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03rd Jul 2012

Dealing With Housemates From Hell

What happens when you're living with the housemates from hell? What should you do if you find yourself in this kind of situation?

Moving in with strangers can be daunting. Whether it’s living on campus during your student years, or entering into a house share when you start your first proper job. It can be awkward, scary and intimidating.

Generally when we move in with some new people, it tends to go smoothly enough. Sure, we may find some of our housemate’s behaviours a little odd, but they’re a nice person so we overlook any annoyances.

But what happens when your housemate is an absolute nightmare? How do you deal when they are loud, lazy and inconsiderate?

They often say that fighting fire with fire is the best way to exact some revenge on a nasty housemate, but what if this doesn’t work? Do you resort to evil behaviour (like putting laxatives in their coffee)? Or do you try and talk it out like grown-ups?

Just how should you approach a situation like this? How do you deal with housemates from hell?

Do call them out on their behaviour: When we first move in to a new place we can be pretty intimidated by the other residents. However, establish from the outset the kind of behaviour that you will and will not tolerate from your new housemates.

If their partying is keeping you up all night, complain in a nice but firm way. Let them know that if they want you as a roommate they need to be more considerate.

Don’t play their games: Often, if a housemate has a problem with something you’re doing, they will leave you a nice, passive-aggressive little note.

When dealing with hellish housemates it’s important not to allow yourself to get sucked into these games. These games (especially the note-writing one) do nothing except waste your time and make your frustration grow.

Do take pictures: If you’re dealing with incredibly messy housemates make sure you have some photographic evidence to back up your claims, especially if you decide to take your case to your landlord.

If you have proof that things are as bad as you say they are, your landlord will be forced to take you seriously.

Don’t engage in screaming matches: Okay, so you’re not getting on and you may feel like yelling at your lazy housemates, but it is essential that you remain calm.

Shouting matches never accomplish anything. Express your issues but in a calm and measured way – that way your housemates cannot accuse you of being aggressive.

Do go directly to your landlord: Sometimes issues are too big to try and sort out amongst yourselves. For example – what if you find out that a housemate is stealing from you? Or what if you discover that one of them hasn’t been paying their bills?

Always let the landlord know exactly what is happening in the house – if you keep them informed they could bail you out if an irate housemate is trying to tell them a different story.

Don’t run away from the issues: The worst thing that you can do is simply accept that you have bad housemates and resign yourself to a life of misery until your lease runs out. If there are valid issues there, do not feel like you can’t address them. You’re paying just as much money as the other inhabitants, therefore you have just as much right to feel comfortable and safe in your new home.

If something is annoying you, express it and deal with it. Nothing good ever comes from bottling up your emotions and stewing silently.

Do know when it’s time to move out: Sometimes things just can’t be salvaged. If nothing is changing and you are genuinely miserable where you are, just cut your losses and just move out. Think of all the heartache that you’ll save yourself in the long run.

If you’ve been keeping your landlord informed of all the issues, you may be able to negotiate with them and get some of your deposit back.

Have you ever been in a situation where housemates made your life hell? Share your experiences with some other ladies right here.