Advice

United States
March 14, 2012 6:52am CST
Hello fellow mylotters. I have a bit of a situation with a new housemate. This person has sprayed so much cologne, air freshener, etc. that it has literally given me a headache, caused my sinuses to plug up and I have a bit of a time breathing. Also, I have a cat with asthma and another one sick. I have asked him on several occasions not to spray it so much for these reasons. He has told me twice in the past he won't use it at all, then suddenly this week he began using it again. There are times at night I cannot even smell it because I am in bed, yet my sinuses plug up and I cough a weakly type cough. About 2 weeks ago, I politely told him not to spray it anymore and if I got sick again, I was going to have to ask him to leave. He said he would not spray it anymore. (he sprays it soo much, at times I can smell it throughout the house and he is in the basement) Then last week he started again, and this time I was not so nice. I was in the living room and began smelling it, when I went downstairs to complain, it was soo strong, like it was just sprayed in my face! I told him he had to leave. Yesterday I began to regret the decision, because I need the money. Plus, he has had a difficult time financially and has been unlucky in the past with other housemates. Then I began thinking about other things he has done, such as getting too close to me, arguing with me, he has told me why is it always me getting blamed for things. I asked him twice not to walk on my lawn and he said why do you think it was me, it could have been someone else. I want the door shut downstairs at all times, except of course for coming and going. There is no need to keep it open any other time. I smoke down there sometimes, and so do my guests, and I do not want Bootsie (asthmatic cat) bothered by the smoke. He even told me just a week or so ago that his cat and one of mine were hissing at each other. I told him: I asked you to keep that door shut, there is no reason for your cat and mine to get into a fight. I was showing someone something, he says. That kind of grinded me a little bit. So, while I was thinking about laying down some stringent rules and letting him know he can stay here, but if he endangers my health and/or my cats again he's out---I am also thinking of the other things he has done and said that makes me think I should go get an eviction notice. What would you do, or what is your advice to me regarding this situation?
2 people like this
5 responses
• United States
16 Mar 12
You have to decide which outweighs the other. Can you handle all the things that bug you about him and have him stay and help you and him both out financially? Is it worth what you have to go through that frustrates you. Or, would you be happier with a whole lot less stress and less help financially, I personally, never wanted roommates cause I figure no matter what, they would probably get on my nerves in one way or another just because I would be afraid they would do something to my house or furniture or something thaat was mine and that I had bought. Or that they would just get on my nerves being there all the time that I was. You know,, even in a relationship, single or married, you have to learn to accept some things that you otherwise would live without. You just have to decide how hard you want to work on having a roommate. Good luck on making the right decision.
2 people like this
• United States
17 Mar 12
I was willing to bend a bit, and showed him some information on air fresheners and their dangers. When I took the papers to him, he told me he was leaving this weekend. I need the money, and was also concerned about how difficult it is to get a place when your income is low, and was willing to allow him to stay under strict rules not to use the air freshener at least, then maybe I could teach him how to use the cologne in place of the air freshener. There are other reasons I do not want him here though, and upon considering the other things, including his outright uncaring about my health and my cats health, I had hoped and prayed he would leave soon anyway. There are the other explanations in the above posts, if you care to read about this drama and see what it is I don't like about this guy. lol-long list.
1 person likes this
• United States
19 Mar 12
Let him go and pray to God for a good roommate. Wouldn't it be great to have someone in there you really enjoy having around? I wish you the best.!
1 person likes this
• United States
14 Mar 12
Has he told you why he sprays the cologne? I do not know whether or not he smokes, but you did mention that sometimes you and your guests go downstairs to smoke, since you do not want to make your cat sick. Perhaps he does not like the smell of the smoke and is trying to mask it with the cologne, especially since you also mentioned that he has done the same thing with air freshener, etc. I understand that you have rights, since you own the place, and you should definitely not feel uncomfortable in your own home. However, he pays rent, so he also has some rights. I think perhaps you should make a list of what you can and absolutely cannot live with, and then discuss the situation with him. Also, you should listen to his concerns. If you both feel that you can live with a new agreement, then you should give it a try. Otherwise, I think that you both might be happier if you found a different tenant that will be a better fit with your lifestyle.
