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I'm so distressed and my housemate is manipulating me

I feel like it's emotional abuse of some kind. I recently felt scared and threatened by her when she returned from overseas...and then it was okay, until it wasn't again. This is the story:  My housemate is withholding my bond from me and demanding that I get all of this stuff done before she will return it to me. My anxiety while she's been around has been really debilitating, hence why I'm moving out. But she toys with me, one minute I feel like everything is okay and we're friends and then she turns around and does something like this. She isn't my landlord or agent and I'm not on the lease. But I am being manipulated and realised I never had to give her bond anyway as I am only a sub tenant. We also see the same psychologist. It makes it complicated...and I never liked that from the beginning. The psych knows I'm moving out, but she doesn't realise to the degree of what this girl has said and done to me. I'm trying to find peace in the fact that I'm moving...but I have been away from the place for a few days and am really scared and worried about going back. We've had a confrontation before and I can just see this getting ugly and I really don't want it to be like that. 


So I’m stupid and I try to believe the best in people and I have without realising let her manipulate me.

When I first moved into the place she said that I had to pay 4 weeks rent (bond) + 2 weeks in advance. Which was a total of $1020, as she was signing a new lease. Thing is, she then told me that I didn’t have to pay it. But I forgot and did anyway, to which she was like…I’m going to hold onto this just in case anything happens.

We got a letter in the mail from the real estate the other day saying that there have been complaints about the house, two dogs digging up the yard (we’re only allowed to have one), paper strewn all across the lawn (which her dogs have ripped up), the fact the lawn hadn’t been mown when they did an internal inspection (because she couldn’t get off her lazy arse and organise it). In the letter it also said that if we didn’t get everything fixed, that we would be evicted and lose our bond. So we had a conversation and she was like, that means you would lose your bond too. And I said…hang on…you only have my bond…how does that work. To which she said, oh I did have to give it to the realestate. I then asked, is there some sort of receipt etc that you can show me to prove it. And she said no, I was then going to get her to sign a document saying that I as a sub tenant had paid everything etc, to which she agreed to, only if I wrote on there that I had to provide her with two weeks notice (as I had told her that I was planning on moving). TO WHICH I HAVE ABSOLUTELY ABIDED BY! As I just got approved for a brand new house that has never been lived in yesterday…and told her to consider this my two weeks notice. Which is null and void anyway, as I have already replaced myself with a new housemate, who is moving in this weekend!

Well, I never got around to getting her to sign that document, because we talked about everything, had sorted it all out and all was well. So I thought everything would be okay.

Then she turns around and says to me that she’s going to withhold my bond. She was like, you have to get the carpets steam cleaned, as she reckons the kitty litter stinks (which is bull because I clean it all out every single day), and you have to fix the carpet that Forest my cat ripped up a little (which is impossible, unless you replace the whole carpet at that end of the house), AND I have to replace ‘the whole blind’ that my cat snapped a piece of wood off that I am actually going to fix anyway. To which I responded, I am absolutely not getting the carpets steam cleaned when I moved in and they were dirty anyway, plus I’ve already carpet cleaned the rooms the cats slept in and the hallway already, the real estate already saw the place with the bit of carpet ripped (which could be due to anything!! As in general wear and tear) and I am going to fix the blind anyway. Luckily I was with my family at the time and they’re like, tell her you will organise a house inspection. So I said that and she didn’t like it and spouted out some other bull of…can you please not call etc as I don’t want to annoy them. And I’m just like, I’m worried and concerned I’m not going to get my bond back, so I would like to sort out everything asap. So…I know she’s lying to me about something as she started pulling out crap about the previous housemate threatening her and some other bull, which I am positive she is lying to me about. Plus I know my end of the house is fine anyway, as when the real estate inspected it recently, they had absolutely nothing to say about the state of the carpets, any smell or odour, or the little rip on the carpet. So like…she needs to get off her high horse and stop being a bitch to me about it. And I even said that to her, ‘Why are you being so difficult? What have I ever done to you?’. To which she obviously had nothing to say, or respond to, because I’ve not been anything but nice! Anyway my family was like, if there are real issues and I’m not getting it back I can just say, we can take this to small claims court and sort everything out there and I’m sure you will find, it will go in my favour, so what do you wanna do about it? How about you just give me what I’m owed and we all walk away peacefully, as this doesn’t need to be like this.

So, the girl that’s moving in asked me like early on in the week if I wanted her to transfer the money to me, to which I said let me sort it out with the housemate, but now that she’s done this, I’ve texted the girl and asked her to transfer all the money to me, that way I’m only owed $180 and if that’s all I lose, then it’s not too bad, and I will just withhold money from any bills etc that come up and will hopefully break pretty much even. But I’m not sure if that’s going to work, as the girl is moving in today while I'm not there and hasn't transferred the money yet. So I don’t know what the hell is happening at this stage. All I know is that I am hella freaking stressed and my anxiety is through the roof. And she is the worst housemate I ever had, when I thought she was going to be an awesome one. So I’m really, really upset...and have been so distressed and have actually lost 5kg since I started getting stressed around her as I'm not eating properly at all, diarrhoea to the max, sleeplessness. I just want it to all happen peacefully. I don't want to cause problems.


Re: I'm so distressed and my housemate is manipulating me

Hey @_sagira_, I'm so sorry to hear you've been having this much trouble with your roommate. I'm glad to see you're moving out, as it doesn't seem like a healthy living environment to be in. 


