Possibly the worst roommate in Ottawa
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  • Writer's pictureBrenda

Possibly the worst roommate in Ottawa

Updated: Jul 7, 2022

Yes, I'm about to talk about THAT story. One time for the one time for the new followers. I had shared this roommate experience in my Instagram stories last year in some detail but with the numerous questions I received, a lot of folks are still interested in what really went down last year when I expeditiously moved out of the apartment I was sharing with a Zimbabwean-Canadian roommate in downtown Ottawa.

I have been no stranger to having a roommate, beginning from when I was about 4 years old when my little sister and I must have started sharing a room, well into my late teens.

When I went to university, I stayed on campus and shared a living space with 3 other women my first year. Then after university, I lived on my own for years until when I came to Ottawa and had just started working and needed a place to stay last minute, I responded to a Facebook ad. The young lady who had posted the ad was looking for someone to occupy a second bedroom in a 2 bedroom apartment downtown Ottawa. The photos looked nice and I liked that the woman was black. Plus, I had always wanted to live downtown! This was not my first time meeting the ad poster - just a few days prior, she had come to my friend's place to pick up a dress and we had engaged in a brief conversation about entrepreneurship. I was glad there was at least that familiarity between us. After taking a look at some other potential living spaces, I decided to go for this girl's place. She had told me that her last roommate was moving out because she had not been paying rent and was a close family friend, which left her in an awkward position.

I signed my lease with this girl because the apartment lease was in her name and I would be paying my share to her directly. We also met with the Housing Manager who was made aware of this arrangement as well. I paid 1st and last month's before moving in and in order to get a key. Then it took her over a week to make a copy of the key and I would have to keep buzzing her while she was either at work or at church and she would leave the apartment door unlocked (which I hated and voiced my concern). I had to keep reminding her until one day as soon as she came home from work, I reminded her and she stepped out to go make a second copy of the key.

I moved in towards the end of 2019 and it was not long before I could not wait to move out. I feel like I was catfished. I was sold this image of a well-mannered, hardworking, put together young woman who was all about her grind but I instead got a dirty, loud, lying scammer with no shame nor remorse.

1st issue: Safety (or lack thereof): I did not feel safe knowing that this girl almost always left the door unlocked - why? Well because she would either lose her key or want to leave the door open for her friends to come by at any hour of the day. When I say any hour, I mean ANY. She once sent me a message at around 12 AM saying her friend was outside the door and asking me to unlock it. I pretended to be asleep and responded the following morning. This was after months of me telling her to make more copies of her key and put them in different bags to avoid not having one. I told her to be giving her key to friends if she wants them to be able to access her room while she was out. Why would I become the 'gate woman', there to open and close the door for your friends at midnight? The building we lived in was not in the nicest part of the city and just knowing that a random could just try his luck and potentially gain access to my stuff concerned me; as did her lack of care for this concern. She said she had lived in the building for close to 10 years and had never had an issue.

The petty in me once left her outside the apartment all night (I believe she ended up spending the night at a friend's) because she decided to come home after midnight, when I usually slept, and be banging on the door because she had forgotten her key. She waited outside for a while before leaving - calling me multiple times. Like I said, I am petty and she was not learning.

2nd issue: Cleanliness: My siblings say I can be quite anal when it comes to my cleanliness. I get that. Not everyone sweeps their floor every 2 days and washes their dishes twice a day. However, when sharing a space with someone, it is paramount to at least be self aware and more considerate. I had tried to establish a cleaning routine after some months of staying there and noticing I would be the only one carrying daily upkeep tasks and then one random day every month or two, sis would do some major deep cleaning: only to revert to brushing her hair and leaving hair on the floor, leaving spilt coffee in the microwave, piling up dishes for days from the one time she cooked every couple of weeks, only for a lot of it to go bad because sis loved her takeout/ Uber Eats. I still don't understand how you warm coffee up in the microwave, it spills over loud and clear but you proceed to take your mug out and just leave the spilt coffee there. Even returning to use the microwave with the spilt coffee, already drying up, still loud and clear. How does your skin not crawl? For someone who always stepped out dressed to the nine's, you would not believe how messy of a place she kept.

The cleaning routine was not respected on her end and there was always an excuse of either church or work. As petty as I am, when she would leave a mess in the bathroom, I would gather all the hair and whatnot and pile in front of her door. I am nobody's maid or mother. Things that should have been taught to her, such as cleaning up after herself, are not going to be placed on me.

3rd issue: NOISE: I think we all like our rest. Sleep is vital for human functioning. Some of us are light sleepers while others can sleep through a Coldplay concert. I like my sleep. No, scratch that, I LOVE my sleep. I look forward to sleeping at the end of a day.

When I moved in, I noticed that sis was a night owl. By night, I mean early into the next day. She would often go to bed at 4am, 5am. Staying up late watching shows or church service. That's okay, that's her business. The issue came in when her business started affecting my sleep and thus my productivity. The walls in the apartment were pretty thin and so when she would be watching Selling Sunset at 4 in the morning, cackling at something as though she lived alone, that would bother me. Or when she would decide to attempt making pondu at 3 AM, frying chicken and harsh spices with her stews - yes, that would awaken me. Or how about when she would decide to praise Jesus USING HER SPEAKERS ON BLAST at 2AM, yes, that would affect me. I got tired of always asking her to turn the noise or music down. It was like dealing with a child. Her response was always, 'my bad.' At what point do you actually learn and not just apologize? It got extremely tiring after a while and almost seemed like she was doing in on purpose. However, the straw that broke the camel's back was when sis decided to go on a trip...and we got a notice of non-payment of rent.

