Parents, Need help with roommate, please!

<p>OK, So I'm a junior in college, and I have a female roommate, it's always been a mutual rule of the apartment that we shouldn't have any locked doors, we have separate bedrooms and separate bathrooms, I don't like locked doors it's creepy. Now most of the stuff in the apartment is mine (computers, televisions, furniture, etc etc) I have had several issues with my roommate bringing her friends over and being absolute nuisances, but today things got much worse. I came home and found a huge dent in my 1960 Gibson Les Paul, for all of those who don't know, that's a very expensive vintage electric guitar.</p>

<p>I am so upset I can't even believe what my eyes are seeing. I know for a fact that the dent was not there this morning, and am suspecting my roommate or one of her friends caused the damage. How should I deal with this. I know most of her friends and they always just come here and hang out in my bedroom whether I'm around or not. I don't mind them watching TV or what not, since we do split the rent equally and I have the larger bedroom and master bath. </p>

<p>I am very upset at this point and am contemplating asking her to move out. Any guitar player or musician in general will vouch for how devastating it can be to own such an expensive vintage instrument and come home to find a huge dent in it. It was on a stand and it looks like it was dropped. The dent was not there this morning cause I had just cleaned the guitar this morning. </p>

<p>I am in the ties of a moral quandary. I really like my roommate she is sweet but it is difficult to get her to be considerate of my stuff. She just uses the excuse "you are like my brother." I am really considering asking her to move out, cause this argument has happened over and over again and now there is significant damage to one of my belongings. The issue is our rent is extremely expensive, because it's in a nice part of town and it's a doorman building, the lease isn't up for another 1 1/2 years so if I throw her out I may not be able to find a roommate and I can not afford to pay 4,000 a month by myself. </p>

<p>What can I do to get her to be more considerate I have tried so many things, and feel that if there is a need to lock my bedroom when I leave then there is no trust which I feel is necessary between roommates. I really would like her and her friends to be considerate of my stuff, I have tried many times to talk to her but she simply will not listen, and now I am very upset cause the value of my guitar will go down significantly and a costly luthier repair will just cause further depreciation. Any advice on what to do? I would really hate to get completely upset and lose my temper, I just don't know how to deal with her anymore.</p>

<p>Should I consider calling her parents? I know it seems inappropriate but I just don't know what else to do.</p>

<p>Couple of quick things. </p>

<p>first don't leave it out, if it makes you whince to see it handled. That goes for anything.. yes, lock it up.</p>

<p>Second, simply ask did something happen to my Les Paul? </p>

<p>But don't blame her for your silly concerns about door locks. And if the flatmate ain't working and you hold the lease start looking and saving money for a new roomie.. but really get over the door locks, a lock would have cost far less then damage to your Les.... no? Consider the cost a learning curve about keeping what you value out of the hands of others...</p>

<p>I'm with Opie on this. You may not like locks, but they may be the easiest solution to the problem. And yes, do come right out and ask her about the guitar. And express how upset you are, although without losing your temper, if at all possible. I wouldn't call her parents; you two are practically adults and should deal with it yourselves. If the roommate situation isn't working out, then, as Opie said, it may be time to start looking for another.</p>

<p>First, I'm very sorry about what happened to your guitar. My son is a guitar player, too and he would be totally devastated if his guitar had gotten damaged that way. </p>

<p>You say in your post that this argument has happened over and over again, so it shouldn't be news to you that she doesn't respect your property. Locking doors may seem creepy to you, but it would be creepier to me to have strangers lounging and fooling around with my stuff in my room when I wasn't there. I would confront her about it, but I suspect that she'll say she doesn't know what happened. You can't make people be considerate -- they either are or they aren't! If you can't kick her out now, tell her that you're going to have to start locking the door to your room in view of what happened. If you are satisfied with that arrangement, let her stay. If you don't feel that you can forgive her, you're going to be miserable living with her for the next 1 1/2 years. I would probably begin looking for a new roommate on the sly. If you find one, ditch the one you have. If not, you should establish new rules regarding your things.</p>

<p>I'm so sorry. S described for me: when freshman roommate (chronic drunk) had friends over always (drunk, drunk, and drunk..) in a crowded tripled-double room, and one finally fell on his electric piano, S swooped through the air, caught it (something like that..) but resolved to move out on them. It was the last straw for him. He did move out over it.</p>

<p>Can you say, "I'm really concerned about what happened to my guitar today. I like you, but I'm having trouble because I don't feel you're trying hard to respect my property. I feel like I'm fair to your property. </p>

<p>(Here comes the new idea..) "Is there anything you wish I'd change? (let her tell you, probably something you do bugs the heck out of her, too).
Maybe you'll discover you BOTH have a BIG thing to correct, and then it equalizes it a bit while you both improve on the big something.</p>

