Some time ago (pre-pandemic), I moved cities. A friend of mine was also moving at the time—to the city I was leaving—and because our budgets were aligned, she took over the lease on my old apartment. I also left her a lot of my furniture, since it was a big move. At the time we were both thrilled with the arrangement. I loved the apartment, felt truly safe there, and it still has a special place in my heart. However, I only lived there for a half a year—maybe not long enough to understand the ups and downs of the aging building and its landlord. Since the move, my friend has had what can only be called a hellish time in the space. Ceiling leaks, mold, bed bugs—things that I (living there in the summer and fall, before ice melt and bugs came into play) didn’t know about, or if the signs were there, I didn’t think it would be insurmountable. It was an older building and the landlord wasn’t perfect, but I convinced my friend to move there based on my positive experiences.
Now I feel like I’ve trapped her in a horrible situation. Every time I console her about what she’s going through I feel like it’s my fault. I’ve mentioned this feeling in the past, and she’s said it’s ok, but I can tell it’s stressing her out and lowering her quality of life. Is it my moral imperative to find her a new place to live or help pay for her to leave the apartment? I feel like the answer is yes, but we’re not that close, and I’m worried it could cross a line or seem condescending. And, further—should I avoid ever talking about the apartment while she still lives there? I genuinely miss it there sometimes and have many photos and fond memories I wish I could reflect on, but it feels wrong with her new context. What’s an appropriate way forward in a situation like this? I’m at a loss for what to do.
— Home Improvement Needed