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'AITA for not moving so my roommate can get his sister’s kids out of foster care?' UPDATED 2X

'AITA for not moving so my roommate can get his sister’s kids out of foster care?' UPDATED 2X


In a perfect world, children would all be born into safe and loving homes. But we sadly don't live in a perfect world.

In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a man asked if he's wrong for not moving out of his apartment so his roommate can take care of his sister's kids. He wrote:

"AITA for not moving out so my roommate can get his sister’s kids out of foster care?"

My roommate and I rent a pretty nice two bedroom apartment together. We pay practically nothing in rent as we have a deal to keep an eye on things and take care of facilities. It’s a great deal because it doesn’t take more than a few hours a week and we take turns. My roommate sister lost custody of her kids (two girls, one boy) and may be facing prison time.

My roommate wants to get them out of the foster system since they got put in separate homes. My roommate is their only other family (their dads aren’t in the picture) so there’s no one else that can take them in. The social worker gave him some requirements has issues with me because I am an unrelated adult man and because I have a record of substance abuse.

Also because of the ages of the kids my roommate needs to have at least two bedrooms. He cannot afford a two bedroom place except this one because of the great deal we get. Which is why he wants me to move out. He says the fact is he needs the apartment more than me. I get that he is in a bad position, but rent is insanely expensive around here.

If I moved out renting even a single bedroom elsewhere would be way more expensive than renting this apartment by myself. I would like to keep living here so I can save money so I can hopefully one day be able to buy a place of my own. That’s just never going to happen if I have to pay market rate rent. I was also living here first so I don’t feel like it’s fair that I should have to be the one to move.

Redditors had a lot to say in response.

Malohniqa wrote:

Isn't your great deal for rent has a "taking care of things" condition? I assume having 3 kids at home may be a deal breaker for the land lord anyway. Regardless, if he can't afford to take the kids in, he shouldn't. I'll be honest, this is a heartbreaking situation and not leaving the house will make you feel like an AH. But you are entitled to be an AH given the circumstances.

OP responded:

I don’t know about the landlord, but the taking care of things doesn’t really take that much time at all.

Commercial_Curve1047 wrote:

Depending on the ages of the kids, since they are different sexes, they may be required to have separate rooms. So your roommate would actually need a three bedroom place. That was the concern when we were contemplating getting some niblings placed with us.

OP responded:

Their social worker just said at least two bedrooms.

noname_2024 wrote:

Your roommate may also be eligible for a stipend if he provides foster care for the kids. That stipend can go towards paying for a suitable place.

OP responded:

No, he’s family so he doesn’t.

wowieowie wrote:

Is social services going to be paying him like a regular foster family? If so he can afford a new place.

OP responded:

No, I guess relatives don’t get money, but he’s going to apply for SNAP.

curiosly-searching wrote:

Where was 'mom' living with these kids? He could move there with them instead?? Not sure what her living situation was before her loss of custody, but the kids were somewhere. NTA. Hoping for the best for your friend and his kiddos tho.

OP responded:

Not an option.

Dogbite_NotDimple wrote:

Your roommate needs to talk to a social worker to get set up for housing, food stamps, Medicaid, daycare, and whatever he needs to do to care for these children. Are the grandparents around? Can they assist in some way? It seems like there should be other family members who can help with this situation.

OP responded:

As I said my roommate is their only family.

A few days later OP jumped on with an update:

This is a pretty short update. I got the suggestion a few times that I should talk to my landlord about the situation since he may not be okay with the idea. While he was okay with the idea of kids (he already has a lot of tenants with kids) he was not okay with continuing the same arrangement with my roommate without me there.

So there’s really no point in me moving out since my roommate would have to pay market rate rent for the place which he can’t afford. As of right now my roommates plans are to continue living here while he figures out some other arrangement. Once he does he’s going to move out and I’m going to get a new roommate here.

Redditors were quick to respond.

Accomplished-Pen8889 wrote:

I’m still baffled he expected you to move.

Straysmom wrote:

It sounds like your LL gave you the lower rent with the deal of keeping an eye on things. Which is perfectly fine. Your roommate can't expect to get the same deal since he moved in second/is the roommate. Good thing you talked to your LL about the situation :) Has he looked into help from social services?

alwirdlamjel3 wrote:

Definitely NTA. It's not fair for your roommate to expect you to move out and pay full rent just so he can potentially get his sister's kids. You have every right to stay in your current arrangement and it seems like the landlord agrees with that as well. Hopefully things work out for everyone involved.

Expression-Littler wrote:

NTA, hopefully CPS or some kind of social services offered roommate some advice about housing. Either way, it's up to the landlord in this context. Good luck moving forward with a potentially hostile roomie, all the best!

A week later, OP jumped on with another update.

I didn’t think I was going to make another update, but some stuff happened and I kind of need a place to vent. I said in my last update that my roommate was going to continue to live here until he figured out some other arrangement that would work out for the four of them. I had passed on some of the helpful suggestions and sources people messaged me about.

Upon further research though he realized it was still going to take time and it would be faster for him to save up money for a deposit and first/last months rent on a new place and then get assistance once the kids were moved in. Honestly, I don’t really get how it works.

For those wondering why he doesn’t have money saved up from living here it’s because he’s been using the money to pay off his student loans. So plan was for him to hopefully have enough in 4-5 months. My roommate started to become more and more hostile though. First just passive aggressive, but it lead to a big blowout (nothing physical just yelling).

He was really mad because he thought since I have such a good relationship with our landlord that I should have tried to convince him that he could handle the maintenance on his own. Honestly he probably could. I know I can handle it on my own. I almost considered it too because I didn’t think I wanted to continue to live with him.

After talking to my landlord about the situation again we came to a new agreement. My landlord is going to be ending our lease. He gave us both official notice. I’m going to continue living here, but moving into another unit. It’s a one bedroom and a bit smaller, but on the bright side it was recently renovated so it’s nicer.

I’m going to have to do the maintenance on my own from now on, but it’s still a really great deal and worth it to not have to deal with roommate issues anymore. Thankfully I will be able to move in to the new unit in just a few days because my old roommate was super pissed after he got the notice.

He’s used more than a few expletives when talking to me and says ruined everything because now he won’t be able to save money since he’s going to have to start paying rent somewhere. TBH with how he’s been I’ve sort of lost sympathy for him. I do still feel bad for his sister’s kids though.

Commenters had plenty to say.

Readsumthing wrote:

It’s a good outcome. You can’t set yourself on fire to keep someone else warm - something your former roommate may still need to learn. Best of luck to you all.

Malibucat48 wrote:

Everyone agrees that it’s sad for the children, but my reply to your original post is exactly what happened. It was your landlord’s decision whether your roommate could kick you out and move the kids in, and he did not agree to it.

Your roommate was obviously panicking, but he didn’t think things through. Hopefully he will have assistance when he gets the kids, but he doesn’t seem to be aware of the responsibility he’s taking on.

ThrowRArosecolor wrote:

I’m so happy for you. Your former roommate is a bit of a princess though. I don’t know how good he’ll be at raising those kids with all his expectations that everyone has to help him.

Cursd818 wrote:

Frankly, your roommate's response suggests to me that he shouldn't have custody of the children anyway, if his immediate response is to be petty, aggressive and rude. That's not going to be a stable home for the kids if he can't regulate his emotions and risks his financial security for a tantrum.

OP is NTA here, but it's a very hard situation for his roommate, hopefully he's able to find a place in his budget so he can raise his sister's kids.

Sources: Reddit
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