<p>She sounds nice enough, so maybe you don't want to press her to leave. If she's paying the rent steadily, that's a big plus. </p>

<p>If she actually admits to having hurt your property, thank her for her honesty and ask her to repay you over a long period of time, not all at once. She is responsible for the damage, if she admits to it, but stretching out repayment would be a kindness if you can afford that. Just tack it onto the monthly rent, and it'll be less painful than getting it all repaid at once. I'm assuming there's an instrument repair shop to estimate the cost of fixing it. Get it fixed, if you can. It means a lot. I play guitar but never had a nice one. </p>

<p>And absolutely ask her not to have her or friends touch any musical instruments or delicate things. Tell her this has been a tough learning for you.</p>

<p>Ask her if she understands which are the delicate things in the house (not everyone knows). Tell her you are making a written list of the things that are absolutely off-llimits when friends visit. Impress on her that, nice as she is, this property business is deal-breaker for you. Ask her very directly to try harder for no more problems in this area. Sometimes you have to speak very directly when people are nice, spacey, obtuse...yet not mean.</p>

<p>If nothing really changes in her patterns, THEN maybe consider changing roommate. Is her name on the lease? Know your legalities before you rock the boat with roommates. </p>

<p>Others are telling you to use locks. I don't know the norms today about locking between two unrelated roommates, but I do know this:
When one person calls you a donkey, ignore them.
When two people call you a donkey, listen up.
When three people call you a donkey, buy a saddle.</p>

<p>Maybe they're right. I don't mean you're a donkey, not at all!! But that maybe you need to buy the locks. Sad but true. ]</p>

<p>If you come from a family where all was open and understood, I can see where it's an adjustment to locking an apartment internally. Others above seem more familiar with this as a solution.</p>

<p>EDIT: My real guess is, from watching both my S's friends come into our house, is that her friend damaged it. Other people pick up instruments and play them, even if they can't. So they put it back on the rack and she's too immature or cheap to admit it and take responsibility. My hunch.</p>

I'm assuming there's an instrument repair shop to estimate the cost of fixing it.


<p>The guitar is an original from 1960, making it close to half a century old. Repairing it will only cause the guitar to depreciate, as it will need to be refinished. I am really extremely upset. I thank you all for the wonderful advice. I think I am not going to mention it till after finals are done, cause I don't want there to be any tension between anyone on Hanukka, as well as while preparing for exams. </p>

<p>I like my roommate, she is a nice girl, I really don't mind her friends who are all generally very nice people in my bedroom or touching my stuff, but this is the one item that has a lot of value, both sentimentally (belonged to deceased grandfather who purchased it in 1960) and monetarily. I've tried to have serious talks with her about this, but she is extremely passive and just doesn't seem to take what I say into consideration.</p>

<p>As much as I'd like to put this conversation off till after the holidays, I feel as though the severity of the situation with decrease if I do. Simply sitting out and asking politely is not going to work. As far as the whole locking my room thing, I would need approval to do any modification to hardware in the apartment by the board of tenants, and who knows how long that would take, and what may happen in the meantime. I am considering using a bit of reverse psychology, I might just bring this up and and ask her to move out by the end of the year if possible. But, I would like to be considerate of her feelings, and she may be hurt by it. Perhaps if that's the case, she will not agree to stay as she will feel that my honest feelings are to have her gone. AHHH, Should of gotten a male roommate, things would of been far more easier.</p>

<p>I'm sorry about your guitar too. But I would agree...get a lock for your bedroom door and when you're not there, put anything of value to YOU in that locked room. DS lived with great roommates and they didn't lock their bedroom doors often...but when he wasn't there, the door was locked. You know...I hate to say it, but a lock could also deter a thief and yes, they DO break into college apartments and steal things on occasion. To be honest, it doesn't matter who your roommate(s) is, lock your bedroom when you're not there.</p>


<p>I would not leave it until later to have that conversation. It's too easy for details to slip your mind or hers. She may not know right now about the damage that was caused to your guitar. I suggest telling her about the damage right away but also suggesting that you both wait until after the finals to make a decision about what to do about it. In the meantime, I also suggest no longer welcoming her friends to be in your room. In other words, lock your door.</p>

I suggest telling her about the damage right away but also suggesting that you both wait until after the finals to make a decision about what to do about it.


