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DearSugar Needs Your Help: My Roommate Is Crossing the Line

DearSugar and Sleepless Sammy need your help. Her roommate has been extremely disrespectful and it's starting to affect her ability to get a good night's sleep. She's tried to talk with her roommate about it, but she has yet to make an effort to change. She's stuck in her lease until the end of Summer, so do you have any advice as to how she can make the best of this living satiation?

Dear Sugar,

I'm in law school and living in an apartment with another girl who I found on Craigslist. It's been about seven months now and I feel like she has absolutely no respect for me. She uses my stuff, eats my food, drinks my beer, and lets her friends crash on our couch without ever asking me. I can deal with these things; however, I recently hit my breaking point.

My roommate likes to sleep around and will have loud, porn-like sex even when I’m home. It's not that I'm a prude — she's entitled to sleep with whoever she wants — but our walls are paper thin and I can hear every bed creak, scream, and moan, and sometimes I can feel her bed shake through the wall we share. Her late night activities are wreaking havoc on my sleep pattern and I'm constantly exhausted. I’ve talked to her about it once before but nothing has changed. I’m stuck in this lease until August but I can't continue living like this. What should I do? — Sleepless Sammy


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lindssaurussss lindssaurussss 8 years
that sucks. talk to her again, if your lucky. if you told her the first time shes obviously not caring. or talk to your landlord and try to get out of your lease. or try to get the landlord to kick her out. shes not on the lease and she will have 30days to leave. its good to have a good relationship with your landlord. they care whats happening to the apartment, if she is damaging the place. i had a similar problem with 2 roommates they shared the room next to mine i would hear loud sex, would have coke parties in the room, i never got sleep asked them to quiet down they just laughed. maybe i know your roomie? lol
vmruby vmruby 8 years
At this point there would be alot less talking and alot more action.Trying to reasoning with her yet again will not change anything.She obviously has no class or boundaries. I certainly wouldn't rearrange my life or put locks on my door because she's not willing nor capable of being respectful of you and your property. I'd show her the door and find another roommate and preferably not one from Craigslist.....
RunninginBoston RunninginBoston 8 years
If just you are on the lease, you can kick her out and change the locks. If just she's on the lease, you can bail with no warning. If it's both of you on the lease, then you can find someone to sublet from you. You could also call the landlord and point out how your roommate is violating terms of the lease (even if the landlord is helpful, note in many states it's very difficult for landlords to evict people, so it could take a while). Or look into your legal options as people said above for breaking the lease.
princess_eab princess_eab 8 years
Is it your apartment (is your name on the lease?) or is it hers? If it's hers, you don't have much recourse other than moving out early. After all, she's extremely disrespectful, but it was her place first. If it's yours, you have EVERY right to tell her to move out. Give her a month and find someone else to sublet. This situation sounds truly awful. Have you really, genuinely, sincerely tried talking to her? I mean, a no B.S. talk. she may not realize how awful she's being. In all my living situations I've come to see that some people deal with issues by just ignoring them. You should seriously ask her to change if you haven't already. If you've talked to her and nothing has changed, I'd suggest one of you move. In the meantime, earplugs, an ambient sound machine, sleeping pills, banging on the wall, hiding your food, changing your bedroom lock should make you feel like you have some privacy. Trust me, I've been there - someone completely nuts moved into my first apartment in NYC and I had to move three weeks later, it was such an emergency. (She was on four heavy psychiatric medications and was a violent alcoholic who screamed through my wall every night.)
dm8bri dm8bri 8 years
Leases can be broken. If she moved in with you, consult Legal Aid (or yourself, since you're in law school) or your landlord (if you think they'll be helpful) about how you can kick her out. There's absolutely NO reason to become a prisoner (locking your door, getting a mini fridge, using earplugs??) in your own home. You've already tried to verbally reason with her and it obviously hasn't gone anywhere, so you would be wasting your breath. Otherwise, move yourself out. Whatever fee you might have to pay to break the lease is well worth it, trust me. Or, you can find some other poor sap on Craigslist to take your place.
michaeluvnikita michaeluvnikita 8 years
sue her make it seems like she is affecting you mentally. YOu can't sleep so it will affect your self. You are scared for your safety because of all these men, she steals your food so thats theft.
sparklestar sparklestar 8 years
I would kick her out?
plus_2_kid plus_2_kid 8 years
PS It sounds like you are subletting to her. So kick her out.
plus_2_kid plus_2_kid 8 years