2 people like this
• United States
17 Mar 12
He has a cat and when the cat does his business, he sprays so he does not have to smell it. I have 6, and all that needs to be done is clean it and in a few minutes the smell goes away. That is the reason he gave me. The other lady he stayed with told me it's because his room stinks because he washes with coffee grounds and olive oil and it smells, but he told me it's because he doesn't like the smell his cat makes so he sprays something to cover it. I did make a copy of some websites I found that contain information regarding the danger of air fresheners and gave them to him to read. Do you know air freshener is one of the top 10 most dangerous to have in your home? It can contain formaldehyde, amongst other dangerous chemicals. He told me he found a place and would be leaving this weekend, so I gave him the information anyway and told him this will help you and your poor kitty. He thanked me and that is the last I have heard. He is still here this morning, so perhaps today he will leave. I did plan to discuss with him again how I suffer when he uses the stuff, but there is no need now. Hopefully he will leave by tomorrow, and I will be able to breathe again. He used the air freshener again this morning. The air freshener, not even the cologne. A few days prior to my asking him to leave my friend who also stays here had some air freshener in one of those automatic things that sprays every hour or so, and he asked me if it bothers me to let him know. The following morning, as soon as my feet hit the bottom of the staircase, I instantly got a headache and had a bit of trouble breathing, so I let him know about it immediately, and you know what? The other guy was there, and heard the entire exchange. There are 2 rooms in the basement, and my friend has one and the other guy has the other, so even if he were in his room, he would have heard what we were saying. He was, in fact, out with us in the main part of the basement and taking part in the conversation. The following evening he sprayed so much it bothered my friend, plus he had sprayed a ton of it just before he left for work that morning. Now why would he do that? The next day he again sprayed so heavy, I got an instant headache. It seemed as though he were playing a game. O, this one I thought did not bother you, ok I will not use it again. Next time it was the other thing he sprayed and said the same thing, then the next time it was the first thing he sprayed. He kept switching from air freshener to cologne, back to air freshener when I told him it gives me a headache and I cannot breathe, and I have a cat that has asthma. he didn't know what is asthma, and I explained to him what it is and said Bootsie can die if he has an attack, if his throat closes up on him. That was 2 weeks ago, and after that it seems his spraying frenzy grew worse. And when Robert told me the spraying was bothering him, I decided this guy has to go. I use perfume almost every day and some fragrances do bother me, so I do not use them. I use 2 squirts only, and keep the bathroom door closed so Bootsie does not have to smell it. I stand in the bathroom for a few moments until I feel the spray has settled, then I promptly close the door for a bit so Bootsie is not affected. Even the cologne that does not bother me that I gave him, caused me to have a reaction because of the amount he used. I have showed him about 5 times how to spray it and how much to use, in a small room you do not need any more than 1-2 squirts. The room is about 10x10, why would anyone need to use any more than that? Even a few squirts would do for the entire area of the basement if one were to stand in the center of the room and spray it. When he asked me for some cologne, I thought he would be using it for himself, but it is not for that. He does not even put it on his body. (that is his prerogative, but come on, work with me here.) He lied to me about using some other stuff as air freshener, some really cheap cologne that bothered me as much as the air freshener does. I asked him how come I could not smell it on him, yet my entire house on 2 floors plus my staircase reeks of it, and he said he put on his clothes that's why. Hmmmm.....Now what do you think of that response?
1 person likes this
• United States
18 Mar 12
I think it is definitely best that this guy find another place to live. It seems that he is unwilling to compromise. In fact, it seems like he is actually trying to cause problems ... maybe he thinks it is funny or you are overreacting or something ... but that definitely is not a good thing. The fact that you have another tenant that he is bothering is even more reason to have this guy leave, especially since it sounds like the other tenant is not only your friend but also polite and respectful. If this trouble-maker does not leave, then you could risk losing the tenant, and I am sure you don't want your friend to leave. In addition, it might be difficult to find another person willing to live in the basement with this guy, so your problems would just compound. I do hope that this guy did find a place and will be out shortly. If he was just saying that to get you off his back for a while, then at this point I think that you need to be firm and give him a time-frame for when he needs to be out of the house.
