Everyone deserves the right to privacy.
Likewise, everyone has the right to be protective of certain possessions and are in no way obligated to share them with everyone.
Even friends and family.
It’s for this reason that people like to keep certain things locked up when they’re away.
Redditor throwaway-r00mmate was concerned about the safety and security of some of her possessions owing to their roommate hosting a visitor for an extended period of time.
The original poster (OP) felt that there was a fairly simple solution to this problem.
But she was concerned it might offend her roommate, particularly because this visitor happened to be her roommate’s father.
Wondering if her plan would indeed be out of line, the OP took to the subReddit “Would I Be The A**hole” (WIBTA), where she asked fellow Redditors:
“WIBTA if I changed my bedroom doorknob to a locking one because my roommate’s dad is staying over?”
The OP explained why she felt some additional precautions regarding her room and valuables were necessary in anticipation of the visit of her roommate’s father.
“We are both mid-20s F.”
“Her dad is from out of state, he arrived today and will be staying with us for 1-2 weeks.”
“I originally agreed to this because I was told 3 days max, but it is what it is.”
“They haven’t always had the best relationship and he has a rap sheet that is quite extensive.”
“I’m not aware of all the specifics but I know violence and theft are involved and he has been to prison multiple times.”
“Because of this and the fact that I don’t really know him, met him twice before today, I’m thinking of changing my doorknob to one with a keyed lock.”
“There will likely be some points when he’s in the house by himself because of mine and my roommate’s work schedules, and I have my cats and a few expensive things in my room that I would prefer to keep safe.”
“However, I’m afraid this could come off as passive-aggressive if I do it without talking to her first, and I’m not sure how the conversation would go if I talk to her before doing it.”
“Like whether I would be told I’m overreacting or be talked out of it.”
“I already set up a small camera in my room which they won’t know about unless they come in.”
“So WIBTA if I changed my doorknob to one that locks without addressing it with my roommate first, or am I actually overreacting?”
Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
The Reddit community agreed that the OP would not be the a**hole for putting a lock on her bedroom door.
Everyone agreed that it was more than reasonable for the OP to be concerned about her possessions.
Some even believed she was well within her rights to refuse her roommate’s father’s visit.
“But hold your line, OP.”
“‘I agreed to 3 days, not two weeks’.”
“That’s what we’re doing’.”
“Make sure your dad is out by Friday’.”- thoracicbunk
“NTA and f*ck that.”
“You agreed to 3 days, and they changed that without consulting you.”
“Check your lease due terms about guests and how long they can stay.”- strangespecies
“It’s your room so your decision.”
“Just do it.”
“If she asks, you were already thinking of it to ensure the cat wasn’t accidentally let out if a visitor was there.”
“She may not believe you, but it saves face for everyone.”
“If dad has a rap sheet involving violence, better to be safe than worry about your roommate’s feelings.”- morgansaturn
“It’s not really reasonable for them to say 3 days and then switch to several weeks, and you have the right to make a big deal about this.”
“Does your lease allow for people to stay overnight for that long?”- yat282
“Even without the visit from your roommate’s dad, there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting a lock on your room.”
“Especially with your cats which unthinking people could let out.”- DaughterOfFishes
“I like the ‘cover story’ mentioned by someone else of saying that you had been planning to do this so no visitors would accidentally let your cat out.”
“It gives you an ‘out’ if she acts offended.”
“What I’m more concerned about, though, is that you don’t know what his record really is.”
“Because regardless of the number of days he’s staying, switching from 3 days to 2 weeks while he’s standing there in front of you is no bueno. BTW, it’s pertinent information to know what he did to spend time in jail.”
“If it was theft or a bar fight, that’s one thing.”
“If it was assault, that’s another.”
“What if it was dealing?”
“What’s he doing now?”
“What’s his current status, probation or anything?”
“You don’t know and that’s concerning.”
“If I was your parent, I’d be strongly advising you to nix the whole arrangement, which I understand is not really possible now that he’s actually there.”
“And it’s not like I’m saying he doesn’t deserve second chances.”
“But part of reformation is to be upfront about the past and taking responsibility for it.”
“He’s not starting off well by changing terms of the arrangement AFTER HE’S ALREADY THERE.”
“It doesn’t spark a lot of trust. :(“
“Your sense of safety, personal and property, is being violated here.”
“Your roommate may feel manipulated by her dad into all of this, so go easy on her, but definitely get the lock.”
“I’m glad you got a camera, too.”
“I hope it all goes well.”-The-Answer-Is-57
“Honestly, I’d be more than a little worried by his presence as well.”
“Maybe try to find one that looks like your current doorknob and he won’t notice.”
“And make sure him moving in is legal within the terms of any lease you have.”
“Not that it sounds like this guy cares about legalities.”- Downtown-Command-295
“I had a roommates visiting friend steal from me before, don’t take the risk.”- Beautiful_Jim_Key
“Better safe than sorry.”
“I would bring it up to the roommate.”
“But get the doorknob changed whether she likes it or not since you deserve to feel safe about your belongings as well.”- ShelterConscious4124
“But if he’s been to prison for theft it’s entirely possible that a keyed lock won’t stop him.”
“Picking household locks isn’t too difficult of a skill to pick up, and if he’s in the house by himself he’d have plenty of time to try picking it without anyone observing.”- Kufat
“But just explain that you don’t want anyone letting your cat out accidentally.”- drtennis13
“Also invest in a couple of door stops you can wedge on your side of the door, bedroom or bathroom, when you are inside.”
“I would inform her as a courtesy that you will change it to make yourself feel more comfortable.”- Ok-KindaHuman
“I live alone, and I still installed a door knob that locks with the key.”
“No matter where I live I always get one.”
“It does not matter if they think it’s passive-aggressive or not, they were not honest with you about how long the father was going to be staying, you are now going to make sure yourself and your things are safe.”- CrSkin
“Your room is YOUR room.”
“It shouldn’t be a problem, since only you should go in there.”
“If anyone raises a stink, just say you did it for the cats, but why did anyone feel the need to enter your private space?”- OtherThumbs
“Change that door knob! I had a roommate situation years ago, and one of their friends got piss drunk and then barged into my room at night.”
“Never again.”- bianchibabe
“Get your valuables out of the house discreetly.”
“Including anything with your personal information.”
“Maybe a good time for you to stay with a friend as well.”
“Nanny cam for your room too.”- DubsAnd49ers
“I get where you’re coming from, but you should be honest and have this discussion with your roommate first.”
“Put the locks on no matter her opinion, though, better safe than sorry.”
“It’s BS that your roommate is springing this long-term visit on you.”
“Also worth noting that a locking doorknob is only going to keep out a pretty honest person.”
“If someone wants in there badly enough, they’re going to get in.”
“Locking it also might draw attention to the fact that you’ve got stuff in there that’s valuable / that someone might want, whether or not that’s true.”
“Make sure it’s an “unpickable” lock with a solid key, and the obvious ways to get into your room, taking the hinges off the door, etc., are also not an option.”- trashpanda44224422
Having a lock on one’s door isn’t something that’s terribly out of the ordinary.
Allowing the OP to install one without needing to explain to her roommate why.
But should her roommate need an explanation, it seems pretty clear that the OP has a very valid reason to do so.
Nor should she really feel bad if she changes her mind about allowing him to stay longer than the agreed upon three days.