Roommate is Dick

Discussion in 'Advice & Serious Discussion' started by Gorge, Dec 27, 2016.

  1. Gorge

    Gorge is robbing a gun store with a knife. Premium Member

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    I don't often come to GW for advice but I'm looking for every possible input on this one.

    When I first met my roommate almost 2 years ago just before he moved in I had talked to him about some ground rules. One of which was no smoking/drug use of any kind in the apartment and if you feel so compelled to do it, its done outside. He told me he didn't smoke or use drugs and even if he did it wouldn't be in the apartment. In other words, all parties were in agreement. This whole time there's never been any conflict between either of us, we've gotten along really well.

    Then after a year and a half of no drug use, about 3 months ago with out asking me he started smoking weed in his room. It was nearly every day for a week, but I didnt say anything to see if it was a one time thing. It wasnt so I said something to him. The smell of weed makes me nauseous, I cant stand it and I told him this. Without any fight he agreed to do it outside if he was to smoke.

    After that the issue was pretty much resolved and never brought up again until a few days ago when he came to me and said that he wont smoke outside anymore and feels he should be able to smoke inside regardless of what I think.

    We had a discussion about it and he doesn't want to budge on it. He says him smoking in his room is accommodating to me and going outside is accommodating too much. It doesn't sound like he even wants to cut back on the frequency and pretty much only agreed to not smoke if im having guests over.

    Our current compromise is that we can try it with him smoking in his room if he can try and cover the scent by keeping the smoke near a cracked/open window and using incense. I think he did that yesterday and while I couldn't smell any weed I did smell the incense. And while that doesn't smell bad its almost like sensory overload and equally nauseating. Plus it lingers and now the apartment smells like a head shop.

    Now after a couple days of this im already starting to feel trapped in my room. Its the only place where I can mostly escape any sort of unpleasant odor. His room is near the living room so going in there while he's smoking and it makes me want to gag. If he's really this stubborn I can only see this turning into a massive fight.

    I feel like now if I said something he would think I was being too picky and complaining too much. Am I in the wrong here, am I being too uptight, how should I handle this situation? it seems the only way im going to be comfortable is if he was at the least smoking outside/not at all. But the only way he's comfortable is if he smokes inside.
     
  2. Jon

    Jon Official Thread Killer Premium Member

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    First, a word of agreement. The smell of marijuana is one of the most vile things, to me. I don't understand how people enjoy the smell. It smells worse than a skunk to me.

    Well, I think the first and foremost is the lease agreement, and how it's arranged. Are you both on it? Just you? Just him? Each has it's own set of possible outcomes, but you've got a pretty good foothold, regardless.

    No matter what the lease is, your first step is to check the lease itself. I will guarantee there is language in there to prevent smoking inside. For cigarettes, some landlords will allow some extent of indoor smoke, but most ban it completely, forcing you outside or in designated areas. They'll fine you, or forfeit your security deposit because the smoke seeps into the walls and it's actually an exhaustive process to clean it and get the place smelling clean for the next leaser. However, in terms of drugs, marijuana in particular since it's common and easily accessible, it's 9 out of 10 times, strictly banned from use on the premises at ALL. Even though it's legal in some states, private property have the legal right to ban it on the premises. Even here in MA, it's now legal, and if I were caught smoking weed (or other drugs), it's grounds for immediate revocation of my lease, and eviction, and fine/penalty in the form of paying out a portion of my remaining lease, and forfeiture of my security deposit. This is common language in a lease.

    If you're the only one on the lease, then you can simply kick him out. If you are both on the lease, and there's language as I mentioned above, then ask him to stop smoking inside because it's a violation of the lease. If he refuses, then you can get the landlord involved and have him forcibly removed. If only he is on the lease, then you're in a tougher position, but again, if there is language like above, get the landlord involved.

    Given your description, I'd be inclined to say if there is a lease, it's the first option (you're the leaseholder).

    If there is no language in the lease, then it makes things considerably tougher, from a legal standpoint. The worst thing you did was make an accommodation for him. In general, most states recognize the verbal agreement from 2 years ago as a standing agreement between two parties. You told him not to smoke inside, and he agreed. While arbitrary, and potentially problematic if he perjures himself and lies that he never agreed, you have longevity on your side in that this wasn't a problem in the beginning.

    I can't be more specific without knowing your situation in terms of leasing and wording as well as arrangement and state you live in. But, in any case, you're in a position of strength when dealing with this issue. Seems as if this isn't a close friend either, so you don't have that emotion to limit options. The nice thing is, legality of the substance itself, is not what's at cause here. Puts you in a better position.
     
