ignoring the fact that it's not likely to be forthcoming frankly the person is on a downward spiral. I would go through their finances and give them a hand rebalancing them - however I would not look into living with them again or lending them any money. It plainly doesn't help them manage their life - being bailed out more than once would be unhelpful.:D

    I could make it better myself at home. All I need is a small aubergine...

    I moved to Liverpool for a better life.
    And goodness, it's turned out to be better and busier!
  • minicooper272minicooper272 Forumite
    2.1K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    The best bet is to explain your situation to him and perhaps suggest that he resumes transferring a sum that he can afford over to your bank account each week/month. If you are in Australia for several months it might be helpful for you to have someone transferring over £100 a month to your bank account, in case you run low on spends (you will be guaranteed to have at least a small sum coming in each month).

    Don't let the money slide because you will just come to hold it against Bob and it will ruin the friendship - I have had similar where a friend owed me several hundreds that they borrowed while out of work. When they finally got paid and had some cash going spare, they dragged me shopping with them while they picked out an XBox. It just made me come to resent them and when I finally got my money back (a year following), the friendship was in tatters due to it.
  • Rider99Rider99 Forumite
    52 Posts
    It's a tricky one. You need to look after your own interests initially - depending on how tight you are for funds. However, how close are you to each other? If quite close then you may want to see your friend stop digging himself into a bigger hole, or do you want to wash your hands of the friendship?

    If the former - suggest a joint trip to a supermarket - get some nice ingredients in - cook meals for 8 people and freeze all but 2 portions. Helps with your friend's budgeting and knowing there's cheap but gorgeous food at home just a micro/oven away. This then opens the path for discussion about money, future etc.

    If the latter - you have to be open and explicit - say why you're not happy and work things out from there.

    Always hard when a family member has gone but sometimes, some people can use it as an excuse to bury their head in the sand or use it as a shield.

    Ultimately it comes to how good your relationship is with your friend. You have some questions to ask yourself. How close are you to your friend? Is your friend taking you for a ride? Are you able to write off the debt? Can you just up sticks and move out? Will talking about it be uncomfortable therefore avoid the situation etc.

    Hope it's food for thought.
  • BKAT_9BKAT_9 Forumite
    64 Posts
    Forumite
    This is a really difficult situation to deal with, and it is very easy for people to have a purely practical head on but at the end of the day money is just that.

    Perhaps an outline of my previous situation could assist in someway; some years ago I had reignited a relationship with an ex partner, shortly afterwards they were made redundant and then their father was diagnosed with a terminal disease. I chose to stick by my partner even though we were only a few months in. Since my partner was not working but living in London I found myself supporting his lifestyle (eating out, socialising) but didnt say a word at the time as I knew his family struggles.

    This continued for a few months and was particularly difficult because aside from this I knew this was not the person for me. I admittedly felt a little trapped.

    It was a horrible decision but I did leave my partner, on what I thought were good terms. And given the situation I was happy for the money I had lent to be an 'extended loan'. However a few months later my car needed to be replaced, I budgeted out and realised I could do it (without my partner paying me the money back) but things would be extremely tight. This was my plan and I informed my now ex-partner (we were still talking regularly) but thought I would be open. We had not really discussed any repayment - in fact my ex never even acknowledged that I had supported him for many months so when I very delicately broached the subject as in 'I may need that money back at some time in the future although I appreciate that things are tough for you' I was surprised when my partner took this as me being insensitive and money grabbing................

    Quite how I could be money grabbing with my own money I am not sure but anyho. I thought I was being the ideal ex! since my partner had now owed me money for some months since the end of our realtionship...obviously not.

    Anyway, I know I have gone on a bit, but the moral of the story is; talk about it! And also dont beat your self up about whether you are being a good person by them or not - the very fact that you are questioning it shows that you are being sympathetic.

    I also agree with the above post - if you let it go then your friendship might/probably will suffer.
  • edited 5 May 2010 at 6:57AM
    waddelldjwaddelldj Forumite
    4 Posts
    edited 5 May 2010 at 6:57AM
    I was in precisely this situation once. Eventually I was having to pay a larger share of the rent than him. I put some pressure on him, but there was only so much I could do. He could not afford to pay more. In the end I asked him to move out. A few months later I cancelled his debt. It was in the region of £800, so it was quite a big deal. But I knew it would be years before he could ever pay me back and I wanted to set him free.
  • This may sound a bit counter-intuitive, but if he's a so-so friend, then write it off, because the stress of trying to reclaim it will be non-trivial, and you may never get it in any case. Write off the friendship as well.

    If he's a really good friend, then I'd see if you can arrange some form of gradual repayment. Point out to him that he won't be able to afford the flat if you move out. It's either organise his finances (does he read this site?) or he'll have to find somewhere else to live. If you go for this option, be prepared to lend him a fair bit of help.
  • My parents and grandparents always said "never a borrower or lender be " and its stuck by me , You could try asking for your money but 2bh i can't see u getting anywhere , i would just write it off and chalk it up to bad judgment. Explain to your friend that you are not happy with the situation and that he needs to understand that he needs to stand on his own 2 feet, support him yes , give him everything on a plate no . And remember another immortal phrase that I was taught "never lend what you can't afford to lose". Sound harsh yes but you work hard so why should he get a free ride !:mad:
  • gailygaily Forumite
    190 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    Forumite
    I'm going to take a hard route here.

    No way am I leaving my friend in a flat that I have some sort of responsibility on, and go 1/2 way round the world, when they can't afford the bills.

    I would get the friend out of the flat - yes, he's lost his dad, no he doesn't have much cash, but he is not my responsibilty and if he can't be trusted to pay me £35 a week, then how could I trust him with the whole lot. Being a few thousand miles away is going to make it easier for him to miss payments to me - or to the landlord.

    I'd use the time before my trip to help him find somewhere else, and if necessary, write off the money he owes me. To be honest - the deposit money is going to come back to me when I leave the flat, not to him, so it is only the months rent, plus the bills money. Possibly the loss of a friend, but friends talk to each other, they don't just leave you in the doo-doo.

    My husband and I had a friend to stay when he got kicked out of his flat for not paying the bills. He was due to stay a week, and we eventually had to kick him out the week before we went on holiday - 2 months later! He had house sat for another friend in a similar situation, and it was where all our friends met whilst the homeowner was out of the country - not in my house!!! - Turns out he was just using us for free board as long as possible, as he went straight back to his mums when we told him to go. :mad:
    Always on the hunt for a bargain. :rolleyes:

    Always grateful for any hints, tips or guidance as to where the best deals are:smileyhea
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