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  • FIRST POST
    • Redhaze
    • By Redhaze 12th Jan 19, 9:15 PM
    • 1Posts
    • 0Thanks
    Redhaze
    Flatmate issue
    • #1
    • 12th Jan 19, 9:15 PM
    Flatmate issue 12th Jan 19 at 9:15 PM
    I've just had a new flatmate move in and I need to have what probably isn't going to be an easy conversation with her. This evening I had a bath and when I got out she was in the living room eating her dinner and watching her tablet (odd as there is a TV in there, but I digress..). I have an incredibly bad back and it's painful for me to sit in my room on the bed as opposed to on a sofa. I also (without being horrible) do not wish to have a close relationship with her. She seems very nice but I just like a lot of time to myself and pretty much want to do my own thing when I am at home. So I was thinking I'd tell her that I would prefer it if she doesn't use the living room, unless I am out. My parents own the flat so I would think that this gives me a degree of seniority.

    When I was a lodger I respected that the living room was my landlady's space and rarely went in there. I mentioned this to my boyfriend and he said "there is no way of saying that to her that won't make her feel unwelcome" so I really don't know what to do. If I don't say something I know I'll get resentful about being relegated to my room and I don't really have any desire to hang out or watch TV with her. How can I get my point across without upsetting her? Any and all help would be much appreciated.
Page 1
    • gardner1
    • By gardner1 12th Jan 19, 9:19 PM
    • 2,877 Posts
    • 4,379 Thanks
    gardner1
    • #2
    • 12th Jan 19, 9:19 PM
    • #2
    • 12th Jan 19, 9:19 PM
    Now if was renting a room in your flat i would expect to have access to kitchen,bathroom.toilet and lounge area
    • FIRSTTIMER
    • By FIRSTTIMER 12th Jan 19, 9:19 PM
    • 426 Posts
    • 80 Thanks
    FIRSTTIMER
    • #3
    • 12th Jan 19, 9:19 PM
    • #3
    • 12th Jan 19, 9:19 PM
    TBH I have NEVER ever known any one of my friends rent a room and then be forced to hibernate by the landlord. Next time advertise it that way - and then maybe see what response you get.
    • coffeehound
    • By coffeehound 12th Jan 19, 9:19 PM
    • 2,241 Posts
    • 3,503 Thanks
    coffeehound
    • #4
    • 12th Jan 19, 9:19 PM
    • #4
    • 12th Jan 19, 9:19 PM
    Was it made clear to her that she was a second-class tenant when she took on the lease? That sort of clause should have been made clear at the time.
    • Finchy2018
    • By Finchy2018 12th Jan 19, 9:19 PM
    • 124 Posts
    • 108 Thanks
    Finchy2018
    • #5
    • 12th Jan 19, 9:19 PM
    • #5
    • 12th Jan 19, 9:19 PM
    Did you advertise the place with use of common areas?

    Also, doesn't sound like you want a 'flatmate
    Last edited by Finchy2018; 12-01-2019 at 9:23 PM.
    • elsien
    • By elsien 12th Jan 19, 9:19 PM
    • 18,094 Posts
    • 46,132 Thanks
    elsien
    • #6
    • 12th Jan 19, 9:19 PM
    • #6
    • 12th Jan 19, 9:19 PM
    I've just had a new flatmate move in and I need to have what probably isn't going to be an easy conversation with her. This evening I had a bath and when I got out she was in the living room eating her dinner and watching her tablet (odd as there is a TV in there, but I digress..). I have an incredibly bad back and it's painful for me to sit in my room on the bed as opposed to on a sofa. I also (without being horrible) do not wish to have a close relationship with her. She seems very nice but I just like a lot of time to myself and pretty much want to do my own thing when I am at home. So I was thinking I'd tell her that I would prefer it if she doesn't use the living room, unless I am out. My parents own the flat so I would think that this gives me a degree of seniority.

