My 18 year old nephew came home yesterday for the first visit since leaving for college. I thought I had heard all the best roommate horror stories but the one he told may turn out to take the cake.
The story involves two other boys, Albert and Donald, living next door to my nephew. Albert never attends class. To pass time he decided to buy a better television. He talked his roommate Donald into paying half the cost. When Albert got to Walmart he saw a T.V. he liked better than the one they had decided upon. The $1200 price tag didn’t faze him.
Donald refused to pay his half. “I’m not paying $600. That wasn’t the deal.”
“Then you can’t watch my T.V.,” Albert announced.
“That’s kind of hard since it takes up 1/3 of our room,” Donald told him.
Donald soon realized Albert was serious when he locked in the parental controls. And of course he had not given Donald the password. Undaunted, Donald promptly moved the T.V. out of the room and into the hall where it is still parked.
But a few days after the incident, Albert came back with a 40 gallon aquarium to fill up the empty space left by the television. The boys were curious as to why there were two plastic bags of fish. One of the bags had very small goldfish while the other had larger gray fish that they didn’t recognize. Then Albert released all the fish into the tank.
The next morning Donald was shocked to discover the goldfish had disappeared over night.
“He’s got Piranah fish in there, I think,” Donald told my nephew.
If you’ve been a landlord for any period of time, you will come across such roommate issues. They don’t always get along, and sometimes for good reasons. But that’s not your concern.
There is one sure way to protect your lease. Make sure the roommates understand they are still responsible for paying the entire rent whether one leaves or not. (Check with your local laws to make sure this is legal). But in many areas you can verifiy the reponsibility belongs the to one left. Then it will be up to him to get the money from the one who moved out.
Is it really fair? They both agreed to the amount to be paid to you every month, regardless. I doubt Albert’s parents will get a refund from the school once Donald kicks him out. You shouldn’t have to give in either.