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Bossy Roommate

Having a dispute with a tenant or landlord? Rental Law discussion

Bossy Roommate

Postby palben » Sun Dec 04, 2016 7:40 pm

Thanks for the quick reply.  Moving out is not really an option for me.  I am living in france now and with the bureaucracy and lack of renters rights here it takes about a month to move into a place, even longer if you are a solo American.  My roommate is Italian and it is easier for a european to get an apartment here than it is for an American.  If i move out and look for a new place no one would rent to me because of the length of my work contract which is one of many things you have to give a prospective landlord in order to get an apartment.  So basically I am stuck.  I am a very nice, laidback, and nonconfrontational person as was she until we moved in together.  So I basically need some advice on how to get my point across and establish some democracy in the apartment.  Thanks so much.

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The text above is a follow-up to ...

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So I recently moved to a foriegn country and finally found an apartment and roommate.  So after moving in this roommate is very bossy.  We communicate in English, which is her 2nd language and my first.  I am a very laidback person and in this case I will be completely walked over if I don't put my foot down.   

So the first day she recieved the keys she was reluctant to give them to me because she said she needed them the next day in the morning.  Which turned out to be not true.  She did not need the keys at all.  I have been staying with friends for 2 months and she told me, "you haven't had a home for so long, why can't you just wait another night?"  Second she claimed the big bed immediatly and in front of her friends and I said, "We should probably talk about that later."  We haven't been able to talk about it because she is always with her friends.  Third I told her my girlfriend was staying for a few days.  She said, "That people can stay here but only during the weekend, and not that often."  I have planned on having friends making visits to the city i live in and need a place to stay.  She said they have to stay in a hostel or hotel.  

It is hard to talk to her because she gets flustered easily and she is speaking in a second language as well.  Also when I make a point or disagree she thinks that i don't understand her "orders" but i am just trying to discuss things but she says, "Listen, I don't think you are understanding me.  This is what I said and this is what is going to happen."  Its is as though she doesn't accept my point of view.  There is no room for discussion because she just repeats what she said and then gets angry and raises her voice so it is very hard to talk to her.  I want to make this work but it is going to be very hard because I don't think that she is very diplomatic.  

We live in a very small apartment together and have to for the next 6 months or so.  I am very uncomfortable and very unhappy right now.  I need some help and let me know if you have any other questions about my situation.  Thanks

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palben
 
Posts: 58
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2012 1:50 am

Bossy Roommate

Postby Brus » Wed Dec 07, 2016 7:47 am

Hi again Michael

Okay, moving out is out!  Here are a couple of suggestions. Don't know if they will work but what the heck, might as well try them.

First I think you should sit down at the kitchen table with your roommate(lets call her Gina), make a pot of coffee(or tea, or wine is even better) and calmly and quietly start talking. ASK her why she feels your opinion doesn't matter. Ask her WHO made her boss. Ask her WHY you cannot live the life you want to experience enjoying a special place and culture. What does she have against you?  Is it because you are an American? Why did she agree to this set up in the first place if she had these negative feeling? Tell her you need ANSWERS, not histrionics.  Yes, Michael coming from a French background, I understand the histrionic Italian way of speaking....with the hands, and screaming. The French speak like this a lot also, waving and gesticulating. If you tie our hands, we become mute.

Tell her you want to get along, and part of your stay in France is to understand differences in cultures.  BUT you also need to tell her that YOU have rights also and if you BOTH need to write a list of do's and don'ts, do it.  In fact in your case, I would highly recommend it. Most roommate agreements have a list of rules as I mentioned to you earlier. And I have to agree with her to a degree about overnight guests.  Week-ends make sense(if it isn't every week-end)....during the week, it doesn't.  Many people live by routines, getting up every morning at a certain time, having breakfast, reading the paper, leaving for work....automatic responses.  Having guests breaks this routine and for some people, makes them feel they have lost control of their everyday life. You need to understand this also. It is also disrespectful.  Remember you are a guest in this country and you need to respect the way they do things, even if it bothers you or is against your principals.

You also need to understand that you are at a disadvantage because you are the true foreigner there.  Gina being a European thinks like a European.  You think like an American. Americans think everybody should think democratically because it works, doesn't it? As an American you need to understand that you are in Rome now, and "when in Rome, do as the Romans do" has long been an established way of getting along when you are living or visiting another country.  

