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'AITA if I deduct the cost of a $250 duvet my friend ruined from her housesitting pay?' UPDATED

'AITA if I deduct the cost of a $250 duvet my friend ruined from her housesitting pay?' UPDATED


"WIBTA if I deducted the cost of an expensive item my friend ruined from her pay?"

Here's the original post:

My friend of 3 years, Bex, house sat for me this past week. I agreed to pay her $50 a day to do so. She was home with my low-maintenance dog and stayed in the guest room. Or so I thought.

Bex hurried out when I got home, telling me to PayPal her the money once I'd settled in. When I got into my room, it became very obvious that Bex slept in the master bedroom - my bed. I was quite put off by this, because I have a guest bedroom with a Queen bed which is more than sufficient and I told her to stay out of my bedroom. Yes, the master bedroom does have a King, but that's not what I offered her.

I immediately took the sheets off as she was packing up and as I did, I noticed that there was something on the duvet cover near the bottom. It was nail polish. I called and asked her what the hell, she'd said she'd fallen asleep on top of the duvet with nails that weren't quite dry. I asked why she didn't tell me and she said because she could flip the duvet over, she didn't think it was a big deal.

It is true the duvet has two "good" sides, but now my duvet has a bunch of red nail polish on it on one side. My duvet was around $250, and I have a receipt for it. I want to take the cost out of the pay I was going to send her, with a copy of the duvet cover receipt.

I told Bex I didn't think it was fair for me to pay the full housesitting rate ($350) when she had ruined something expensive of mine ($250) in an area I'd set as off-limits (my bedroom). She says this was "a risk I took having someone stay in your home" and "she really can't afford to have me underpay her" and she even said that she would tell our mutuals I had stiffed her if I don't pay her the full amount.

I told her I felt I was only obligated to pay her $100 ($350 minus the $250 duvet), and she told me to F right off and to think carefully about my choices and hung up on me.

Personally, I would cover the duvet cost if she had wrecked my guest suite's duvet. That one was $75, and it's where I told Bex to sleep. But she ignored me, slept in MY bed, and ruined MY stuff, without my permission to be there. She wrecked my duvet cover she should have been nowhere near.

I will absolutely never have Bex housesit again. She also smoked in the house (I have a covered patio with a sofa and it was nice weather all week) and she NEVER walked my dog (the doorbell camera never has her leaving with the dog). I don't think I really want to be her friend after this, so I wonder if that's biasing me in not wanting to pay her in full after she wrecked my duvet.

So, WIBTA if I deducted the duvet cost from her pay?

Do you think deducting $250 from her friend's pay would be wrong? Here's what top commenters had to say:

ceziate said:

NTA. You hired her to take care of your home and dog and she did neither, damaging one and neglecting the other. Why would you pay for a service she didn’t provide?

Individual_Ad_9213 said:

NTA. But if you're going to do that, give her the duvet.

SigSauerPower320 said:

NTA. It's super rude to not only go into someone's bedroom against their wishes, but to then sleep in the bed?!?!? And decide to paint their nails ON the bed?...... Then, to top it all off by not telling you. Icing in the cake is not actually walking the dog she was hired to care for. That's no friend.

TrustedTriangle said:

NTA. Contract conditions were not met. She went into an off-limits area. Because of this I'd give her 2 options. If she can't afford to be underpaid, then she sure as hell can't afford to underperform. 1. Take no pay 2. Take the cut pay, and keep the damaged goods.

JanetInSpain said:

NTA and respond to any comments she makes to others with "She violated my privacy and destroyed my property, plus she didn't even do the things she DID agree to do, like walk my dog -- she just doesn't want to admit any of that to you."

Luckily, she didn't leave us hanging. OP later shared this rather elaborate update:

Bex - Rude housesitter
Andrea - Bex's older sister
Mimi - Friend

Jer - Friend, gay guy
Felix - Friend, bi guy
Dana - My Dog

Bex confronted me in the group chat early this morning asking if/when I was going to pay her, and if I was going to "screw" her on payment. Right out of the gate, really aggressive. Her sister Andrea then chimed in that I had said I was going to stiff Bex for part of her housesitting payment because Bex had "an understandable accident" in my house and I was punishing her for her "clumsiness".

I was asleep during all of this early chat (early morning messages) but our mutuals in the group chat (Mimi, Jer, and Felix) asked what was going on. People knew Bex was watching my dog Dana, so Bex just elaborated that she "accidentally" spilled "a little bit" of nail polish on my duvet cover and now I'm charging her for the entire expensive duvet which was most of her pay.

Bex then went on to elaborate that I have more money than her, this is a clear case of me using my power and privilege to discriminate against someone with less than me. I'm rolling my eyes so much at this point, I just wanted her to have not wrecked my stuff in an area I told her NOT to go.

At this point, Bex hasn't described what has gone on at all, but she is talking about how much this missing money will "screw her".

Mimi asks if the duvet cover is permanently ruined, and Bex says she just flipped it over.

Mimi again asks, can the nail polish be removed? Bex admits she tried but it just seemed to make it worse (this appears to be true, there's a smudge where it looks like that). Jer jokes that I'm clearly a high flyer if I have a $250 duvet cover in my guest room. Felix comments that it's not really the group's place to judge what I spend on my guest room, and that I'm allowed to have nice things.

Nobody clarifies that this duvet cover is not actually the guest room. I wake up some hours later, and clarify, with pictures, about the duvet cover, the smoking pot inside, not walking Dana, and Bex sleeping in my bed when I told her she was only welcome to the guest room.

Felix, Mimi, and Jer are all annoyed with Bex and 100% on my side at this point, and start giving opinions. Mimi says I owe Bex $100 only and Jer and Felix tell me I don't owe her a thing. Jer and Felix tear into Bex, saying she severely misrepresented the situation and she lied to us all and that's not okay.

All three of them (Jer, Mimi, and Felix) are very mad about Dana as well (everyone loves my dog). Andrea tries defending Bex. Jer and Felix give Bex so much sh!t for how she behaved and ask if her mother would be proud to hear she behaves this way.

At this point, Bex goes nuclear and says "F YOU, YOU F-ING (unacceptable gay slur)" and leaves the group chat, and blocks EVERYONE. Andrea wordlessly leaves the group chat about a minute later.

Cue ten minutes of everyone going "What." "WHAT." over and over. We are still not sure what to make of it. We've now spent the morning telling the people we know about what has happened to pre-empt whatever sob story she will go with. I'm not paying Bex at this point, F her.

Court adjourned!

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