Owning a rental property during a pandemic surely can’t be easy, especially when you have a tenant you’d like to be able to take care of.
But what are you supposed to do when you’re renting out a bedroom to someone who becomes pregnant? How do you prepare for the pregnancy and the upcoming baby years?
One guy, OP (Original Poster) “aita1231” made the difficult decision to evict his long-term tenant after weighing all the pros and cons of potentially inviting a baby on-board.
After seeing his tenant’s reaction, however, the OP was worried he was in the wrong for his decision, so he shared his story with the “Am I the A**hole?” subReddit.
The OP asked the thread:
“AITA (Am I the A**hole) for evicting a tenant because they got pregnant?”
The OP explained he’s lived with his tenant for approximately five years and gets along with her well.
“I (30[male]) purchased a 3 bedroom condo in Toronto, Canada 5 years ago when I was in my second year of medical residency. Soon after the purchase, I rented one of the rooms to my roommate ([female]29) to offset the costs of the mortgage.”
“I live in one room, she lives in the second, and the third is my study/office. She has been a great roommate from the beginning. We aren’t necessarily friends (as in we don’t do things together for fun), but we get along exceptionally well.”
Their relationship only took a negative turn when she broke the news a few weeks ago.
“The entire roommate/tenant relationship has gone swimmingly up until recently.”
“A couple of weeks ago, my roommate broke the news to me that she is pregnant. The father was a fling of hers, who does not want anything to do with the child. My roommate has decided she wants to keep the child anyways, and raise it on her own.”
“To me that seems like a huge challenge, and I admire her for it.”
Despite admiring her decision, the OP doesn’t see a way to keep living with her and the new baby.
“The issue is, while I don’t necessarily dislike children, I have no desire to live with a baby. While the condo is a fair size, I will most definitely be woken up by the babies crying at night.”
“My condo is also where I like to come home to and relax, like a haven after a long work day, and the idea of coming home to a baby honestly seems absolutely chaotic. Especially since this isn’t my own child (ie one that my girlfriend and I decided to have/was mentally prepared for).”
When the OP broke the news to his tenant, her reaction surprised him.
“As difficult as it was for me to do this, I told my her essentially what I’ve written here, and that it would be best if she finds somewhere else to live. I am not rushing her out or anything like that, I have given her 6 month’s notice, since any later than that will come too close to the birth.”
“She was honestly quite taken aback by this, and thought that I was being cruel.”
“Her primary concern is that rent has gone up substantially in this city since she signed on with me (I haven’t increased her rent since she moved in, so she’s essentially paying 2015 rent). She works as a waitress, and will likely need to find a lesser apartment to keep within the same budget.”
“A couple of other considerations are that she was out of work while restaurants were closed, but I did waive her rent for that period. All of the furniture is also mine (aside from her bedroom), so she would need to figure something out on that front as well, aside from all of the child expenses.”
“I understand her position, and I feel horrible about the situation, but I honestly can’t do it. AITA for this?”
After receiving many responses from the subReddit, the OP updated the post with a few more actions he’s willing to take.
“Thank you to everyone who has commented. There have been two great suggestions on how I can make this situation better, which I have taken to heart. I haven’t been able to give life much thought lately, as work has been quite busy.”
“Firstly, I have a friend in real estate, and I’m going to see if they can help her try to find some affordable listings.”
“Secondly – as I don’t plan to take on another tenant after her, and can afford to do this anyway – I have decided I’m going to waive her rent for the remainder of the tenancy. This will hopefully give her a bit of a boost to get on her feet.”
Fellow Redditors replied to the OP’s situation anonymously, rating his decision on the following scale:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some Redditors thought there’s NAH while some went with NTA.
“NAH. It’s your property and you can do with it as you like – within reason. You are living in the same building and don’t want to be disturbed by a newborn. Six months is a huge period of time to find a new place to live.” – abyssalcrisis
“It’s your home. You are allowed to live with who you want to.”