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  3. Gorge

    Gorge is robbing a gun store with a knife. Premium Member

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    We're co-signers on the lease so I dont have any leverage over him, we equally share the apartment. I'd have to dig up the lease but I think I remember seeing something about no drug use on the premise.

    With that I understand I have the legal upper hand, but I would prefer to be able to settle this a different way that doesnt involve getting the landlords in on this. Going to the landlord feels like a last resort type of thing. If I do that I can easily see this turning into a giant combative mess. Our lease is up at the end of March so i'm going to be using these next few months to see if we can figure this out. If it gets worse or he refuses to cooperate I might be forced to go to the landlords but I know its just going to rain hell after that.
     
  4. Jon

    Jon Official Thread Killer Premium Member

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    You don't necessarily have to get the landlord involved. At least not at first. But reality is, you do have all the leverage in this situation. Especially if there is language involved in the lease.

    Assuming there is language in the lease, you can appeal to his sense of decency and maturity; if he has any. I don't know the type of person your roommate is, but you can appeal to him that the lease dictates no drug use on premises (again, assumed). And that if he does not find a way to obey the lease, then you'll have no choice than to get the landlord involved as it's a legal matter at that point. Also, appealing to the fact that he'll be kicked out if someone catches an reports him. In my complex there have been several people evicted because the smell of pot was so prevalent, the people were reported (not by me, but I'm grateful to those that did because even though I despise the smell, it was all the kids in the complex being exposed to it I was worried about, my own as well), the landlord investigated, smelled pot in the apartment, and immediately evicted them.

    Drug use, even recreational and legal, is one of those things leasers take very seriously. Their liability doesn't usually cover negligence, which is the most common legal issue when it comes to drugs. Leasers are sued all the time for negligence because of the stupid things people do while using drugs.

    Either way, I'd recommend appealing to his sense of humanity. But if that doesn't work, get the landlord involved if for nothing else than to cover yourself. As a co-signer, if he's caught, you're going to be in just as much hot water, if for no other reason than they will assume you knew and did nothing to stop it. But either way, do not let it go another 3 months without doing something. Only person who will suffer is you.

    Last thing on it, it very well can turn into a combative mess, but one your roommate can't win. I mean, what will he argue? That he has a legal right to smoke pot inside him room of a LEASED apartment that strictly forbids the use of drugs on the premises? If he owned his own house, MAYBE he would have a leg to lean on. But, not in this situation.
     
  5. Gorge

    Gorge is robbing a gun store with a knife. Premium Member

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    I talked to someone else yesterday that I look to a lot for advice and they said pretty much to talk to him about it, lay out why he cant be doing it regardless of the legality. He's doing it now and its legal status isnt going to stop him one way or another. They had also told me to try and avoid bringing up the landlord because that can be perceived as a threat and I don't want to threaten anyone if I want to keep things civil. This weekend i'm going to try to talk to him, and try and get him to understand that the smell effects me physically and that it doesn't stay in his room. When it leaves his room it becomes a problem.

    The funny part about this is that he said the only time he would ever say something to me would be if i was smoking cigarettes in the apartment. Now aint that some shit, he's allowed to smoke weed but I'm not allowed to smoke cigarettes? (And no, I dont smoke cigarettes).
     
  6. Gorge

    Gorge is robbing a gun store with a knife. Premium Member

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    UPDATE: Talked to the landlord today. I had to be a little sneaky about asking him but I asked him what the lease says on drugs and smoking in the apartments. He told me the lease on the building follows city laws which means if anyone's caught smoking the Police have to be notified and immediate eviction processes start. Being that we're co-signers on the lease if my roommate gets kicked out for illegal activity I get kicked out too whether I knew about it or not, said something or not.
    Thankfully he thought I was asking about another tenant that lives above me that i've smelled weed from. He said its a grandma and her 25 year old grandson. The grandson moved in in the summer and has been smoking weed whenever grandma isnt there. The grandma says he's not doing it and says she doesnt know who is, and even though this woman has lived in this building for 20 years the landlord is pushing her out. He doesnt have any legal grounds since he hasnt caught the kid outside of smelling it, but he's pushing a lady to move out.

    So now im in a pickle. I cant go to my landlord with the issue because I may end up inadvertently evicting myself in the process. Im going to talk to my roommate, explain to him my feelings on the matter, possibly bring up the landlord thing and the threat of eviction for both of us if he's caught. Hopefully something works because this cant continue. Maybe if my roommate wont cooperate and it looks like I may have to be the one to move out I could go for a scorched earth policy and notify my landlord of whats going on and possibly get him kicked out before me and they'd let me stay in the end. I think my landlord likes me so there might be a small chance if thats what it comes to.
     