Things can get really tricky and stressful living with others, not just because 2 people might not get along, but because there can be a lot of money involved, like in this situation. It isn't fair that your roommate is holding your bond money like this, and they don't have any right too, either. If things continue to go this way and you're both not able to come to a resolution, you may need to speak to a solicitor or the real estate. I'm no quite sure what can be done, as I haven't been in a situation like this before.


Having the same pyschologist does complicate things a little bit further, but remember that in your sessions, the psychologist is there for you, so if you want to, you should feel comfortable to completely open up about the living situation between you and your roommate. Speaking completely openly about everything might help with your stress and anxiety of the situation too.


I really hope things work out and you feel way more comfortable and relaxed at your new place Smiley Happy


Re: I'm so distressed and my housemate is manipulating me

Hello @_sagira_ , moving house is always a stressful time, especially from what you write about your current situation and the trouble you are having sorting out the bond side of it with your housemate. Remember you can always call the Rental Tenancies Authority in nyour state, and they are more than happy to help you resolve your issues - even if you are i na private agreement , they will give you good advice or at least steer you in teh right direction.


I hope you can talk your other concerns over and invite you ot call Lfeline or wait till you see your psychologist again. Perhaps family and friends can lend an ear and help you out as well.


Have a good night!

Re: I'm so distressed and my housemate is manipulating me

Hey @_sagira_ tenancy disputes can be the most stressful things! Sorry to hear about yours.


I think it's going to be really important to get some advice, and that means going with @evanescence's suggestion and looking up the tenancy union in your state and having a chat to them about what your options are.


You have rights, even if you're not officially on the lease. I would say that you have a few options for protecting yourself as you get out of this situation too. However that sort of advice is something that you're going to have to go chat to an expert about.


Are you able to look up the tenancy union in your area? 


This all sounds pretty stressful! Don't forget to look after yourself! What are you doing to cope? Have you got some good strategies and some strong self-care skills? If not, have a read of this article on self care and have a look at our awesome list of coping strategies . I challenge you to try three of them in the next 2 days!


Let us know how you're going @_sagira_, we're thinking of you! 


Re: I'm so distressed and my housemate is manipulating me

Thank you @evanescence @moonwalk @Ben-RO

I contacted my friend who is a lawyer and yes I spoke to our real estate, NSW Tenancy and NSW Fair Trading, found out she lied to me about the bond and other stuff. And also that I am also absolutely not legally obligated to fulfill any of her requests.

I handed her a letter yesterday after seeking out advice and put absolutely everything in writing. She yelled at me and slammed the door violently in my face. I tried to talk to her through the door and say that I wanted this to end peacefully, but she just yelled at me to go away.

She is selfish, doesn't now how to communicate or compromise. I was insanely distressed after that happened, spoke to my friend the lawyer for over an hour and decided that my mental health, health, sanity and work was worth more than a few hundred dollars. So I went home and told her she could keep it and that I am no longer liable for any other costs to do with the property. At the end of the day I want to walk away from this and just forget about it.

In the meantime...I still have to live here. I'm so stressed and anxious. I saw a GP and he prescribed me some medication, until I move out. I'm just not interested in anything she has to say to me anymore. She reacted as I thought she would, but I was giving her the benefit of the doubt. At least I can walk away from this situation knowing I have been the bigger person.

It's just difficult. In terms of self care...not much to be honest. I have a huge work presentation I need to work on and I am finding it so difficult to even start!


Re: I'm so distressed and my housemate is manipulating me

Thanks for keeping us updated @_sagira_.


I'm glad to hear you spoke to lawyer friend, the real estate, NSW Tenancy and NSW Fair Trading so you're covered. Even though you still have to live there for the time being, at least you know it's not for much longer. It's a bit of a bummer that she won't return that money to you, but like you said, the money isn't worth more stress on you or your mental health suffering.


If you're still feeling too stressed to be around her at your place until you move out, would you be able to ask a friend/family member if you can stay at their place some nights during the week so you don't have to be at home as much? It might also be a better environment for you to get your work presentation done too.


Re: I'm so distressed and my housemate is manipulating me

Hey @_sagira_

Glad to hear you got some good advice!



And to hear that you have a doctor who's paying attention to your mental health too.



I did a quick edit, because we made some guidelines together a little while ago and decided we won't mention specific medications. Hope that's okay. 


I really like @moonwalk's suggestion. Have you got somewhere to go if staying there any longer feels too stressful? Sometimes it's good to have what some people call a safety plan.


Work out for yourself what sort of things don't make you feel safe or how much is too much. Make arrangements with friends or family in advance, so if you've got to go, you can just pick up a few things and do it!


Also hopefully it doesn't come to this, but it's never okay for someone to be aggressive, verbally or physically abusive. If that happens, it's okay to go somewhere safe and call the police.


Have a read of this and if you feel the need,it's totally okay to have a chat to the support service in your area about what's going on. 


Let us know how you're doing mate! 


Re: I'm so distressed and my housemate is manipulating me

@moonwalk and @Ben-RO

Thank you guys,

I've had two work colleagues tell me I can stay with them if I like. I feel like this is something I may have to do over the weekend, as the new housemate who has just moved in told me that she's not going to be here for the next week. And I forewarned her and suggested she get some paperwork sorted between her, so the same thing doesn't happen. Because this housemate won't be here, it definitely does make me feel more unsafe and I did tell her that. But I do need to find time to pack up my stuff, so I'm hoping she's working on the weekend, so that I can get it done while she's not around. I also have a cat, so I'd want to take him with me whereever I go. I also have lots of people (even though I've only been living here for 6 months) who told me I can come to their places and hang out during the day.

I may have to actually consider some sort of game plan if it becomes too much though.