4th issue: Non-payment of rent: I understand being late on rent. Times are hard for many. Sometimes rent is due right before that paycheque hits your account and you're in the negative. What I do not get, is nonchalance about not paying rent. I do not understand buying $600 wigs and not paying rent. I do not understand eating out everyday and having packages from Pretty Little Thing delivered often when rent is not paid. I do not understand taking a trip knowing you have not paid your rent. It was thanks to this notice of non-payment that I did the best thing I could do for myself - move out ASAP! This notice brought something vital to my attention, I WAS PAYING 80% of the rent! The notice mentioned the full amount of monthly rent and I did the math. I was shook. We were 2 months behind. I had paid her my share of those 2 months. Months prior, the internet had been cut off due to non-payment and now this.

Thoughts started running through my mind:

So sis had the bigger room with a walk-in closet and had me paying for her upkeep? Sis was out here profiting from me as her roommate AND a the main cleaner of the household. I used to offer sis some of my delicious food. I used to pay for sis when we went to get ice cream. My big mistake from the beginning was never asking how much the entire rent for the place was. I was so concerned with just my share. I can honestly say I was paying for sis' upkeep. No wonder she was never pressed whenever she was let go from a job (once because she kept oversleeping when we were working from home). No wonder she was never pressed to look for another job. Making it seem like she had money saved up when in actuality, I was her bank. Her cash cow. Her sugar mama.

The notice came while she was away. The day she returned from her trip, she had the nerve to tell me how she had just bought a pair of Loubutins. Louboutins?! When rent for 2 months is owed? We had not paid November's rent and December was 1 day away. I had sent her this money and she probably used it to pay for her trip and now wants to talk to me about Louboutins when she cannot pay her small 20% share of the rent? Here's what a part of me was thinking, 'what a hypocrite of a Christian. With all this gospel music you're blasting my eardrums with, this is how you treat your neighbour?!' Hair slayed, makeup slayed, outfit slayed...rent not paid. If 'for the gram' were a person, this would be it. I was living with a real-life slay queen.

When I asked her about it, she gave me some excuse about money being on hold by her bank. My thing is: if this is true, the bank was holding your money for the entire month of November? Why were you not upfront about it? I smelled a finesser.

Sis had an attitude when I decided to start paying my rent directly to the building too!

As I started looking for apartments, I was even further motivated when sis decided to move her brand new boyfriend into our small apartment...without ANY notice.

5th issue: Boyfriend and his pubic hairs move in: One random night, this girl sends me a message stating she left the door unlocked and I should leave it open because someone is coming over. This SOMEONE was her very brand new boyfriend who was living in the States according to what I knew. Here he had come for what I thought was a brief visit. Oh no, until I moved out some months later, bros comfortably installed himself in a small apartment with 2 women. The worst part is I was now dealing with 2 loud, nasty midnight gospel music fanatics. I could start to sense she was doing things out of spite. First, we were no longer talking for some reason and now she would blast her music at night, knowing fully well I did not like that. She and her man would be up super late, with her attempting to cook for him at these odd hours, or they would decide to watch TV with the volume all the way up when I was trying to sleep. I kept praying for the day I would move out. I had found a place and was just counting down the hours. The hours left until I would not have to find urine and pubic hairs left on the toilet seat by her man. Or backsplash all over the bathroom mirror. Or overhearing as they would attempt to make videos for church, talking about 'Shalom get excited about Christ!' Can you say hypocrites??! I was fuming. Sis, who claimed she wanted to be a pastor, treating me so terribly and now with her man who could not even greet people probably because sis had told him not to but little did he know I was the one paying for the roof over his head...or did he and was he just like her? I wonder if her church knew she had moved a man in, hmm. It was the hypocrisy of it all for me.

This is the notice I got about her live-in boyfriend moving in with us.

On the day I was moving out, she didn't even bother to say hi or goodbye, not like I needed her salutations but it was just interesting to note. I have never met such a character in my life. Like I'm the one who did something wrong here. I could have easily made a video and tagged her all over social media for what she did to me and for folks to know the scammer she is but for once, I took the high road. Michelle Obama should be proud. Her own lies and façade she creates on social media would catch up to her.

Right before I moved out in April, I had asked the landlord if they had received March's rent and they still had not. She had probably spent it because that was last month's rent I had paid to her before moving in. I guess bae was not a cash cow like me?

Mind you, days before moving out, I overheard her (because she decided to do this in the living room) booking a flight to the U.S. You can't make this up!

Made me wonder, could it be mental illness? Misplaced priorities? False regard of self? Unshakeable faith in the Lord providing? Such repetitive unremorseful behaviour is quite something to behold.

After sharing my experience, a good number of people who went to or still attend the same church as her had A LOT to say about some of the questionable doctrine the church taught them and reasons why many of them left that church. They were just as shocked that someone so seemingly put together on the surface, could be so inconsiderate and untruthful.

Clearly, since this traumatizing experience, I have been thriving an flourishing in my own space and it feels so so good! I shall be doing more decorating and updating you all on that as mentioned HERE.

I'm curious, have you experienced a terrible living situation?


The Ankara Queen


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