    When I was a lodger I respected that the living room was my landlady's space and rarely went in there. I mentioned this to my boyfriend and he said "there is no way of saying that to her that won't make her feel unwelcome" so I really don't know what to do. If I don't say something I know I'll get resentful about being relegated to my room and I don't really have any desire to hang out or watch TV with her. How can I get my point across without upsetting her? Any and all help would be much appreciated.
    Originally posted by Redhaze
    Giving the benefit of the doubt here, with a healthy degree of scepticism:

    Quite simply you cannot ban her from the sitting room.
    You have no "seniority." Have you considered getting a proper chair for your room?
    Bottom line - if you don't want to have close contact with other people, don't flatshare.
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
    • Bossypants
    • By Bossypants 12th Jan 19, 9:21 PM
    • 738 Posts
    • 1,436 Thanks
    Bossypants
    • #7
    • 12th Jan 19, 9:21 PM
    • #7
    • 12th Jan 19, 9:21 PM
    This is the kind of thing which should have been made clear *before* she was offered the room. Assuming that you advertised for a 'flatmate', most people would expect the kitchen, lounge and bathroom to be shared areas, to be used as such (and no, it isn't odd that she was watching her tablet instead of the TV, now you're just nit-picking).

    How is her contract set up? Is she renting from you or your parents? Either way, if you bring this up at this stage, then yes, it's likely things will be awkward and she could well choose to find another place to live, if the situation turns out not to suit her. Live and learn!
    • Guerillatoker
    • By Guerillatoker 12th Jan 19, 10:00 PM
    • 217 Posts
    • 197 Thanks
    Guerillatoker
    • #8
    • 12th Jan 19, 10:00 PM
    • #8
    • 12th Jan 19, 10:00 PM
    She probably would have turned your tablet off if you asked and then you could have just put something really boring on the TV.

    Maybe you should take up a really irritating hobby, or lay off the personal hygiene for a couple weeks; you might be able to get her to make the decision not to use the living room.
    • reww23
    • By reww23 12th Jan 19, 10:09 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    reww23
    • #9
    • 12th Jan 19, 10:09 PM
    • #9
    • 12th Jan 19, 10:09 PM
    Hard situation you got there, tbh, I would advise you to continue watching the TV while shes in the living room
    • Red-Squirrel
    • By Red-Squirrel 12th Jan 19, 10:10 PM
    • 4,002 Posts
    • 10,771 Thanks
    Red-Squirrel
    I get where you're coming from, I wouldn't want to have to share my space, or adjust my behaviour, or talk to what are essentially strangers in my own home either.

    This is why I live alone, I suggest you look into that option.
    • AnotherJoe
    • By AnotherJoe 12th Jan 19, 10:11 PM
    • 12,056 Posts
    • 14,118 Thanks
    AnotherJoe
    The issue isn't the flatmate. Its your unrealistic expectations.
    • Mr.Generous
    • By Mr.Generous 12th Jan 19, 10:19 PM
    • 1,982 Posts
    • 2,926 Thanks
    Mr.Generous
    Does your flatmate pay to stay or is she a guest? If a guest then I think you can ask her pretty much anything. If on the other hand she has a contract of some sort and pays money ...
    • novelty-socks
    • By novelty-socks 12th Jan 19, 11:44 PM
    • 223 Posts
    • 163 Thanks
    novelty-socks
    Your flatmate was eating food and watching her tablet in the living room of her home? Outrageous!

    Unless the contract that she signed specifically has some clauses about use of these areas, I think you're being unreasonable. In every single place I've rented as a sharer (and I've rented a lot), the property has been my home and I've had equal use of the communal areas, in addition to my own room.

    Maybe you could try being a bit more sociable? And if not, maybe you'd be better off living alone.
    • Beeper
    • By Beeper 13th Jan 19, 6:21 AM
    • 23 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    Beeper
    As many others have asked already, was this made completely clear when you advertised the room? That the flatmate would be expected to stay in her room only/ out of your sight? What about the kitchen and bathroom? Do you also want her to check with you before she uses the bathroom in case you want to go first? If this was not clear before she moved in then, from what you’ve said, you sound like you’d be awful to live with. Is the room being let below market value? Is there another reason you expect seniority other than you’re privileged enough to have parents who can buy a property for you to live in?
    • trailingspouse
    • By trailingspouse 13th Jan 19, 6:47 AM
    • 3,344 Posts
    • 5,521 Thanks
    trailingspouse
    You have a bad back that means you have to sit on the sofa?


