Disagreement with friend over rent Watch

Anonymous #1
#1
Report Thread starter 1 week ago
#1
Hi there,

I am looking for some impartial advice on what to do in the predicament I find myself in. So I moved in at the beginning of this academic year with a friend - let's call them Sam, and a stranger, let's call them Taylor. So Sam and I were searching for houses together and realised that it is pretty difficult to find a two-person flat for our budget so we decided to look at the possibility of renting two rooms in a house with other people.

We found a great place in a location that worked for both of us - it was near to my uni (from which Sam just graduated) and near to Sam's proposed place of work.

The only downside of the property was that it was pushing the top end of our budget and Sam was concerned that they wouldn't be able to cover the cost of rent and bills, considering they would be liable to pay council tax now that they graduated.

Of the three rooms on offer, the downstairs living room turned bedroom is the biggest - not by a huge amount, but it can fit a desk and some breathing room compared with the smaller of the upstairs rooms, which is still a double but cannot fit a desk. The larger of the upstairs room is in between the size of the two other rooms, but again there is not a huge difference.

When Sam and I found the two rooms, Taylor had already signed with the housing agency and agreed to let the larger of the upstairs rooms. That left Sam and me to choose between the downstairs room and the smaller upstairs room. Before viewing the property, Sam had stated that I should have a larger room wherever we moved in because I would need the extra space to study.

Therefore, when we found the rooms, we agreed that I would have the downstairs room. All three rooms in the property are priced at the same rent. We agreed to move into the property and signed the contract on this basis.

Because Sam was worried about money, and I felt a little guilty about having the bigger room, I suggested that I could contribute toward Sam's council tax bill so that they could comfortably afford to move in and we could end the stressful house search. Sam agreed and I have been paying half of Sam's council tax bill (£40 per month) since we moved in during October.

However, now Sam has decided to enrol on a postgraduate degree starting in February, so they won't have to pay council tax anymore. Sam contacted me yesterday to let me know that this was confirmed, but that "in order not to confuse things" I should probably continue to send Sam £40 a month on the day we pay rent - to make it clear that this is a remuneration due to discrepancy in room size.

I have to admit I was a little shocked - in my mind, I had been paying Sam the money in order to make their rent affordable. Plus, Taylor also has a larger room than Sam, but pays the same amount - this is what we agreed to upon moving in.

Sam stated that it is only fair that I continue to pay them £40 a month for the following reasons:
- I would not be paying more than the original amount I was paying from the start
- "Why would I agree to pay the same price rent for rooms of completely different size?"
- I agreed to pay the amount so I should continue to do so, as a rent reduction instead of a council tax contribution
- £10 a week is a good difference in rent cost between two rooms of different sizes

The way I see it is:
- I offered to contribute to council tax because I wanted Sam to be able to afford to live in the property
- Now that Sam is not being billed for council tax, their rent is a lot lower than before
- We never agreed to split the cost of the house's rent based on room size, they agreed that all three of us would pay the same
- Taylor also does not pay more than Sam despite having a bigger room
- I am also in a difficult financial situation, so I think Sam and I each paying £40 less than before is perfectly fair and makes life easier for both of us
- The downstairs room, although bigger, is louder, faces onto the street, is colder, and I hear every knock on the door, often being the only one to answer the door, and would be the first to be burgled (this almost happened already and was very stressful).

Anyway, the argument culminated in Sam saying that I was mean and selfish, and both of us offering to move out and end the friendship. For background: our friendship has become strained for a number of reasons throughout the last few months, so I kind of anticipated a big fight happening.

I would really appreciate advice on:
1) What do you think the fairest arrangement should be?
2) Should I pay Sam the £40 a month?
3) Should we retrospectively re-cost the rooms based on size? (This would mean I would move out due to the cost becoming too high)
4) Is Sam justified? Am I?


Thanks!
0
reply
Rock Fan
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#2
Report 1 week ago
#2
Is that all you are paying £40 for the rent?
1
reply
londonmyst
Badges: 18
Rep:
?
#3
Report 1 week ago
#3
1) What do you think the fairest arrangement should be?
You and Sam each paying an equal share based on the rent.
Negotiating equal bill contributions with your housemates for all utilities that everyone uses plus other bills except the council tax which should be paid only be those liable for it (non-full time studying students).

2) Should I pay Sam the £40 a month?
No

3) Should we retrospectively re-cost the rooms based on size?
No

4) Is Sam justified? Am I?

