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trinitymat's avatar

What should I do about my disrespectful roommate?

Asked by trinitymat (94points) January 20th, 2014

I moved in with someone who has changed so much since I met her. Where we are, weed is illegal. But beyond that it is not allowed in our apartment building. Yet she smokes both weed and cigarettes. She also has two friends over for two weeks in the house, and she didn’t even ask me. The apartment is tiny, and they all smoke so much. I told them that they can if the window is open, but now I regret it since I didn’t think they would smoke 24/7. I do not know what her deal is, but I can sense sometimes she does things just to piss me off. She uses my things without asking, although I told her more than 10 times that she can not. I even put a list of rules on the refri. but no good. She seems to be mentally sick, and she wants me to die with her. She has an evil smile, and nothing that comes out of her mouth has a good purpose. She lacks empathy and sympathy. I am a quiet person who loves to read and write and who wouldn’t want music blasting all the time. She however can never function without weed or music.

At this point, I am thinking, when I see her friends smoke again I will tell them that I changed my mind and they can’t. Would that be rude?

But, I don’t know what to do with my roommate. We are on lease until August. I asked her last month if either she or I can move out, and she changed the subject and never opened it again.

I just e-mailed the landlord letting him know that my roommate is smoking all the time. I hope he can do something about it. If this doesn’t work, I am thinking about letting her parents know what’s going on. If that also doesn’t work I will call the cops on her. I would move out but she won’t pay my money.

Any suggestions?
Thanks for your help.

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15 Answers

DWW25921's avatar

I’ve been there, done that. Finding a good match for a roommate is very hard. The bottom line is money. She pays her share and you pay yours. I would be cautious about moving on unless you get a solid plan B. Believe me, annoying roommates are better than ones who steal your stuff and refuse to pay. If it was me I’d just ride it out until the lease ends.

CWOTUS's avatar

Welcome to Fluther.

“Posting a list of rules” will never work with such a person. She probably laughs at that and mocks you behind your back with her friends.

The only way to resolve this, if it even can be resolved at this point, is to discuss the entire situation with her one-on-one. No friends (of either of you) should be present for that discussion.

I predict that if you say that you’ve changed your mind about allowing her and her friends to smoke that she will respond with some variation of “I reject your rejection. Now what will you do?” You don’t want to be in that position, especially in front of her friends! That would mean – unless you take swift and strong action to counter her flouting of your feelings – that you are the least regarded person in the apartment, with even less regard among the guests than even the other guests. You are probably in that position already, but it’s best that it not be explicitly acknowledged yet.

You don’t seem to be (from the impossibly little that I’ve gleaned of you from this question) the kind of person who would say, “Well here’s what I’m going to do about it,” and start throwing their cigarettes, drugs and other belongings out the window. That’s the kind of “swift and certain action” that would be required if your roommate mocks you openly and rejects your enforcement of a smoking ban – and you don’t want to be perceived as insignificant. So for now enlisting the help of the landlord may be the best that you can do until you can have a quiet (maybe “quiet and intense”) private discussion with her.

livelaughlove21's avatar

Blah, that sucks. I’ve been in a bad roommate situation before, but not like this. First, don’t worry about being rude when telling people not to do illegal things in your apartment. You’re protecting yourself not allowing it in there. Hopefully your landlord will have a problem with her doing that and maybe do something about it. If I could, I’d get out of the situation. If you can’t, you may have to just deal with it until August. It doesn’t seem like talking to her will help. Sorry. :/

pleiades's avatar

Trust your feelings, it’s time to regulate.

you said “I just e-mailed the landlord letting him know that my roommate is smoking all the time. I hope he can do something about it.”

Uhm no you need handle this like an adult. You need to tell her to her face, no more smoking in the apartment. Tell her it’s in the handbook, and you don’t like it. If you have a problem with smokers, don’t live with smokers. Either buck up and tell her like it is, or forever hold your peace until August.

gailcalled's avatar

You can also controll access to your room and possessions by installing a lock on the door.

“She wants me to die with her” seems very melodramatic. I do remember you had some similar issues with your own family.

Can you find a therapist to help you to behave in a more assertive manner? Adults do not call other adults’ parents or the police for domestic squabbles. Being assertive about your needs is not rude. It is grown-up behavior.

Anda there is the fact that you already said that they could smoke. Does that mean that they asked you? It’s tough to change your mind once you have taken a position.

Why is your roommate in charge of whether you can move out or not? Ask the landlord or check the terms of your lease.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Well if you’ve already contacted the landlord the problem should resolve itself soon.

trinitymat's avatar

I just ordered food and I opened it and she made food, then she started to roll cigarettes. When I asked her “are you going to smoke?” she got very mad, didnt even look at me, and said “Yeah but not here. Not now. Dont worry.” and I asked her why she is mad, and she said no Im not. Im learning, (someone was teaching her how to roll). Yeah and I am stupid.

juanitafi's avatar

The only way out here is to change either roommate or the room. I mean, if you asked politely and she refused to listen to you and to obey common rules, this is not good. And by the way, isn’t it illegal to know that your roommate has weed but not report it? So she also drags you into not such a bright and good story.

Darth_Algar's avatar

“And by the way, isn’t it illegal to know that your roommate has weed but not report it?”

I have never heard of anyone getting in trouble for not snitching on someone else.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@Darth_Algar Really? Ever heard of Obstruction of Justice or Accessory? Most likely not on some marijuana charge like this, but certainly for other crimes.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Simply not reporting a crime does not constitute obstruction or accessory. If it did then every person who “didn’t see anything” would be in prison.

livelaughlove21's avatar


Accessory after the fact: “Someone who assists another 1) who has committed a felony, 2) after the person has committed the felony, 3) with knowledge that the person committed the felony, and 4) with the intent to help the person avoid arrest or punishment. An accessory after the fact may be held liable for, inter alia, obstruction of justice.”

From what I know of the law (I studied criminal law in college), the definition of “assists” cannot be found in the law books (nor can a lot of things), so it depends on the judge’s discretion. For example, does concealing the crime count as “assisting”? Maybe, maybe not.

Like I said, the OP has nothing to worry about in this case, but with more serious crimes, it’s not all black and white and yes, people have gotten in trouble with the law for not reporting a crime.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Yes, concealing a crime would be assisting a person in that crime. However simply knowing about a crime and saying not is not necessarily concealing the crime. You’re not obligated to volunteer information, and there may well be good reasons why a person may choose to not volunteer information to the authorities. Not to mention that legally obligating people to volunteer such information would, I think, inevitably run into serious conflicts with the 5th Amendment.

livelaughlove21's avatar

^ We’re just splitting hairs at this point.

GloPro's avatar

If you want help from the landlord then you have to tug on his purse strings. Tell him your roommate has invited two “squatters” which most likely violates your lease. Inform him of illegal drug use, which makes him an informed landlord (do it in writing so his failure to act protects you when the whole apartment gets arrested). Let him know his property is being damaged.
Leave out roommate squabbles. He doesn’t care.
And don’t ever sign a lease with anyone else. Most landlords will split them up.
Good luck, but honestly, I agree that you are being melodramatic and most likely not entirely the victim here. You need to whine less and take definitive action.

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