Good way to break apart the problem so it's manageable, won't spoil Chanukah or your finals. And since she might actually know of the damage (by her or a friend), it'll clear the air with nobody stewing on it (you) or playing games (her) during this week and next.</p>

<p>Is this Parents Forum or Locksmith's Forum :)?</p>

<p>Are you sure the Board of Tenants has to approve interior door locks, or just exterior? Do they meet monthly? Maybe check the language carefully on your lease re: that, or phone the chair of the Board to ask for clarification of the rules. We just put on a lock (exterior) that has a keypad with 4-digit code, so no need to carry a key although it has a key too. Keyless = Very easy.</p>

<p>I collect instruments, so I feel your pain. A vintage Les deserves to live in a case rather than sitting out on a stand all day. Better yet, a case with provisions for humidification (yes, even for a solid body guitar) and locking fasteners. I have seen half-decent hard cases specifically fitted for Les Paul guitars selling for about $40. Even though they do not have built-in humidifiers in that price range, you could punch a couple of holes in the accessory compartment lid and keep a slightly damp sponge inside a perforated baggie in there during the winter months. The case wouldn't deter a thief, but would prevent someone from picking up your axe just to fool around and would keep it from getting banged up should your roomate accidentally knock something over on top of it. You might also want to consider insuring something that valuable.</p>

<p>I know, a textbook case of 20/20 hindsight, but this is hopefully not the only good instrument you will ever own.</p>

<p>Even if you ask her if she or her friends damaged the guitar, there is no guarantee that you will get a straight or honest answer anyway. </p>

<p>I still harken back to a large dent in my first car (OK, it was a hunkajunk Chevette, but it was, after all, my first car) that I know was caused by a "friend" who backed into it. He never owned up to it, but I always knew the truth, and it did color our friendship from then on. Or she might admit it, but that will be it. When a friend of my son's broke an expensive piece of electronic equipment of my husband's, he admitted it, but never offered to pay for repair. I knew his mother too, and she knew he broke it, but never said a word. I thought that was lousy.</p>

<p>So, as long as you don't expect honesty or compensation from the roommate, you can ask. I would, but wouldn't necessarily expect truthfulness.</p>

<p>"I would need approval to do any modification to hardware in the apartment by the board of tenants, and who knows how long that would take, and what may happen in the meantime"</p>

<p>:) c'mon now.... </p>

<p>Step 1. buy a phillips head screw driver at the hardware store. $2
step 2 while at the hardware store buy a locking door knob the kind with keys. $10
step 3 using the phillips head, unscrew the two screws holding existing knob on.
Step 4 remove exisiting knob.
step 5 install new lockable knob.
step 6 tighten the two screws.
step 7 place old knob in the box the new one came in. place in closet for later.</p>

<p>Do you really have to ask permission? ;) </p>

<p>when you move simply repeat these steps while reversing old for harm no foul. </p>

<p>A simple lockable entry knob is all you need. It ain't fort knox, you don't need to punch a bunch of holes in the door... just swap parts. Basically all door knob setups are the same unless it's a custom door, which I doubt it is at your apartment.. </p>

<p>that's all you need to do... besides remember righty tighty, lefty loosey.....
;) </p>

<p>sorry couldn't resist...</p>

<p>I was going to post exactly what Opie posted, my D had to put a locking doorknob on when she was in a bad roomie situation and I was able to figure it out all by myself on the move out, changing the locking knob back to the original, it takes only a few minutes and the landlord will never know- you need permission to change things that are material changes, not something that is unnoticed. We even dealt with (stupid) girls who had to paint their rooms neon colours and we painted them back to the original "sell me white" and it passed muster with the landlord</p>

<p>Opie and somemom, you are excellent and have more common sense. My answer sounds like using a cannon instead of a flyswatter to kill a housefly. </p>

<p>I have a few needed repairs. Can you come soon? ;)</p>

<p>My mom believed a screwdriver was a power tool, and I have no excuse.</p>

<p>UriA702, please let us know what you decided to do and how it turns out.</p>

<p>P3T- sorry too far away ;) Not sure you'd like my jury-rigged fixits anyway :)</p>

<p>I agree with the above posters who suggested a "sit down" with the roommate. Give her an opportunity to tell you what things she would like changed and you voice your opinions. </p>

<p>As far as locked doors. In our family, doors were never locked. However, youngest son has an apt. in a college town where older brother and his friends have season football tickets. Brother and friends of course stay with younger brother on those nights. Since younger is much neater and has collected expensive electronics, etc.--he actually locks his bedroom door when brother and friends are there. He just explained to his brother that he worried about the friends, didn't want anything broken that might lead to problems in their relationship.</p>

<p>Plus even if you get her to move. What makes you think the next roommate would be any better.</p>

<p>Oh, I forgot, you may have to buy a flat head screw driver just in case.</p>

<p>Actually with christmas around the corner, a parent should consider a small 20-30 ($20-30) piece tool kit for their college bound son or daugther.. I know it seems like a silly gift for a girl, but she has found it handy for just about everything that pops up... Both kids have used their kits for something everyy year. The big thing like dropping a deadbolt with templates, I did when I was visiting.</p>

<p>And I am sorry about the Les Paul.. not trying to be mean...</p>