No, I think Sam is being greedy and childish.
I agree with you.
The friendship you had with Sam is probably over now.
1
reply
Anonymous #1
#4
Report Thread starter 1 week ago
#4
(Original post by Rock Fan)
Is that all you are paying £40 for the rent?
No, we are paying £600 (in London) - the £40 is one quarter of the council tax bill.
0
reply
Anonymous #1
#5
Report Thread starter 1 week ago
#5
(Original post by londonmyst)
1) What do you think the fairest arrangement should be?
You and Sam each paying an equal share based on the rent.
Negotiating equal bill contributions with your housemates for all utilities that everyone uses plus other bills except the council tax which should be paid only be those liable for it (non-full time studying students).

2) Should I pay Sam the £40 a month?
No

3) Should we retrospectively re-cost the rooms based on size?
No

4) Is Sam justified? Am I?

No, I think Sam is being greedy and childish.
I agree with you.
The friendship you had with Sam is probably over now.
Do you think it's fair that I pay the same rent for a larger room though?
0
reply
Rock Fan
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#6
Report 1 week ago
#6
(Original post by Anonymous)
No, we are paying £600 (in London) - the £40 is one quarter of the council tax bill.
In that case then you are not selfish, Sam is being the selfish one
0
reply
Anonymous #1
#7
Report Thread starter 1 week ago
#7
(Original post by Rock Fan)
In that case then you are not selfish, Sam is being the selfish one
Do you think it's fair that I have the bigger room for the same rent price though? I know that is what we agreed to and I'll have contributed to 4 months of council tax (by February) even though I am not liable to pay it, but I can't help have a guilty conscience that Sam has a smaller room and is paying the same in rent...
0
reply
londonmyst
Badges: 18
Rep:
?
#8
Report 1 week ago
#8
(Original post by Anonymous)
Do you think it's fair that I pay the same rent for a larger room though?
Yes.
You may want to buy extra locks and an electric heater so that you are more comfortable though.
0
reply
Anonymous #1
#9
Report Thread starter 1 week ago
#9
(Original post by londonmyst)
Yes.
You may want to buy extra locks and an electric heater so that you are more comfortable though.
Thanks for the tips! And the advice
0
reply
PhoenixFortune
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#10
Report 1 week ago
#10
(Original post by Anonymous)
I would really appreciate advice on:
1) What do you think the fairest arrangement should be?
2) Should I pay Sam the £40 a month?
3) Should we retrospectively re-cost the rooms based on size? (This would mean I would move out due to the cost becoming too high)
4) Is Sam justified? Am I?
1) You all pay your own rent, and split the utilities equally.
2) No.
3) No - the rooms are already being let on the basis that the rooms each have the same rent (despite their size), so it doesn't need to be over-complicated by Sam. She agreed to having the same rent as you when she moved in, so if she has a real grievance, she needs to speak to the lettings agent/landlord.
4) Sam isn't - it sounds like she's desperately trying to justify getting extra money from you (in lieu of having to stop work I guess). If she isn't demanding the same amount from Taylor, then she's definitely trying it on. You are justified to be confused and frustrated, as she clearly wants to take advantage of your friendship.
0
reply
Anonymous #2
#11
Report 1 week ago
#11
(Original post by Anonymous)
- The downstairs room, although bigger, is louder, faces onto the street, is colder, and I hear every knock on the door, often being the only one to answer the door, and would be the first to be burgled (this almost happened already and was very stressful).
This statement made me laugh so hard - especially about the burglary. Wow you really went the extra mile in helping a 'friend' that you'll probably won't even remember or see again after the tenancy agreement has ended. I could not imagine offering to contribute to someone's rent after apparently feeling 'guilty' of the room size. I think that's rather generous of you but Sam has taken advantage of that role and it has lead to an unpleasant circumstance.
Following the questions you have provided;

