So last year, in September, I moved to Pittsburgh and needed to find a roommate. I found someone off Craigslist: an international student who had recently received her masters and was finishing up a research project. We signed a lease on a 2 bedroom apartment, for September 2010 to July 2011.
A few weeks ago she got a job in New Jersey and decides she has to move out and wants to sublease the apartment. Fine, whatever, I’m not happy about it, but it happens. She moved to New Jersey the same week (!) and put the apartment up on Craigslist. After much hassle, we found someone to sublet the place from April, another nice international student from China. OK, I can handle this, I’m used to living with non-Americans, whatever.
She also gave her apartment key to a friend of hers, who lives in the apartment across the hall. A few days ago I went to NYC for spring break, and I find out that she’s been trying to rent out her room by the day, for $15 on Craigslist! And that her friend has been letting people in to my apartment to see it while I was gone. She told me that some woman named Divine, previously sleeping on a friend’s couch, wanted to stay here until March 31st!
OK, so this is definitely not going to happen. When I got home, the first thing I did was talk to the guy who lives across the hall, and get him to give me her key. Then I sent my roommate a polite but VERY firm letter, telling her that she was not going to be renting out her room by the night. Keep in mind that our lease gives me, as the remaining roommate, all the power in deciding whether or not she is allowed to sublet the place. The management company will definitely back me up on this.
She responded to the email, saying she would not rent the apartment by the day, but she wants me to give the key back to her friend. She is trying to sell some furniture that she’s left here and she also has a few pieces of luggage she left here that she wants him to ship.
I really don’t feel comfortable with this. When I came home, one of the windows in my apartment was unlocked. It opens onto a garage roof that is accessible by fire escape. I am 95% sure that I locked that window before I went on that trip. I’m really careful about it because I once broke into my own house when I locked myself out, and realize how easy it would be to do. It’s within the realm of possibility that I left it unlocked–but unlikely. So yeah, it’s possible that I’m just being paranoid, but I don’t feel happy about this situation at all. I don’t want some guy to have access to my house. I think he’s fine, he seems like a nice guy, but he could let anyone in. I don’t know if he supervises them while they are here–for all I know, they could be casing the joint. Again, paranoid, I know, but seriously!
She has been quite reasonable so far (aside from thinking it was OK to rent the room out by the night…) and has paid the rent for March (albeit a few days late.) I deposited the check yesterday.
What do you think, Dopers, am I obligated to give the key back to him? Is it unreasonable for me to be paranoid?