I would normally suggest shunning but I think in this case it would be very detrimental to you and Gina. Shunning only works when you want to punish someone and this is NOT the way to go here.  You need to be careful, respectful and not be the "ugly American", okay? I can tell by your letter you really want to get along with your roommate and you will be the one that does a lot of giving in... trust me, it is possible.  Women have been doing it for centuries.  

Try to have fun, enjoy this unique experience. learn a little Italian along the way and keep a journal.  Someday you will look back at all of this and laugh, no, you really will.

Good Luck

Sincerely

Sylvia Bergthold

www.aroommatesurvivalguide.com  
Brus
 
Posts: 49
Joined: Sun Feb 23, 2014 3:08 am

Bossy Roommate

Postby yorath » Wed Dec 07, 2016 7:53 pm

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Hi Michael

First thing I would do is find another place to live ASAP. Let's face it, there is more than a culture and language barrier here okay?  You are incompatible.  That happens.

Once you find another place, give your roommate a WRITTEN 30 day notice you are moving.  Give a copy of it to the landlord if necessary.  

I am having a hard time understanding why SHE is making all the rules and regulations and you are not.  Is she also the landlord?  Did you BOTH sign a lease agreement? IF you did, you technically have as much rights as she does.  But I am also willing to bet that neither one of you signed a separate roommate agreement outlining rules.  Such as overnight guests, shared costs, visiting guests, schedules, rent and utility payments, parties, smoking, et. etc.

You don't mention the country you moved to but I suggest you also bone up on their cultural laws and rules regarding shared housing.  It is very different than in America.  Also Americans are used to having opinions and discussing issues openly.  Many societies don't work this way. I think you just got a bad roommate situation, not an overall bad picture of the country or culture. Speak to your fellow workers or students and ask them for advice on living arrangements. They might come up with a few suggestions.  Meanwhile, try and stay out of each others way.... the less said the better.

Good Luck

Sincerely

Sylvia Bergthold

www.aroommatesurvivalguide.com  
yorath
 
Posts: 61
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2012 12:15 pm

Bossy Roommate

Postby edmondo93 » Sat Dec 10, 2016 7:37 pm

Thanks for the quick reply.  Moving out is not really an option for me.  I am living in france now and with the bureaucracy and lack of renters rights here it takes about a month to move into a place, even longer if you are a solo American.  My roommate is Italian and it is easier for a european to get an apartment here than it is for an American.  If i move out and look for a new place no one would rent to me because of the length of my work contract which is one of many things you have to give a prospective landlord in order to get an apartment.  So basically I am stuck.  I am a very nice, laidback, and nonconfrontational person as was she until we moved in together.  So I basically need some advice on how to get my point across and establish some democracy in the apartment.  Thanks so much.

-------------------------------------------

The text above is a follow-up to ...

----------

So I recently moved to a foriegn country and finally found an apartment and roommate.  So after moving in this roommate is very bossy.  We communicate in English, which is her 2nd language and my first.  I am a very laidback person and in this case I will be completely walked over if I don't put my foot down.   

So the first day she recieved the keys she was reluctant to give them to me because she said she needed them the next day in the morning.  Which turned out to be not true.  She did not need the keys at all.  I have been staying with friends for 2 months and she told me, "you haven't had a home for so long, why can't you just wait another night?"  Second she claimed the big bed immediatly and in front of her friends and I said, "We should probably talk about that later."  We haven't been able to talk about it because she is always with her friends.  Third I told her my girlfriend was staying for a few days.  She said, "That people can stay here but only during the weekend, and not that often."  I have planned on having friends making visits to the city i live in and need a place to stay.  She said they have to stay in a hostel or hotel.  

It is hard to talk to her because she gets flustered easily and she is speaking in a second language as well.  Also when I make a point or disagree she thinks that i don't understand her "orders" but i am just trying to discuss things but she says, "Listen, I don't think you are understanding me.  This is what I said and this is what is going to happen."  Its is as though she doesn't accept my point of view.  There is no room for discussion because she just repeats what she said and then gets angry and raises her voice so it is very hard to talk to her.  I want to make this work but it is going to be very hard because I don't think that she is very diplomatic.  

We live in a very small apartment together and have to for the next 6 months or so.  I am very uncomfortable and very unhappy right now.  I need some help and let me know if you have any other questions about my situation.  Thanks

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edmondo93
 
Posts: 57
Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2011 7:03 pm


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