    Well then - sit on the sofa. And speak to a doctor about your bad back, if you haven't already.


    And if you do decide to go down the route of confining her to her room (seriously??), then I trust you will be offering an appropriate reduction in rent.
    • HouseBuyer77
    • By HouseBuyer77 13th Jan 19, 8:13 AM
    • 933 Posts
    • 918 Thanks
    HouseBuyer77
    My parents own the flat so I would think that this gives me a degree of seniority.
    Is she a tenant or a lodger? If you advertised the room and she's paying rent to the you (so she sees you as the landlord) then it's probably a lodger type arrangement. Legally the landlord is able to set the rules as they please for lodgers (more or less), in particular no access to the sitting room would be fine. However this would have to be made clear up front and be written in the contract. You can't just change the rules now (she can argue use of the sitting room was part of the contract), you of course can give her notice to leave and find a new lodger this time setting the rules in advance (though it may be harder to find someone and you may need to drop the price, still there's certainly some people who will be happy with staying in their room).

    If she's a tenant (parents advertised room and she pays rent to them) then you have no say in the matter. You could ask your parents to draft new contracts so for the next flatmate they are given a tenancy that includes the room but no access to the sitting room (think this would be possible with an AST, if so you're on individual contracts you don't get access to each others' rooms as part of that so just make the sitting room your private room along with your bedroom). Again finding a tenant will be harder in this case (generally people will be more accepting of such restrictions as lodgers).
    • Pixie5740
    • By Pixie5740 13th Jan 19, 9:00 AM
    • 13,605 Posts
    • 19,601 Thanks
    Pixie5740
    I have a feeling the OP will not be back.
    • HampshireH
    • By HampshireH 13th Jan 19, 9:07 AM
    • 1,290 Posts
    • 1,580 Thanks
    HampshireH
    Wow OP don't you sound friendly
    • deannatrois
    • By deannatrois 13th Jan 19, 9:23 AM
    • 5,796 Posts
    • 8,116 Thanks
    deannatrois
    I lived as a lodger with access only to my room but my room was large enough for a tv/chair and I had free access to bathroom/kitchen facilities. I was young and it didn't matter to me but if it wasn't made clear at the outset I'd have been a bit miffed. I think, living in a small place (2 bed flat) with no access to the lounge, watching another tenant using them for their sole use would be a bit off putting, even when I was younger however.

    I have a very bad back and actually couldn't sit on a sofa for years til I got a reclining one with not too deep seats as they make it worse. If you need privacy, get a better chair in your bedroom. If there isn't room, again, is there room for such an arrangement in your flat mate's room? I assume having a flatmate enables you to live at the flat? You might need to be prepared to modify what you are prepared to put up with to have that choice.
    Last edited by deannatrois; 13-01-2019 at 9:27 AM.
    • Comms69
    • By Comms69 13th Jan 19, 9:53 AM
    • 6,444 Posts
    • 6,828 Thanks
    Comms69
    I've just had a new flatmate move in and I need to have what probably isn't going to be an easy conversation with her. This evening I had a bath and when I got out she was in the living room eating her dinner and watching her tablet (odd as there is a TV in there, but I digress..). I have an incredibly bad back and it's painful for me to sit in my room on the bed as opposed to on a sofa. I also (without being horrible) do not wish to have a close relationship with her. She seems very nice but I just like a lot of time to myself and pretty much want to do my own thing when I am at home. So I was thinking I'd tell her that I would prefer it if she doesn't use the living room, unless I am out. My parents own the flat so I would think that this gives me a degree of seniority.

    When I was a lodger I respected that the living room was my landlady's space and rarely went in there. I mentioned this to my boyfriend and he said "there is no way of saying that to her that won't make her feel unwelcome" so I really don't know what to do. If I don't say something I know I'll get resentful about being relegated to my room and I don't really have any desire to hang out or watch TV with her. How can I get my point across without upsetting her? Any and all help would be much appreciated.
    Originally posted by Redhaze
    Assuming your parents gave her a tenancy. Which is what it sounds like; you have no seniority.

    Your solution; find your own place to live.
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