1 person likes this
• United States
18 Mar 12
Thank you. He did leave last night, and did not leave the keys. I texted him about the keys and heard nothing from him. I did plan on taking the locks in to be changed anyway, but it just escalates my uneasy feeling regarding this guy. Fortunately my friend came back last night too, while he was moving. My friend has a habit of taking off even if he promises to stick around, and volunteers to stay at that. It is unsettling to realize you are in a house alone with someone who gives everyone the creeps. I wish he would not promise to stay if he is not planning to, or if he leaves to at least text me so I know to be on guard. He's in the basement for crying out loud, I don't know until I go down there if he is here or not. when he does leave he will not answer phone calls or texts, but he doesn't answer if he is on a bus or in a doctors appointment or shopping either, so I have to figure it out by the time that goes by. It is annoying! See, I already have one standard housemate that does not listen one iota, though he is a bit more respectful than some others. I cannot tolerate more than one! lol. Now let's hope I find someone who is more respectful and kinder. It feels so good to know I can now leave my door open and use the laundry. I was concerned about using the laundry when he was home, because I didn't like being around him and more so because another person had him in her house and she told me he stole her underwear and kept it in his backpack that he takes with him everywhere. It is like a breath of fresh air! Figuratively and in reality! I did not have a headache this morning! woohoo!
• Canada
14 Mar 12
I was in a very similar situation with a tenant we had in our basement. A very messy woman who wore lots of perfume which you could smell through the front of our house. She smoked but to her knowledge we are to believe not in the house - she would open the window and blow the smoke out the window. Very secretive girl. Her presence was starting to cause allot of instability in our family, although we had many meetings about getting along, and being clean, it was all in one ear and out the other. Ultimately we spoke to her and said if things didn't improve over the next month or so you will be asked to remove yourself from the house. Now being a rental within a residential house she does have rights however if you advise you need it for family or personal use there isn't an issue. At this point we weren't planning on re-renting. I found a lady who helps place people in living space, we worked together and found the girl a more suited situation for her and it all worked itself out. She's allot happier and in her own element of life. We have decided we will never again rent out space in our home. Basically you have to decide what is best for you, because having her living in our house was causing friction in our family we felt it was best to have her leave the house but she is welcomed to come back and visit, it was a good break. Good Luck
• United States
17 Mar 12
I am sorry to hear you had a bad experience with a tenant yourself. Sometimes it is difficult to find people who are respectful. It is very difficult for many people to find affordable housing, and often it only takes one to mess things up for others, as in your case. I'm happy to hear your household is back to normal again.
• United States
15 Mar 12
You've warned him enough and you told him to leave. Even if you need money maybe you could find a more considerate housemate. You need to do what's best for yourself and your pets for health related reasons and to decrease your stress. I would suggest that you stand your ground and let this person know that if he doesn't move out by a specific date you'll be force to begin the eviction process.
• United States
17 Mar 12
He told me the other day he was leaving this weekend. Hopefully today is the day. I was willing to extend to him one more chance, since finding a place to live on a small income is very difficult. I copied some websites regarding studies of air fresheners and how bad they are for you ( what an eye opener--I knew there were some strong chemicals in it because of my reaction, and did believe they are poisonous. Do you know air fresheners are on the top 10 list of dangerous chemicals to have in your home? Most of them do contain formaldehyde, amongst other dangerous things. Thank you for your advice. Hopefully he will leave by tomorrow the latest, and then perhaps I can find someone else to take the room. I do need the extra income from it.
@bonding2 (219)
• South Africa
14 Mar 12
my good friend once you have allowed some one to share with you for any reason ,you have mortgaged some of you privileges .To rent out a house to somebody and still expect to live like before is almost impossible,while spraying too much of cologne can be sickening ,you have to realize that nobody wants to leave in a place with too much rules and regulations like a prison and still pay.Evict him ,you may keep evicting others ,stay alone and enjoy your privacy otherwise manage until you can afford to stay alone
1 person likes this
• United States
14 Mar 12
You do bring a valid point; sometimes we have to bend in order to keep peace. Though my health may be in jeopardy as well as the cats. It is a difficult decision to make to be sure, should I simply allow him to do what he wants at the expense of my health and possibly my cats, or do I evict him for my health and be without other things I need and things I want. On warmer days I can open the windows, but then there's this other part that says wait, why should you have to do that? Shouldn't both of us bend a bit, where he does not use the air fresheners so much it bothers my allergies yet still can use them. (he uses it all as an air freshener, he does not use the colognes for himself to smell, only for his room) Still deciding what should be done in this situation.