Should I make a big deal out of this or not? Help! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 08-02-2007, 04:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We're moving to an apartment that is owned by a distant family member. We went by to finalize our plans to move there, and he mentioned that he was sure we wouldn't mind that he was going to leave a whole bunch of his junk in the apartment (filling up the entire and only closet).

We will be paying him rent (paying him, in fact, more than we're paying now for a our current apartment, which is much bigger than his), and it doesn't seem fair to me that while we are paying to live there, he will also be using the space for his storage. His reasoning is that we won't be staying there long--just a few months. But it's a very small apartment, and we need the space, and we can't afford to rent separate storage space while paying him rent (not to mention that that doesn't seem fair). I sympathize that not all his belongings fit into his adjacent living space, but once I'm paying him rent, I figure he can cram his extra stuff into his place and be a little crowded for a few months.

DP wants to just move his stuff to the most out of the way spot in the apartment without complaining to him about the stuff. I think we should say something to him about it, although I'm nervous about doing so because family relations are strained, and we need his apartment more than he needs us to live there (we can't find another lease of the right length besides his, and he wasn't planning on renting out the place this year at all). We also don't want to start things off on the wrong foot since we'll be sharing a wall with him. And we don't have any other place to live.

What do y'all think?
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#2 of 13 Old 08-02-2007, 04:12 PM
 
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OH my - that's a really sticky one. But if you are renting the space, and signing a contract, I think it would be completely reasonable for you to request that he move his stuff. Just tell him you really need the space.

That's just really weird that he wants to store it there.
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#3 of 13 Old 08-02-2007, 04:18 PM
 
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Sounds like the guy is kind of doing you a favor? If so, I'd try to let it go. Since he wasn't planning to rent the place, I can see where he might just want to keep a few things there.

Of course, I can see why you're peeved, too. Once you've moved in, if you find that space is really tight, then you might let him know & ask him super sweetly if he could possibly free up that closet space for you.

Good luck!
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#4 of 13 Old 08-02-2007, 04:20 PM
 
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I think the problem is that if you allow him to keep things there, you probably become legally responsible for those things. What happens if they get damaged? I wouldn't be cool with it.
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#5 of 13 Old 08-02-2007, 04:28 PM
 
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If he is doing you a favor, and doesn't usually have the apt. on the market to rent, I'd move in without saying anything. I like your dh's idea, as well as the suggestion of mentioning it to him after you're there if it truly is a problem for you.

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#6 of 13 Old 08-02-2007, 04:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I guess he wants to leave his stuff in the apartment because his adjacent apartment is really small too, and because he's thinking that he'll just have to move his stuff back again once we move out of his place in a few months.

We aren't signing a lease or contract or anything with him. But we are going to be paying him rent, and we'll be paying for our own utilities. He is doing us a favor, but we will be paying him.

I'm very conflicted over the whole situation. I think he's being inconsiderate and unreasonable, but I'm nervous to rock the boat and create problems between us. And I'm nervous he'll change his mind and tell us he doesn't want us to live there afterall. And there's a long family history of estrangement and tension.

ETA Really? We'll be legally responsible for his things? We have a cat, and she likes to sharpen her claws on everything. In fact, I was kind of hoping that the cat would sort of make him want to take his stuff out of the apartment while we're there.
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#7 of 13 Old 08-02-2007, 04:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I guess what it comes down to is this whole situation really violates my concept of what's fair. I'm going to be paying the market price (or even above market price) for the apartment, so I want my money's worth. The way he's setting it up, it's like we're subsidizing his storage space.

Plus there's the whole practical problem of the fact that DP and I have A LOT of stuff, the apartment we're moving into is already very small, and the landlord's stuff is going to be in our way.
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#8 of 13 Old 08-02-2007, 04:37 PM
 
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If you're paying for the space, the entire space should be yours.

And I'll tell you right now that you BOTH will be better off with a contract of some sort. Those protect both parties to a rental agreement, just like locks between units.

Just because it's family doesn't mean that disagreements aren't possible.

I'm not seeing how he is doing you any favors if you'll be paying more than you are currently paying for less space.

"What will you do once you know?"
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#9 of 13 Old 08-02-2007, 04:38 PM
 
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I would say something. If you're renting the space, you should be renting ALL the space.

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#10 of 13 Old 08-02-2007, 04:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So, if I say something, what's the best, most diplomatic way to say it? What do I say exactly? I don't want to make him annoyed at us.
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#11 of 13 Old 08-02-2007, 04:49 PM
 
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Be polite but straightforward.

"dude (or however you address hiim), this apartment is much smaller than our current one. Where are we supposed to be putting all of our stuff if the only closet is full of yours?" in a puzzled tone of voice

"What will you do once you know?"
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#12 of 13 Old 08-02-2007, 04:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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When he sprung this on us, I tried to say something about how we have a lot of stuff, and he was just like, "Well, what are you going to do with your stuff after you leave my place?" He was implying that since we will have to rent storage eventually, we might as well not bother moving our stuff to his apartment and just start renting storage now. We will have to rent storage after we move out of his place, but we were counting on not having that expense while we're paying him rent for a couple of months. His apartment was going to be both our storage space and our living space. And I thought that's what we were paying for.
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#13 of 13 Old 08-02-2007, 05:11 PM
 
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Well, if you insist, and he says tough cookies, what are you going to do?

If you NEED this apartment you will just have to be very crowded for a few months. Could you put bed risers under your bed to increase storage space? Get a few plastic storage containers and stack them along a wall?

If you do end up renting from him, get a rental agreement (Office Max and Staples has them) to keep thing friendly, and get renter's insurance (I paid about $13 a month -- start pricing with your car insurance complany). My GMIL is a wealthy woman, and one reason she stays that way is that she NEVER enters into a financial agreement (even with family) unless it is in writing.

"It should be a rule in all prophylactic work that no harm should ever be unnecessarily inflicted on a healthy person (Sir Graham Wilson, The Hazards of Immunization, 1967)."
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