1) The fairest arrangement will be to contact the landlord and tell them the dispute you are having. Tell them that you no longer want to pay towards the council bill as it doesn't apply to Sam and therefore is a waste of your money. Another arrangement is that you should look for another accommodation to live in that is safer, and convenient for you. As you said your having difficulty in adjusting to the noise. Live somewhere else that is close to your uni, shops and has a quieter neighbourhood but also safe. Find someone to replace your contract if the landlord isn't negotiating with you.
2) No, you shouldn't pay Sam any money. In fact ditch him as a friend and cancel that direct debit / bank transfer now.
3) No. it's best to move out and find somewhere better. Remember the student finance won't cover your needs, it's best to look at other affordable housing and a lot of landlords will be more open as it's just one person moving in.
4) Sam is wrong. You? - maybe.
0
reply
Anonymous #1
#12
Report Thread starter 1 week ago
#12
(Original post by PhoenixFortune)
1) You all pay your own rent, and split the utilities equally.
2) No.
3) No - the rooms are already being let on the basis that the rooms each have the same rent (despite their size), so it doesn't need to be over-complicated by Sam. She agreed to having the same rent as you when she moved in, so if she has a real grievance, she needs to speak to the lettings agent/landlord.
4) Sam isn't - it sounds like she's desperately trying to justify getting extra money from you (in lieu of having to stop work I guess). If she isn't demanding the same amount from Taylor, then she's definitely trying it on. You are justified to be confused and frustrated, as she clearly wants to take advantage of your friendship.
thanks for this advice! To refer to your third point, I agree that Sam agreed to rent the smaller room at the same cost of my room, but Sam is arguing that my offer to contribute to council tax was actually due to the difference in room size. I guess my mistake was telling Sam when we moved in that I felt bad about having the bigger room so they have been able to conflate this with my subsidising of the council tax.
0
reply
Anonymous #1
#13
Report Thread starter 1 week ago
#13
(Original post by Anonymous)
This statement made me laugh so hard - especially about the burglary. Wow you really went the extra mile in helping a 'friend' that you'll probably won't even remember or see again after the tenancy agreement has ended. I could not imagine offering to contribute to someone's rent after apparently feeling 'guilty' of the room size. I think that's rather generous of you but Sam has taken advantage of that role and it has lead to an unpleasant circumstance.
Following the questions you have provided;

1) The fairest arrangement will be to contact the landlord and tell them the dispute you are having. Tell them that you no longer want to pay towards the council bill as it doesn't apply to Sam and therefore is a waste of your money. Another arrangement is that you should look for another accommodation to live in that is safer, and convenient for you. As you said your having difficulty in adjusting to the noise. Live somewhere else that is close to your uni, shops and has a quieter neighbourhood but also safe. Find someone to replace your contract if the landlord isn't negotiating with you.
2) No, you shouldn't pay Sam any money. In fact ditch him as a friend and cancel that direct debit / bank transfer now.
3) No. it's best to move out and find somewhere better. Remember the student finance won't cover your needs, it's best to look at other affordable housing and a lot of landlords will be more open as it's just one person moving in.
4) Sam is wrong. You? - maybe.
The burglary turned out to be a false alarm (the housing agency arranged to have a furniture delivery without notifying us; they turned up at 6am and hammered on the door for 20 minutes after walking past my front window and standing in the front garden whispering - it felt like the middle of the night as it's so dark out this time of year, but we did end up calling the police and the area isn't the safest... They also didn't think to say anything so we had no idea why someone was trying to get in at that time).

I guess I considered my and Sam's friendship to be quite significant and as we have been friends for 3 years I thought I could trust Sam and wanted to help them out. But I agree with you that I feel as though Sam has taken advantage of my generosity.

I am considering moving out but it's a stressful time for me due to being in my final year and simultaneously applying for postgraduate degrees and scholarships, I feel like the upheaval of moving would be quite disruptive and finding somewhere suitable in my budget in London is quite hard.

Clearly, I think you're right and we shouldn't continue to live together. I am trying to consider a few different options. Sam countered my offer to move out by saying that they would move out, although I am not sure they will go through with it. I could move in with my parents who live outside of London as a last resort, but this isn't ideal for obvious reasons.
0
reply
PhoenixFortune
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#14
Report 1 week ago
#14
(Original post by Anonymous)
thanks for this advice! To refer to your third point, I agree that Sam agreed to rent the smaller room at the same cost of my room, but Sam is arguing that my offer to contribute to council tax was actually due to the difference in room size. I guess my mistake was telling Sam when we moved in that I felt bad about having the bigger room so they have been able to conflate this with my subsidising of the council tax.
It sounds like one big misinterpretation on Sam's side, so I don't see why it's your problem that they misunderstood. If your friendship is at the point where it's irreparable, then it would probably be for the best if one of you moves.
1
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

University open days

  • Bournemouth University
    Midwifery Open Day at Portsmouth Campus Undergraduate
    Wed, 18 Dec '19
  • The University of Law
    Open Day – GDL and LPC - Chester campus Postgraduate
    Sat, 4 Jan '20
  • University of East Anglia
    Mini Open Day Undergraduate
    Mon, 6 Jan '20

Did you vote in the 2019 general election?

Yes (278)
48.18%
No (65)
11.27%
I'm not old enough (234)
40.55%

Watched Threads

View All