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Old 16.06.2016, 16:22
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Subletting: room security

Hey,
Sadly coming here with a ridiculous question but has been forced that way.

Subletting an apartment at the moment and signed contract with the tenant already living here. It's short term, just for a few months, and the other tenant we made the contract with is not the owner.

This person has lived here a few years and as we are paying the lion's share of the rent, we got the bigger room of two, which has a huge wardrobe. This person kept one side of the wardrobe for themselves under the premise that they did not have enough storage space. They made a big deal when I asked about fixing the lock to get the room to lock from the outside as well as the inside, by acting as if I didn't trust them. I replied that it is absolutely not personal, but that it is standard when renting.

So we left it but since then noticed that they go into our room to get stuff out of the wardrobe when we are not home - I am pretty frustrated about this. I now got the lock from outside to work and will next get some kind of nanny cam thing as I think the whole act was maybe a stunt. They are a stranger to me pretty much and it would be foolish to just blindly trust them with my private belongings.

If I do lock the room from now on, can anyone please advise me about my rights in this regard. And also just how to approach it in general.. this person is going through depression and other things and unpredictable.
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Old 16.06.2016, 17:09
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Re: Subletting: room security

You should never let them store things in your room. demand they take their stuff and return the keys immediately, or you can change the lock.

The landlord should be informed you are living there, send him a copy of your contract.
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Old 16.06.2016, 17:25
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Re: Subletting: room security

That is the problem - if I do that, what if they try to kick us out in a rage?
We don't know our rights fully esp. with such a short term lease, but at the same time I know this person has money worries and needs the cash. They even asked us after first week of being here to pay in advance for the second month, which we didnt agree to (politely, no big deal).

They are very, very territorial. Just about gave us a shelf in the huge kitchen cupboard right after we moved in. Other small things.

If we send contract to the landlord, it is an estate agency I think, that might cause us trouble because it is only for a few months and we also already paid deposit to this person.

My partner is suggesting they can kick us out at any time. Is this the case? For this reason he is happy to put up with this. I really am not. The other day I was in the room on my own and hubby had just gone out. They must have thought we had both gone out because they then tried to enter the room without even a knock. I had it locked from the inside at least as that has always worked. But no knock, nothing, just an aggressive attempt to open the door.

Last edited by swissdip; 16.06.2016 at 17:45.
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Old 16.06.2016, 17:32
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Re: Subletting: room security

You can lock your room. Absolutely. You have a right to access, and to secure, your rented space.

BUT.

As long as part of that room (the wardrobe) is rented to her, then she has a right to access, and to secure, HER rented space.

So you can indeed demand that the lock be fixed or replaced... but then she can demand that you give her a key.

A much better solution (although one you cannot unilaterally force) is for the two of you to renegotiate your rental agreement so that you have the entire wardrobe and she has... what? More money every month? Some under-the-bed storage for her room, purchased at your expense? You're the one unhappy with the status quo so use your imagination.

Alternatively you could try to chill out a bit more. If there's no concrete suspicion of wrongdoing, how about give her the benefit of the doubt. WGs where nobody trusts each other and all the toothbrushes are on lockdown tend to be miserable places to live.
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Old 16.06.2016, 17:39
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Re: Subletting: room security

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You can lock your room. Absolutely. You have a right to access, and to secure, your rented space.

BUT.

As long as part of that room (the wardrobe) is rented to her, then she has a right to access, and to secure, HER rented space.

So you can indeed demand that the lock be fixed or replaced... but then she can demand that you give her a key.

A much better solution (although one you cannot unilaterally force) is for the two of you to renegotiate your rental agreement so that you have the entire wardrobe and she has... what? More money every month? Some under-the-bed storage for her room, purchased at your expense? You're the one unhappy with the status quo so use your imagination.

Alternatively you could try to chill out a bit more. If there's no concrete suspicion of wrongdoing, how about give her the benefit of the doubt. WGs where nobody trusts each other and all the toothbrushes are on lockdown tend to be miserable places to live.
Their hair was in front of my keyboard and monitor. This isn't coming out of nowhere, believe me. They also commented on water bottles on the floor. How can you ignore this kind of crap?

How can it be possible that they have any entitlement to access the wardrobe in our room?

Last edited by swissdip; 16.06.2016 at 18:09.
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Old 16.06.2016, 19:20
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Re: Subletting: room security

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Their hair was in front of my keyboard and monitor. This isn't coming out of nowhere, believe me. They also commented on water bottles on the floor. How can you ignore this kind of crap?

How can it be possible that they have any entitlement to access the wardrobe in our room?
They dont. Why did you accept it in the first place?
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Old 16.06.2016, 21:47
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Re: Subletting: room security

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They dont. Why did you accept it in the first place?
Sadly we were trying to just get along with her and when she seemed to take it the wrong way when I first asked about it we didn't want to escalate it. Also a lot of ppl in shared accom are happy to leave their room open and that is more the done thing I guess so I figured she was genuine when she responded that way.

I didn't expect the barging in while we are away, or her hair - twice now - turning up next to the computer. I have had to hide personal docs, etc. and hate being put under this pressure.

Most likely they will have another key when I do start locking it. Disaster.
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Old 17.06.2016, 09:27
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Re: Subletting: room security

Generally, you rent a room or an apartment for exclusive use, meaning nobody else is allowed access without your consent, and only under your conditions. I doubt that agreeing to let her use part of your wardrobe has any importance with respect to that because the wardrobe isn't part of her castle (to use that allegory); which would mean she needs your consent whenever she wants to access the wardrobe.

But I think you need to clarify a few things:

- is the contract with predetermined duration? If so, you can't be kicked out before it has run out (unless you were to do real heavy stuff, like creating a fire hazard or so. Just an example). If not, is there a minimal duration? Otherwise the contract can be canceled with just two weeks notice.

- is the wardrobe thing is part of your contract/agreement (doesnt' need to be written), or did you agree to that only after you got the contract?
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Old 17.06.2016, 12:16
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Re: Subletting: room security

Why not find somewhere else to live? I see a big problem for you is you paid them the deposit and they have money problems, so it's probably been spent.

Your deposit should be in an escrow, under your name! That is the law here.
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Old 17.06.2016, 22:49
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Re: Subletting: room security

I asked for that re the deposit but she played dumb and we just let it go.

But today I decided no more of this coming into my room. I just asked her if she needed anything from the wardrobe "in my room" and she was quite taken aback and repeated it back to me, trying to think of something to come back with I guess. But she just said no, maybe tonight she wouod need something so
I told her we would be back late and wanted to give her a chance to get anything she needs before then. So I assume she got the message.

And then I locked the door and am just leaving traps in case she has spare key and wants to nose around again. It really was that simple all along but it helped to get your feedback to confirm it was perfectly fair to insist on this, so thanks everyone!
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Old 17.06.2016, 23:00
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Re: Subletting: room security

Good on you doing that! Come back and let us know if the traps worked
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