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Thieving flatmate

By annus_horribilis 25 January 2014 31

A friend of mine shares a flat with a girl who keeps going through her stuff, taking things and taking money from her wallet.

They each have a lease so I assume she cannot evict her.

Do you have any ideas what she can do.

Calling the police is not going to make for good flatmate relaions.

What’s Your opinion?


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31 Responses to
Thieving flatmate
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ns 5:25 pm 01 Feb 14

She sounds exactly like a thieving flatmate I once had. By any chance are her initials “TI”?

annus_horribilis 8:11 pm 29 Jan 14

Bigfeet said ” Unless there is more to this story than you are saying it is a clear cut criminal offence and you should insist the police take action.”

But it isn’t clear cut, their is no evidence. Missing cash, relocated make up etc.
Have spoken to an acquaintance who happens to be a police officer who has confirmed that with this sort of petty thievery there is little we can do .
She confirmed what most of you said, confront flatmate, (thieves are usually cowards apparently, although to me it seems quite brazen) and she will be so embarrassed she wants to move out. Get a lock for the bedroom door and it is perfectly fine to have a camera recording within your own personal space.

gazket 4:24 pm 29 Jan 14

grab all her stuff and throw it outside then change locks.

zorro29 10:21 am 29 Jan 14

It’s hard if you can’t trust your flatmate cos you don’t want to live like you’re squatting at a train station…I think honesty is the best policy…confront the girl and see how it goes. If all else fails, vigilante justice (steal stuff back)….works for Batman (mostly)

bigfeet 9:44 am 29 Jan 14

steveu said :

caf said :

Genie said :

Police can’t do anything. When we had a friend housesit for 2 weeks ALOT of stuff was missing on our return. Called the police for advice but because they had a key to the property and we willingly let them stay. Tough titties.

So by the same token, the next time I’m staying in a hotel room I can take off with the TV then?

I think there is an agreement you sign when you pay for a hotel room, making you liable for damages, missing property etc.

Inviting someone in or giving someone a key does not negate your ownership of your personal property. Their are some slight grey areas relating to communal property in the house that all use, such as fridges, couches etc or situations of implied consent such as a statement like ‘you can borrow my jewelry whenever you want, no need to ask.”

But generally you have not relinquished ownership rights and the person has stolen your property.

Unless there is more to this story than you are saying it is a clear cut criminal offence and you should insist the police take action.

steveu 8:59 am 29 Jan 14

caf said :

Genie said :

Police can’t do anything. When we had a friend housesit for 2 weeks ALOT of stuff was missing on our return. Called the police for advice but because they had a key to the property and we willingly let them stay. Tough titties.

So by the same token, the next time I’m staying in a hotel room I can take off with the TV then?

I think there is an agreement you sign when you pay for a hotel room, making you liable for damages, missing property etc.

caf 9:09 pm 28 Jan 14

Genie said :

Police can’t do anything. When we had a friend housesit for 2 weeks ALOT of stuff was missing on our return. Called the police for advice but because they had a key to the property and we willingly let them stay. Tough titties.

So by the same token, the next time I’m staying in a hotel room I can take off with the TV then?

JazzyJess 1:04 pm 28 Jan 14

This happened to me in my first share house. I confronted my flattie who just denied everything and told me to move out (the lease was in her name). I later found out through a mutual friend that she continued this behaviour with the next person she roomed with. I doubt the Police would be willing to get involved so your friend needs to consider moving out if it doesn’t break the lease.

c_c™ 11:11 pm 27 Jan 14

You’re right to ask because it’s a murky part of the law. Technically being filmed in a public place is pretty easy to get away with because there’s no recognised right to privacy. In private, it becomes more murky. The recent case against Obaid Fayez fell apart because of doubts over this area of the law, though being only a Magistrate’s decision, that doesn’t really mean anything.

Basically, if you set up a recording device in a private dwelling, you could run into problems with the Listening Devices Act because if the housemate is speaking to someone for example and is recorded doing so, it’s likely taken to be a private conversation in such a setting. Should get away with it if you’re just recording in your own room, but pays to be aware when deciding on a course of action.

roshen 10:42 pm 27 Jan 14

c_c™ said :

I would advise caution pursuing this course of action. It’s definitely something I would consider, but be aware that covert recording can be a criminal offence and if the housemate discovers it before it discovers their actions, you could instead find yourself facing charges.

I would advise checking the lease agreement to see if there’s any clauses about repudiation on the ground of criminal conduct. If there is such a clause, it just provides an extra assurance for your friend going forward. If not, that doesn’t mean there aren’t other avenues to pursue.

I would lodge a report with Police too. If the thefts aren’t on record, it weakens your friends position should they desire to take later action.

Just for interest, can you quote some examples of where this has been a criminal offence? I’m curious because what you are suggesting would provide all sorts of problems for people who have surveillance cameras, dash cameras etc…

I would think the covert recording being an offence would be when you’re putting the camera in a public / communal area rather than your private space.

Maya123 4:54 pm 27 Jan 14

watto23 said :

Or call the police and ask the flatmate to compile a list of what they have had stolen.

Hee, hee, like it. Watch them sweat. Perhaps with that suggestion they will flee the house and your problems will end.

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