They say honesty is the best policy, but is sharing the truth—even unintentionally—ever a bad move?
Reddit user “throwRAcanadaroomie” found themselves wondering if they were the jerk in a situation between them, their roommate and the roommate’s parents. The original poster (OP) didn’t mean to cause any drama. They just told the truth and it ended with their roommie being financially cut off and potentially evicted.
What better place to ask if you’re a jerk than the AITA subReddit?
AITA stands for “Am I The A**hole?” and is a subReddit devoted to exactly what it sounds like. People share their stories as posts. Other users cast their votes in the comments and then explain why they voted that way.
The voting choices are simple:
- NTA: Not The A**hole
- YTA : You’re The A**hole
- NAH: No A**holes Here
- ESH: Everyone Sucks Here
So here is OP’s post.
“AITA for telling my roommate’s parents that she’s been lying about how much our rent is?”
“I’ve lived with my roommate for about a year and a half now. She’s alright but we’re not really friends, just friendly. Her parents send her money for the rent and she sends me her portion because I’m the one who e-transfers the landlord.”
“Yesterday I got a message from her mom (she has my number in case of emergencies) asking me if she can be a little late with my roommate’s rent because her husband and she have been really struggling since they cut his hours at work because of COVID. She tried to get in touch with my roommate but was unable to.”
“I said of course as long as they send me the money before December. She thanked me and said she would have the $900 to me asap. That confused the hell out of me because my roommate’s rent is only $600/month. I asked her why she would send me $900 and she responded that was what my roommate had told her the rent was.”
“I told her how much the rent actually was and she immediately called me concerned. She asked me why my roommate would lie to her. Was she not getting enough hours at work? To which I responded that she didn’t even have a job nor had she ever had a job the entire time we’ve lived together. Her mom went from concerned to pissed.”
Mom in our imagination as we read this:
“Shortly after, I get a call from my hysterical roommate saying that because of what I said, her parents cut her off because the extra $5000 they gave her should be enough to cover a few months’ rent while she gets a job. She said that it wasn’t my place to tell them and that the matter didn’t concern me.”
“I think it does concern me because I would be the one covering her rent. After going back and forth a bit, I basically told her that she gives me the rent money before November or she finds a new place before December – to which she responded that she didn’t have any money or a place to go and I said “tough shit”.”
“I know it seems kinda harsh to just kinda dump this ultimatum on her, especially given the fact I was prepared to help out her parents, but I don’t have any sympathy for her. Like how could you con your own parents out of $5000? I don’t know, maybe I’m in the wrong and I shouldn’t have said anything. Am I the a**hole?”
Reddit users weren’t shy about responding to this one.
“NTA you didn’t even reveal it on purpose, it came out naturally. And if her parents are paying the rent anyway, your financial arrangement is more with them than it is with her. You are also in the right to give her that time limit. If she won’t work therefore can’t afford the apartment, she can’t live there anymore. It’s absurd to expect you to help her cheat her parents.” – overlyderivative
“The worst of it is that she knew her parents were struggling with money due to COVID and she continued to steal $300 a month. That’s so callous and I don’t blame OP for not wanting to live with her after finding out about this character flaw. NTA.” – cynicallycharged
“NTA. You didn’t go out of your way to tell them although even if you did you still wouldn’t be the a**hole. It came up and you told the truth the same way she should have. And good on you for not covering it, either. She made the mess and now she has to clean it up.” – azuritexmoonstone
“NTA. You answered a question. I assume your roommate gave her mother your contact information, or at least knew that you were (or could be) communicating.”
“You’d be TA if you had gotten the number behind your roommates back and called her mother, with the singular intention of snitching. I’d say you’d probably still be TA if your roommate had told you about her scam, and you’d said you were on board. But that’s not what happened.”
“You had no prior knowledge. You had no malicious intent. You corrected someone on cost of rent. If you hadn’t, you would’ve been complicit (both legally and morally). What was your alternative? Take the money? Keep it? Give it to your roommate? Let the mum give it to the landlord, and let them set her straight?”
“Telling the truth was the best option – for you, for your roommates parents, heck, probably even for your roommate (gal’s gotta get a job ASAP or her resume is going to look pitiful). You didn’t ‘snitch’, you reacted with confusion and told the truth. That doesn’t make you TA.” – endearinglysarcastic
“NTA. She is deceitful and took a risk. It didn’t work out. You were as confused by it as her parents were. She needed to be outed. What a bad persons taking advantage of her parents like that while they were struggling” – nerd-buckit
“NTA. Wow, I can’t believe what I just read. Her parents had every right to know, especially considering how much trouble they were having keeping up with their own bills. They thought their kid had a job and was doing everything they could – instead they were conning their parents into paying extra rent so they had spending money even knowing they couldn’t afford it.”
“The level of entitlement and lack of empathy astounds me — for their own parents no less. Not the a**hole at all, even if you had gone out of your way to tell them, they 100% deserved to know. They couldn’t even get in contact with their own child to discuss it. I’m baffled.” – DismalDally
And while pretty much everyone agreed OP was NTA here, there were some concerns that OP may have shot themselves in the foot.
“NTA, BUT, you might need call her mom back and talk to her some more. It’s corona and you and the landlord won’t be able to evict her for months. I hope you aren’t on the hook for her portion of the rent in the meantime.” – sconri2
“spoiler alert: OP is probably responsible for whatever rent doesn’t get paid. I’m always fascinated by these. ‘AITA for completely fcking myself over??’ No, but future you is going to say ‘oh my God why was I such an a**hole?’ ” – BlurpedWithTheHammer
“Seriously. OP is now facing someone who can’t pay rent, or finding a new roommate (and being on the hook for the whole rent while finding a replacement.) Seems kind of stupid to rat out the roommate.”
“In fact, the mom was going to send OP the surplus, not the roommate. So OP could have pocketed that bonus for that month as hush money. (if they wanted to be unethical.)” – cytomome
“NTA but start the eviction process now cause this is going to be a sh*t-show. If she has no problem lying and stealing from her parents, she’ll have no problem doing that to you.” – squiddinosaur
Redditors pretty much agreed that OP was not the jerk in the situation and the roommate’s parents had every right to know the truth. Some are concerned for OP’s living situation now, of course, but almost no one voted OP was in the wrong.