  7. Rachel

    Rachel Dragonfly Catcher

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    here's my take...and I've had bad roommates in the past, except it was in a college dorm so there was no escape for me.

    You don't have any good options here. You made a verbal agreement not to smoke but it's not enforceable without getting the landlord involved. It sounds like he doesn't care about your feelings on the matter, he is not considerate and I don't think talking to him further will help, he already knows you don't like it and you've already tried compromising with the window and incense. Having ground rules aren't of any use unless you are willing to follow through.

    People with roommates deal with this problem ALL THE TIME (not this exact situation, but in general with ground rules). It's the reason so many strive to have a studio or 1 BR despite costs. Humans suck.

    Unfortunately in this situation -- yeah, it's either scorched earth or deal with it until March. I would also wonder if something has changed in his life, if he has some stressor such as a breakup or job stress. People don't generally start doing this, risking eviction, for no reason. The change in seasons/temperature could also have something to do with it.
     
  8. Gorge

    Gorge is robbing a gun store with a knife. Premium Member

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    There's been an unexpected turn of events. My original plan was to talk to him today about the issue, but on Friday I was home and the house smelled funky of left over incense and maybe some weed but the roommate was out. I sprayed some Ozium (which if you didnt know does a pretty good job of killing any bad smells) shortly before he got back. He smelled it, asked why he smelled cinnamon and so I told him it was to get rid of the smell of weed and incense.

    I then took the opportunity to tell him that the smell of them both makes me nauseous and that we had a verbal agreement about not smoking in the house. I think my roommate has a split personality disorder because his reaction was the total opposite of Christmas day and more like his agreeable reaction from a few months ago. He said he didnt realize it made me feel sick and he said "yeah we did have an agreement, I didn't realize you would have a problem with it though" (as if that makes sense). He said he would like to smoke inside but if it doesnt make me feel good he would smoke outside.

    I also explained to him about the lease and the landlord and the law and he said would stop doing it inside and said something about thinking the lease only applied to cigarettes and didn't think weed was the same. Again makes no sense but it seems to have settled itself without any conflict. He also thanked me for not freaking out on him for the week that he was smoking inside the house. I get the impression he thought I was making something up about it bothering me when I first complained to him about it.
     
  9. Rachel

    Rachel Dragonfly Catcher

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    Wow yeah none of that makes sense. He thought it applies to cigarettes but not weed? That's some willful ignorance.

    If in fact he legit has some kind of split personality, red flag! Run once your lease is up.
     
  10. Jon

    Jon Official Thread Killer Premium Member

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    This is going to be moot given the later posts, but, my thought on this particular section would be, if you had approached your roommate again, and gotten the same reaction as prior, then you could have gone back to the landlord telling him you've exhausted your options to get him to stop. I would be near certain you wouldn't be evicted in that process, only him. Simply put, you're not disobeying the lease, he was and you attempted to end this conflict and remain in compliance. Most landlords wouldn't be dicks and kick you out too.

    Again, moot, but I would have said you're 100% right on everything here.

    While I agree with most of this, my experience with people who are addicted to the effects of marijuana is the total opposite of the bold line. They just don't care. They are so addicted to the high, they don't care who or what stands in the way. While paranoia is a common side effect, most people don't back down from getting high (I'm purposefully being vague here, as this isn't limited to marijuana). The following would spur an argument from someone who is a marijuana addict, so I apologize in advance if that happens, as it isn't my intent; the intent is to simply provide my opinion and nothing more: I've always believed the lines about marijuana not being addicting because it has no addictive chemicals like Nicotine to be complete bullshit, honestly. While generically true, the effects of being high ARE addictive. And often times, when marijuana are no longer enough to provide that, leads to other ways of successfully accomplishing the feeling (hence it's known as a gateway drug). I've smoked marijuana. I don't like the smell at all, but I've smoked it a few times. I don't like it. I don't do it. It had zero effect on me. I'm also not stupid enough to keep pursuing it until I get the result I'm looking for. I honestly don't care if people do use it. But, keep it private and away from my family. I'm unhappy that it's starting to gain legal ground, not because I believe people should be locked up for using, but because I don't want dispensaries and ease of access. Which is exactly what just passed in MA, and I'm upset about it.

