One of the greatest challenges of having a roommate isn’t necessarily what we would expect it to be. It’s not differing schedules or being too loud or too messy; it’s making sure everyone’s needs are met.
Unfortunately, in order for everyone’s needs to be met, sometimes that means someone has to move out, admitted the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
The Redditor, who has since deleted her account, had to have a difficult conversation with her roommate when her allergies and her roommate’s needs for a service animal couldn’t coexist.
But after being criticized for being patient, the Original Poster (OP) began to wonder if she should put her needs second.
She asked the sub:
“AITA? I told my roommate if they get a service dog, they would have to move out.
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some said the OP absolutely was within her rights to say no.
“In the United States, you do NOT have to accept service dogs when you are an owner-occupant landlord, which you are in just exactly this circumstance. So, yes, it’s legal to say no, and it’s also legal to kick her out if she defies your house rule of no dogs.”
“And, no, you’re NTA. This is your home. You make the rules.” – miss_hush
“I don’t think the OP is acting like an AH at all. They’ve said they can’t live with a dog, period. That is a medical reality.”
“The roommate needs a service dog. Also a medical reality. OP owns and lives in the home and is entitled* to say no dogs.”
“The roommate is an AH for continuing to push after being told it’s not possible. OP seems to understand the roommate needs the dog, she’s just saying the dog can’t live in the house. Therefore, the roommate needs to find another place to live.”
“*OP needs to consult a lawyer to make sure this is 100% true, but it is probably the case.” – PurpleMP12
“NTA, I am disabled but I would never force someone with allergies like yours to live with a dog. Allergy meds eventually become less effective. You shouldn’t have to live like that in your own house. Dander and hair will hang around for years after.”
“She needs to make a choice and stick to it. Wouldn’t surprise me if she ambushes you and claims discrimination.”
“I was wheelchair-bound when I was five by a drunk driver. I am paralyzed from t2. I have scoliosis and no balance. I can’t use half my lungs. I’m a fall risk. Almost forgot to mention the incontinence… I am disabled too.” – Fit-Distribution-252
“I love dogs so my instinct would be the more dogs, the better. But your circumstances are obviously very different and it would be unfair for you to have to cope with severe allergies in your own home to make your roommate feel better.”
“She knew about the allergy so it’s pretty unreasonable for her to expect you to make that concession and for you to accept pretty severe changes to your life to accommodate her circumstances. She doesn’t even know if the dog will help her.”
“I know it’s a tough situation but you’re in the right here. Your roommate will need to make other living arrangements if she wants to get the dog.”
“Why don’t you suggest to her she meets a dog and take it out for the day (not to your home) to see if she gets a feel for how it would work. If she does it and she thinks she will get a dog, then tell her clearly that unfortunately that means she will need to live elsewhere and you wish her the best.” – stu5640
Others said NAH and that neither woman could be blamed for their disabilities.
“I don’t know how the law sees this, so I don’t know about legally, but ethically it’s not kicking her out. You need a dog-free space for your health, and she may need a dog for her health.”
“It’s an incompatible living arrangement, and if she knew about the allergies when she moved in then she can’t assume you’ll be ok with it.”
“Your needs are BOTH important. One person’s needs shouldn’t be more important than the other.” – phoenixfeather88
“You have a disability too. Your allergies. This is a case of conflicting accommodations. You most certainly have a right to a dander free home.” – LadyLightTravel
“There is nothing to work out though, their needs aren’t compatible and there is no compromise that’ll work. OP can’t live with a dog, and OP’s tenant has to get a service dog that stays with them all the time.”
“The end. OP owns the home, so the tenant needs to leave to get her service dog.” – Lexia_extreme511
“I imagine having a disability and having the expense and hassle of arranging and paying for accommodations IS difficult, especially for the person with the disability.”
“It sucks that a service dog would be an improvement in the roommate’s health, but it can only come by harming OP’s health, in the home that they own! It’s ok and right that OP put their own health as first priority. We all should.”
“And it sucks that J will have a hard time finding a place that will accept service dogs in her price range, but she shouldn’t be asking OP to sacrifice their health for hers. That’s way too big an ask.” – Seeker131313
A few pointed out that maybe the OP’s family could help instead?
“lf the family members who called to say they should just suck it up can be on the shortlist of people who will become the roommate’s new roommate or just help them find new accommodation.” – enonymousCanadian
“NTA. You can’t live your life depending on medication to live in your own house. The roommate needs to find a place that she can afford or wait to get the dog when she can afford to move.”
“Tell your family that you are happy to send your roommate and her future dog to live with them. When they refuse, that is the end of the discussion. Because they can either put up or shut up.” – wind-river7
“NAH. Two conflicting medical conditions. But you own the house, and your condition comes first.”
“Tell the family members who are critical of your choice to take J (and her dog) into one of their homes. That’s a win all around – no allergy for you, a service dog for her, and a home for her with people who think her needs are more important than anyone else’s.” – ADB_BWG
The OP was conflicted after the criticism she received from her family, but as the homeowner and as someone who suffers from allergies, the subReddit insisted the OP was not wrong to stand up for herself.
Instead, they could continue living as-is, the OP could help her roommate find other accommodations, or the OP’s family could even assist, especially since they wanted to share their opinions.