“She’s an adult. She has six months to figure out a new living arrangement.” – Llyndreth
“NAH. Neither one is AH. Op leased her room to a single person as originally intended. And now the tenant is going to bring in another human being, who will cry incessantly and require a lot of attention. It is a tough situation but op didn’t sign for to be a backup momma.” – AlaskaNebraska
Others pointed out how hard it would be for the landlord and the mother to function once the baby arrived.
“NTA. There is no money or friendship in the world that would make me live with another baby. I’ve had two, and only stayed with them because they were mine. They suck.” – Gibodean
“Let’s imagine OP had been okay with living with a baby, then a toddler that’s not theirs: the roommate would have quickly learned that one needs and wants privacy after giving birth. For all kinds of reasons: a new mum’s body is a wreck for several weeks/months, the baby is loud, taking care of an infant is messy. So not having to tiptoe around a roommate during this stressful time is an absolute must.”
“Sure, it must seem safer to have someone there in case of emergency, but let’s be real, OP is her landlord, she can’t drag him into her private life without having to face some consequences afterwards.”
“And even if it did work out for a while: she can’t share her bedroom with her child forever and time flies when you have a kid. One day you bring them home from the hospital and within a heartbeat you are teaching them how to ride a bike.” – quietdiablita
“A lot of space as well, in common areas to boot. That’s more space she needs in the kitchen, the bathroom etc that you did not sign on for and wasn’t expecting since she wasn’t in a relationship.” – NotSoSilentWatcher
“Oh my god, yes, the amount of baby crap! (That she won’t be able to afford to buy).”
“My kids stuff completely took over my house, I mean every room was PACKED with baby crap. Bottles and bouncers and swings and strollers and car seats and toys and bassinets and bottle cleaners and changing tables and cribs and diaper bags and diapers (so many diapers) and baby bath stuff and baby tubs and soooo much clothes and that’s not even the half of it.”
“Not to mention, the tv will never NOT be on Teletubbies or something like that. It will no longer be OPs adult house. It will be the baby’s house.” – mrskontz14
A few Redditors pointed out the OP’s tenant was potentially a selfish person for wanting to keep a baby when she couldn’t afford rent.
“Since she’s so worried about finding another place and she’s just a waitress, she does not have the money for this kid. She’s an incredibly selfish person.” – jackel2rule
“I’m surprised considering her life outside the renting, that she wants to keep the baby. Waitressing is a low income job unfortunately and babies are very expensive. Especially, childcare. NAH, I think you are doing all the right things, considering that she shouldn’t expect you to want to live with a baby. Especially one that isn’t yours.” – VioletVixi
Others also pointed out OP was going above and beyond for the tenant and shouldn’t feel bad for not wanting a baby in their home.
“You’re definitely not an a**hole. YTA: You’re The Angel.”
“(And she needs to be much more careful in the future and don’t rely on other people generosity to help her with her child. She knew she was paying sub-market rent, and it looks like she took that into account in planning for her life with the child. This is really dangerous, and she absolutely needs to be more thoughtful in her decisions now that she has another human being completely dependant on her. She won’t always be near people as kind as you, and needs to plan accordingly for her and her child)” – F54280
“The only reason that transition is a shock to her budget is because you’ve been a generous landlord, letting her continue to pay 2015 rent instead of current market rate.”
“You’ve been more than fair. And yes, in the middle of a pandemic you have a right to expect peace and rest in your own home. Even if you aren’t in a frontline specialty, doubtless you have friends and colleagues who are.” – doublestitch
“NAH. It will always seem counterintuitive to not call someone T A for ‘evicting someone when they’re pregnant’. However, you’re not exactly throwing her out on the street to give birth in the gutter.”
“You’ve been more than generous throughout her tenure by the sounds of it and you’ve given her plenty of warning to move out. Her circumstances are changing through her own choices and that will impact negatively on you. She may have hoped you’d be OK with it, but she should never have assumed.” – teenytinybunnyrabbit
It’s a difficult situation for sure, and it seems the OP would love to be able to do more for the tenant, which is admirable.
But as some Redditors have pointed out, this may be a growing experience for the mother-to-be as she will need to again navigate the rental market, reorganize her expenses and plan for this whole new chapter in her life. Doing that from a new apartment might be exactly what she needs.