I personally don't think more chit chat or sarcastic comments will work. So my recommendations are: 1) Get ear plugs 2) Get mini fridge for room 3) Get lock for bedroom door 4) Bang on her door or wall when she's having loud sex and tell her to SHUT UP - at the very least it might turn the guy off. Also, maybe you can have someone at your law school look at your lease and find a loophole to get out!!! Or SUE HER for torture.
Autumns_Elegy Autumns_Elegy 8 years
I would chat to her again, if that doesn't work then I'd drop a comment like "You're paying for my food and beer this week, it's only fair, you consume it all." or "WOW! That guy must have really hurt you last night! You were screaming so loud! I thought you had brought home a murderer so I hid on the fire escape!" I agree with the idea of a mini fridge in your room, and a lock on the door. Her using your things without asking is just plain rude.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
ahh yes the horrible roommate situations. when i first moved to NYC - i used craigslist to find a place and it was horrible. i ended up having to break my lease because the girl that i moved in with, she had a boyfriend that was a dealer, and i didn't know it ahead of time. he ended up becoming a permanent fixture in our place, and it just didn't feel safe or make it easy for me to be comfortable in my own home when i was there. if you can't have a real conversation with her to let her know how you feel and have her change, then you have no choice but to move. i know that it's mean, but at one point when my roomie's boyfriend kept eating my food, i would start cooking with laxatives in it, so he would have a MAJOR stomach ache.
BeachBarbie BeachBarbie 8 years
Oops, I meant advise...not advice. :oy:
BeachBarbie BeachBarbie 8 years
I would get a mini fridge and put it in my bedroom. I would also get a lock on your bedroom door so she can't take your stuff. If, your couch is getting ruined put it in storage and any other furniture your concerned about. About the loud sex, talk to her again...and get some good ear plugs (just in case). Also, you could do the same to she knows just how loud it is. (I don't really advice that...but, sleep is seriously important. I would tell her all these things (not the lock, I would just do that)...and if she doesn't stop..then follow through with all of them.
greenapples1987 greenapples1987 8 years
I agree with all the above post..pretty much your only option left is to talk to her again. Maybe she can consider staying over at the guys house that night if they plan on getting it on. But if you're stuck there then do like nicky360 says, stay at a friends place if you can on nights when you have a big test the next day or need some quiet study time pulling all nighters. I would be very uncomfortable in this situation personally.
jazzytummy jazzytummy 8 years
Agree with sass...I would be so uncomfortable that strange men were in and out of my home, that alone would cause me to lose sleep. I would mention it to her again, and I would play a bit of hardball if she doesn't listen. You can tell her you will discuss your safety concerns with the management, and leave her paying for the place on her own. Believe me, the last thing a manager wants is having a safety complaint on their record that they have done nothing about. Good luck.
sass317 sass317 8 years
Youve already tried talking to her and that hasnt worked, I would either bang on the shared wall when she is being loud, OR record what you can hear from your room, play it for her so she knows EXACTLY what you can hear and tell her she really needs to keep it down or go to the guys place for that sort of thing (not to mention how unsafe it is to be bringing random guys into YOUR apt all the time, they could be maniacs)
Spectra Spectra 8 years
Sounds like a really bad living situation. I would also talk to her again and bring up what she has done that you can't tolerate. If she gets defensive, try to stand your ground and insist to her that you can't sleep well with her living in the same apartment as you. If she's not willing to change, you should try to line up a new place and then try to get out of your lease. I wouldn't just leave before you find a different apartment and a different roommate; you could end up with nowhere to live for a while.
SeaAre86 SeaAre86 8 years
I agree with nicky. If you talk to her again and she still doesn't change her ways, I would try to get OUT. Definently talk to management. It isn't fair that you'd have to leave your apartment to get sleep, but it is better than losing your sanity. I hope things work out!
nicky360 nicky360 8 years
First, speak with her again. Be honest and straight forward. Use specific examples and maybe she will 1) become respectful of your needs or 2) be embarrassed enough to quiet her sessions down. If that doesn't work I would approach the apartment management about breaking the lease- sometimes they are flexible. Offer to serve out the lease term in another apartment (maybe a smaller one if money is an issue). Law school in itself is crazy and the last thing you need is more stress. If worse comes to worse and you're stuck with her until August, maybe one of you friends will let you crash at their place a few times a week so that you can get some rest. Oh, and you may want to invest in ear plugs. Good luck.
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