This Redditor pays rent at his parents’ house and has some serious concerns about the spreading mold. His parents won’t fix it, so he decided to stop paying rent!
A Son or a Tenant?
OP (Original Poster) is a 24-year-old man who pays rent and lives with his 55-year-old father and 50-year-old mother. His reason for this is that either the rent is high in other places or the decent options are isolated and might be a problem for people who don’t own a car.
Such things can be difficult for people living in Mexico, so he didn’t have much choice in the matter. OP’s rent is $25 a week, and to give perspective, he mentioned that the minimum wage in his area is $60 a week.
Birds’ Hangout Place
OP explained that birds love to hang by the roof of their house, which causes bird droppings to be on the sidewalk or the roof itself.
He said, “This leads to deterioration, which in turn leads to water seeping in and causing mold, or so I recall.”
It Could Only Get Worse
Back in July 2021, OP attempted to get rid of the mold on the ceiling of his room. He succeeded initially and had only the stains left; however, the mold returned.
OP wrote, “I don’t trust myself with the roof and feel as if any damage I make would worsen things, so I tell my parents about the ceiling from time to time, at least every other week.”
Attempts to Get It Fixed
Whenever OP reminded his parents about the roof, they always responded with “later” or “we’ll look into it.”
His parents eventually tried to hire someone to cover the roof, but that didn’t stop the pigeons from treading further.
A Livable Place
Although he might not be the “best individual,” he believed that as a rent-paying individual, he deserved something more than the current state of their “shoddy” house. Aside from paying rent, he helped around the house, and he believed that “a space you rent should be in great condition.”
OP had a right to this since he wasn’t freeloading off his parents.
The minimum amount for cleaning and applying weatherproof paint is $350, excluding any measures to prevent birds from staying on the roof.
OP added, “With this in mind, I stopped paying rent starting last month. As of now, this would be my fifth week without paying rent, and I’d need to rack up at least 14 weeks to pay for the service.”
Why Aren’t You Paying?
The night OP shared this story, his father asked him how his work was and why he wasn’t paying rent. OP told him about the roof, and his father said it was a separate issue.
OP asked his father where the rent money was going, and he, again, said that it was a separate issue. So, OP responded with, “I don’t know where the money’s going, so I might as well rack up the cash and use it on the roof.”
A Closed-off Ear
After what he said, OP’s father kept saying things about there being changes in their house and just kept going on until OP left and closed the door on him.
Complicated Family Matters
It is well-known that in Mexico, the concept of family is a “tainted one.” Even though it can be what matters most, it sometimes enables questionable behavior, which, in OP’s case, is negligence.
OP shared, “Mother spends her time on the phone or on Netflix, and Father just goes with the flow or says this and that. With this in mind, I can’t tell if I’m trying to draw a line between the views as family and them as landlords or biting off more than I can chew.”
Just in Case
As a backup plan, OP is starting to find other places that he could rent while he buys himself time and see if it would be necessary for him to move out.
The Community’s Suggestions
Some Redditors discussed how it is illegal in other countries to charge someone for rent if the place is in bad condition. They also think that OP should find a new place to live.
Someone commented, “Check laws in your region. Where I live, it’s illegal to charge rent for a place that isn’t habitable. But it sounds like you should keep looking for a new place to live.”
“Not the a**hole. Mold is a health hazard. You have tried to get your parents to fix the mold problem, but they refused, so you are entirely justified in withholding rent from them since the space you’re renting isn’t fit to live in. Move out,” another commenter wrote.
A Landlord’s Responsibility
Some Redditors also shared their experiences renting a space from family or someone they know. And to them, as long as you’re paying rent, your landlord must ensure the place is good, livable, and safe.
A Redditor said, “I was going to vote yes. However, in the real world, if your apartment is covered in mold or the like, and your landlords don’t get it taken care of, they can’t legally charge you rent. For instance, I rent from my partner’s parents. The heating broke, and it took two months to fix. They didn’t charge me for those two months because it was December and January, and it was their responsibility to have it taken care of. If the place is unlivable, then they can’t charge rent legally.”
The same person added, “This goes no different for your parents. Even though you’re living with your parents, as long as you’re paying to live there, they are also your landlords and, therefore, have a responsibility to care for the property they are renting out. This is a legal issue. Not the a**hole. Feel free to read them the law.”
What Both Sides Should Be Doing
Tenants and landlords have different responsibilities, but no matter what, they should be able to stick by them. Still, if they can’t, then they are liable.
“Not the a**hole if you are storing up the money to use on the house and are making plans to move out. You have a responsibility to pay rent, and they, as landlords, have a responsibility to provide a safe place to live. In my country, you’d be legally allowed to withhold rent in this situation as long as you put the money aside, and I think it’s a good principle morally as well,” a Redditor commented.
Just Move Out!
However, some people believed that OP was wrong in the situation and suggested that if he didn’t like the living conditions at his parents’ house, then he should move out.
A commenter wrote, “You’re the a**hole. It is their house. You chose to move in with the understanding you’d be paying rent. If you don’t like it, move. You said decent options for a place to live are a pain for someone who can’t afford a car. Then, Uber to places or bike. If it really bothers you but does not bother them, then move and go to one of those places that you say are a pain.”
Another one said, “You’re the a**hole. You should’ve declared to them that you would be withholding rent until the roof was repaired rather than just doing it and them having to ask.”
What do you think? Was OP wrong for not paying his parents any more rent?
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This post first appeared as His Lazy Parents Repeatedly Ignored His Concerns Regarding Their “Shoddy” and Mold-Infested House. He’s Had Enough, so He Refused to Pay Them Rent Until They Do Something About It! on Quote Ambition.