    First, I'm really glad things ended up working themselves out without conflict. Second, it feels really fishy to me about the swing, but it's not uncommon. As someone with experience in the field, I'll tell you it's unlikely split personality (which is serious if it were; an yes I realize that was likely tongue-in-cheek on your part). However, I wouldn't be surprised if he's manic. It's incredibly common for someone who is manic to use marijuana to regulate the flow of the ups and downs. In particular, when things are up, the usage is down, and vice-versa. In particular, this is problematic in someone who has an addictive personality. I'd watch for him to supplement the smoking (especially if the smoking is a new thing to him) with things like drinking or a barbituate for depression or anxiety. That's when problems can escalate quickly. Just a thought.
     
  11. Gorge

    Gorge is robbing a gun store with a knife. Premium Member

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    I could write a book on how true this is. One of my roommates in college was addicted to weed. He was this little spoiled rich kid that had nevver lived on his own and I told him if he's going to smoke he has to do it outside, which he didnt like but he actually did it outside without ever fighting it. But he got to a point where him and his friend were smoking every single day, sometimes multiple times a day and because he didnt have a job and I think his parents started cutting back on money they were sending him he started pawning off his stuff so he could buy more weed. Like his Xbox 360 for instance and all its games, gone so he could smoke more.

    Yes, I was joking when I said he had a split personality.
    I'm not super duper close with him so I dont know all his personal matters but around the time he started smoking he also started back at school to try and finish his Masters or phD, I cant remember which. Around this time he also started bringing friends over every so often. Its always been just one person at a time and at a very acceptable frequency, but I think these friends are having some influence on him. It also makes me think thats why he said he wasnt going to smoke outside. I have a feeling one of his friends didnt like smoking outside and told my friend something along the lines of why is he listening to me, he needs to stand up for himself and stand his ground, dont give in to my wishes. That sorta thing. Pumped my roommate up to want to say something to me.

    But it all seems to have resolved itself. Im no longer dreading going home and its back to how it was before as if nothing happened.
     
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  12. Jon

    Jon Official Thread Killer Premium Member

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    What makes this worse is the more you use, the more you become immune to the effects and in turn need more to retain that feeling. That's why it is a gateway drug. Because then some people start finding stringer drugs to attain this feeling. Now, I'm also not a bigot about it. Not EVERYONE does this. But enough so, that it is a problem. And legalizing it just makes it easier. Again, I've nothing against people smoking on his/her own. I feel it's part of our right to do what we want withing the privacy of our own homes and within reason. Meaning don't expose other, and ESPECIALLY children to your habits. I don't even drink unless my kids are asleep or out of the house. When I smoked cigarettes, it was always outside, never when my kids were outside and NEVER in the house. I would smoke outside in -5 degrees to not expose my kids or apartment (which did allow smoking inside). On top of that, if one of my kids ever came outside while I was smoking, the cigarette was put out and I went in with them. I'm not saying everyone needs to do what I did, but it's respectful.

    I know people that not only smoke and drink (to completely inebriated levels) with their kids in the house. I know parents who think it's ok to go inside their CLOSET to smoke weed because they think they can regulate the effects and not expose their infant to their habits. None of it is ok in my book.

    Potentially very true. And if your roommate is someone who is paranoid while high, he would be very influenced by something like that. What's worrisome, though, is if he is working on a master's or phD, I'd hope the school and/or jobs he goes to doesn't test for that.

    I am incredibly happy to hear this, though.
     
  13. Gorge

    Gorge is robbing a gun store with a knife. Premium Member

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    I've never have and will never smoke weed or cigarettes. Honestly I know too many people that turn into total losers when they do smoke that I've lost any chance of seeing an appeal in doing it. They just lay around with their eyes half open and dont do anything all day. Dishes pile up, their room gets dirty, they start to smell, they fail out of school (which is what my roommate and his friend both did after their sophomore year), they cant remember anything. Its just extremely annoying to deal with someone thats been smoking. I cant stand it.
    All that said I'm not against legalizing it either if for no other reason than the tax revenue it would bring in and hopefully the income it would take away from drug dealers. But I also think it needs to be regulated in much the same way cigarettes are. No smoking in public spaces, only within the privacy of your own home and not around children (although hard to enforce if its in someones house). I would even go so far as to say no where outside ever should be allowed for smoking if not just for the smell of it alone. Its intrusive and can easily leak into neighboring rooms or buildings effecting people with the smell you're not even near.

    I dont know if he gets paranoid, he seems to get extremely lazy and easily irritated. As far as his schooling and job goes im not sure what their policy is. Even though he works for some sort of psychological research company doing something with interviewing patients and recording results I dont think they test. He's done it enough to where he doesnt appear worried about it. Either way if he does get tested its his own fault for being so irresponsible.