Sometimes you're put in a position where you're forced to do something that feels wrong, but you see no other option. In this post a man is in that exact type of situation, and he's not sure what to do. He turns to the internet for advice, and surprisingly, gets really helpful ideas. Here's his story...
Yes, I know the title sounds awful, but please do hear me out before making a judgement. I will accept whatever judgement I’m given.
I (30m) purchased a 3 bedroom condo in Toronto, Canada 5 years ago when I was in my second year of medical residency. Soon after the purchase, I rented one of the rooms to my roommate (f29) to offset the costs of the mortgage. I live in one room, she lives in the second, and the third is my study/office.
She has been a great roommate from the beginning. We aren’t necessarily friends (as in we don’t do things together for fun), but we get along exceptionally well. The entire roommate/tenant relationship has gone swimmingly up until recently.
A couple of weeks ago, my roommate broke the news to me that she is pregnant. The father was a fling of hers, who does not want anything to do with the child. My roommate has decided she wants to keep the child anyway, and raise it on her own. To me that seems like a huge challenge, and I admire her for it.
The issue is, while I don’t necessarily dislike children, I have no desire to live with a baby. While the condo is a fair size, I will most definitely be woken up by the babies crying at night. My condo is also where I like to come home to and relax, like a haven after a long work day, and the idea of coming home to a baby honestly seems absolutely chaotic.
Especially since this isn’t my own child (ie one that my girlfriend and I decided to have/was mentally prepared for).
As difficult as it was for me to do this, I told my her essentially what I’ve written here, and that it would be best if she finds somewhere else to live. I am not rushing her out or anything like that, I have given her 6 month’s notice, since any later than that will come too close to the birth.
She was honestly quite taken aback by this, and thought that I was being cruel. Her primary concern is that rent has gone up substantially in this city since she signed on with me (I haven’t increased her rent since she moved in, so she’s essentially paying 2015 rent).
She works as a waitress, and will likely need to find a lesser apartment to keep within the same budget. A couple of other considerations are that she was out of work while restaurants were closed, but I did waive her rent for that period.
All of the furniture is also mine (aside from her bedroom), so she would need to figure something out on that front as well, aside from all of the child expenses. I understand her position, and I feel horrible about the situation, but I honestly can’t do it. AITA for this?
There have been two great suggestions on how I can make this situation better, which I have taken to heart. Firstly, I have a friend in real estate, and I'm going to see if they can help her try to find some affordable listings.
Secondly - as I don't plan to take on another tenant after her, and can afford to do this anyway - I have decided I'm going to waive her rent for the remainder of the tenancy. This will hopefully give her a bit of a boost to get on her feet.
To anyone asking about the legality of the matter, I consulted an attorney to be 1000% sure, and this is perfectly legal. Since I live in the unit, the eviction laws are much more lenient.
To anyone that said I should allow her to live with me anyway, I challenge you to consider what the alternative would be. If this doesn't happen now, then when? Her baby will become a toddler, and a toddler eventually becomes a school age child. Will it really be any better to do this later on? Or do you suggest that I let her raise the child here until they are 18?
When I came home from work today, I told her that I wanted to discuss the overall situation. Before I even began, she actually apologized to me for how she spoke to me, and for expecting that I would be okay for her to raise her child here.
I told her that her apology is totally unnecessary, as her reaction was completely understandable considering the uncertainty of her future. I then told her that what I told all of you; that I would waive her rent for the remainder of her stay to help her get on her feet.
She pushed back on this at first, but after I urged her to think of her child, she graciously accepted. Aside from this, I also told her about my friend who could help her out with finding some affordable listings in the area. I thought I might be overstepping there, but she was actually extremely thankful and said she would take me up on there.
Finally, I want to thank u/tuttipeachyfrutti for probably the best piece of advice that I've read (I'm sure there are many more people that I should be thanking, but I honestly don't think I'll be able to read everything here).
This was that I could help her obtain a more reliable work position at my hospital, nothing fancy as she doesn't have any schooling, but it will be much more secure than waitressing (and once you're in, there's always ways to work your way up). There would also be benefits/maternity leave that I don't think restaurants usually offer.
This was probably my biggest risk of overstepping, but when I mentioned the idea to her she was actually over the moon (tears were shed...). I do agree that I acted in self interest here, so I think it's the least I can do to make sure this soon to be mother and her child have some sense of security in their lives. Thank you again to everyone.
I really want everyone that commented to know that they all made a huge impact on a new mothers life. I can't thank you enough, very glad that I made this post.
That’s absolutely crazy that you would waive her rent for another 6 months when you were already giving her a great deal on rent previously AND you already waived it for the time period she was out of work. You have already been incredibly nice to her, given her cheap rent and plenty of advance notice to vacate.
But there is such a thing as being a doormat and allowing yourself to be taken advantage of financially. This woman isn’t a friend or family member, you don’t owe her anything. She’s an independent adult making a decision to have a child and she has the nerve to call you cruel or act like you are unfair for not wanting a baby in your home.
You see to be motivated by a feeling of guilt or obligation like you’ve done something wrong to her that you need to make up for, when that’s absolutely not the case. I’m very confused by your position since you’re obviously a capable and intelligent person to have become a doctor and made it through residency. Yet you seem a bit naive and somewhat of a pushover in this situation.
aita1231 OP responded:
She’s a person in a hard place, and her comments came out of a place of fear, not malice. This is evident by that fact that she apologized before I offered her anything. I’m not motivated by guilt, but rather compassion. It takes very little effort for me to help this woman out while she’s in a rough spot, so why wouldn’t I?
When I was a resident, her $900 in rental income is something I definitely needed. However now, her entire 6 months of rent is something I earn in 3 days. On the flip side, this amount will go a long way for a low wage worker who’s about to have a child.
As I have no use for the money anyway, I’m happy to help someone that has been a good tenant and roommate to me, aside from a few recent comments she made when her world was turned upside down, and apologized for.
I am neither naive nor a pushover. I am doing this because I want to, not because I have to. Feelings like that typically come from a place of insecurity. Please remember that helping people in need, who have otherwise done you little wrong, is not cause for being a pushover.
Eh. You’re a landlord. You’re an a**hole in general. Anything else is just icing on the cake
aita1231 OP responds:
Well, you'll be glad to know that I'll be out of the business soon :)
NAH. Neither one is AH. Op leased her room to a single person as originally intended. And now the tenant is going to bring in another human being, who will cry incessantly and require a lot of attention. It is a tough situation but op didn't sign for to be a backup momma.