I live with my cousin, and moving in with her was one of the biggest mistakes I've ever made. At first when we sat down and talked about living together, it sounded it like it would work. We came to an understanding about how we would live and things started off well. But then she quit her job, without having a new one lined up, so I've had to fill in the gap in rent that she couldn't afford. Finally another month went by, she managed to get a job, but she still couldn't afford the rent. She wanted to just pay it late, but I told her it would look bad for both of us, and she'd end up with the late fee. So I offered to pay her rent again, but only on the condition she pay me back as soon as possible including the late fee.
She finally got paid, but when she went to pay me back, she only gave me one month's rent, not including the late fee. I tried to rationalize with her about why I should get that money, but she refused. I've hit my limit now and I want her out! She can't even take care of herself and she's completely self-absorbed. I've told her to leave, but she thinks I'm joking. How do I get her to go?
— Roommate Blues Rae
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Dear Roommate Blues Rae,
Regardless of her choosing to pay back the late fee or not, it's clear your roommate is only concerned with what works for her. She's obviously taking advantage of you, and you're right, she needs to move out before you end up losing anymore money or permanently damaging your relationship. If she really won't budge on her own accord, go back and check out your lease agreement. If it only has your name on it, then paying the rent is 100 percent your responsibility and you'll have to force her to leave. It's harder when you're dealing with family, but if I were you I would let her know that you will get higher authority involved if necessary.
If you both signed separate lease agreements for each share of rent, then the circumstances are different. In that case, she's solely responsible for her half. If she doesn't pay her rent, your landlord will have to deal with the situation. Of course, you can always move out. I know that's not the answer you want to hear, but in the end, knowing you don't have to deal with her may make the stress of looking for a new place worth it. And remember, if you ever have to work out some kind of financial deal with a friend or family member, always get it in writing.