AITA for Not Telling My Roommate I Own the House?

Feeling like YATA for Check out our quick advice if you really are or not. But before that, let's read first a similar story to reflect on from .

I never expected my life to take such a bizarre turn, but here I am, grappling with a moral dilemma that has left me questioning my actions. To provide some context, I own a charming house in a quiet suburban neighborhood.

In a bid to earn some extra income and alleviate my financial burden, I decided to rent out a room to a complete stranger. That stranger, let’s call him Tom, became my roommate about six months ago.

Tom’s Arrival

When Tom first moved in, I was excited about having a new roommate. He seemed friendly and responsible during our initial interactions. I made it clear that the arrangement was a simple room rental agreement, with shared common spaces.

I was upfront about the monthly rent, which was reasonable, considering the location and the size of the room. Everything seemed smooth, and Tom was content with the deal.

Keeping a Secret

The twist in this tale is that I never disclosed the fact that I was the homeowner. I know this sounds strange, and I have my reasons, but I’m starting to wonder if I might be in the wrong here.

Let me explain why I decided to keep my ownership under wraps.

1. Privacy

I value my privacy immensely, and I wanted to maintain the illusion of being just another tenant.

I believed that if Tom knew I was the homeowner, it might affect the dynamic of our landlord-tenant relationship. I didn’t want him to treat me differently or assume that he could bend the rules.

2. Avoiding Entitlement

I’ve heard countless horror stories about tenants who, once they discover their landlord lives with them, assume they can get away with not paying rent on time or take liberties with the property.

I wanted to ensure that Tom would uphold his responsibilities and abide by the lease agreement without any biases.

3. Testing Responsibility

Lastly, I wanted to see how responsible Tom was as a tenant. I figured that if he proved himself as a reliable and respectful roommate, I might eventually reveal that I owned the house. This would be my way of rewarding his trustworthiness.

The Unraveling

For the first few months, everything went according to plan. Tom paid rent on time, respected the house rules, and we got along well. It was a comfortable living situation, and it seemed like my decision to keep my homeowner status a secret was justified.

However, things took a turn recently when Tom noticed some mail addressed to me with my full name. He hadn’t seen any mail for me before because I typically have it redirected to my workplace.

He asked me about it, and I stumbled for a moment, feeling a bit uncomfortable. I came up with a flimsy excuse, saying that it was just some old letters from a previous tenant.

The Guilt Sets In

As time passed, the guilt of my deception started gnawing at me. I had never lied to Tom before, and now I felt like I was betraying his trust.

I couldn’t shake the nagging feeling that I was being dishonest by omission. I was torn between revealing the truth and risking Tom’s reaction or continuing the charade to maintain the status quo.

Conflicted Emotions

As my internal struggle continued, I couldn’t help but question my own actions. I had valid reasons for keeping my homeowner status a secret, but did those reasons justify withholding the truth from my roommate?

Pros of My Decision

  • Maintaining Normalcy: Tom and I have a comfortable, normal roommate relationship, free from any landlord-tenant tensions.
  • Testing Responsibility: By observing Tom’s behavior, I’ve confirmed that he is a responsible tenant.

Cons of My Decision

  • Deception: I’ve effectively lied to Tom by omission, which doesn’t sit well with my personal values.
  • Betraying Trust: I’ve potentially betrayed Tom’s trust by keeping such a significant secret.
  • Unequal Power Dynamic: Tom may have made different decisions if he knew I was the homeowner, which makes our relationship inherently unequal.


So, here’s the million-dollar question: am I the asshole for not telling my roommate that I own the house?

I genuinely believed I was acting in the best interests of both parties when I initially made this decision, but as time has gone on, I can’t help but question if I’ve crossed a line.

Is my deception justified, or have I betrayed Tom’s trust by keeping such a significant secret?

What do you think, dear reader? am I the asshole?

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