I moved in with three girls that I’d met for a grand total of 3 hours when I came to university because I had no other choice – I’d left it too late to get into university accommodation so if I wanted to have a house I was going to be living with them. When we met they’d seemed like lovely people but it turns out that first impressions can be very, very wrong. The three girls moved in a week before me because I wanted to spend more time at home at home before university. By the time I moved in, one of them had damaged our kitchen door by repeatedly shoving a broom handle through it because she was “bored”, she’d also had a good rummage through the stuff that my parents had taken up to the house for me already, which was mainly food bits so there was very little of that left by the time I arrived a week later. And then there was the state of the kitchen. Bear in mind that they had only been in the house a week, every single item of crockery was piled up either in the sink or by the side of it. And my favourite New York mug (bought by my sister) was missing in action after they ‘lent’ it to a guy from down the road, who they then refused to see again to get it back and the next time I saw it, it was in three pieces. But this is only the tip of the iceberg…
I moved in with three girls that I’d met for a grand total of 3 hours when I came to university because I had no other choice – I’d left it too late to get into university accommodation so if I wanted to have a house I was going to be living with them. When we met they’d seemed like lovely people but it turns out that first impressions can be very, very wrong. The three girls moved in a week before me because I wanted to spend more time at home at home before university. By the time I moved in, one of them had damaged our kitchen door by repeatedly shoving a broom handle through it because she was “bored”, she’d also had a good rummage through the stuff that my parents had taken up to the house for me already, which was mainly food bits so there was very little of that left by the time I arrived a week later. And then there was the state of the kitchen. Bear in mind that they had only been in the house a week, every single item of crockery was piled up either in the sink or by the side of it. And my favourite New York mug (bought by my sister) was missing in action after they ‘lent’ it to a guy from down the road, who they then refused to see again to get it back and the next time I saw it, it was in three pieces. But this is only the tip of the iceberg…I went away for a weekend at the beginning of November and had a fantastic time, only to come back and discover one of my housemates had been in my room, tried to use my laptop (which I know because it had reset to master password) and broken the light fitting in my room because she decided it would be a good idea to try and change the bulb for me (because it obviously went when she was in there without my permission). This is to say nothing of the amount of food that she ate of mine while I was away.I was destroyed. I rang my mum in tears and told her I was coming home. Eventually my mum managed to calm me down and persuade me to stick it out but things didn’t get better. She continually stole my food and refused to wash up – one time claiming she didn’t know how to wash up and when I offered to teach her, she claimed not to have any need to learn! She would also invite people back after nights out, which I don’t have an issue with but when they’re playing crap music really loud until 5am and I have a 9am lecture, it really isn’t so much fun. We’ve also had numerous complaints from the neighbours about this. The worst situation we’ve had was when she decided that the reason I’d locked my stuff in my cupboard was because I wanted her to break the cupboard door in order to get into my food and pots and pans. This was while I was away on Easter break. I’d washed up everything that belonged to me – regardless as to whether I’d used it or not – because I was fed up of her inability to clean up. So, to prevent coming back and finding all my stuff dirty in the sink I locked my cupboard so she couldn’t use it. I wasn’t being unfair, there was plenty of other stuff she could have used, it just required cleaning. However, instead of simply washing up, she decided that the best course of action was to break into my cupboard, busting one of the hinges in the process. Unfortunately, this is just a very brief highlighted version of my housemate
from hell story and doesn’t even come close to the pain she has put me through this year. I have been so miserable and considered dropping out of university on numerous occasions, all because of her. I pity anyone who has the misfortune of living with her in the future. One of my other housemates has just removed her from her house plans for next year because she can’t stand the thought of having to live with her again.
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“If they have a taboo, socially inept tendency, it will come out at home”
Sigh, I have to confess to being, at times, a housemate from hell. I read Lil’s story about being given the ice maiden treatment and saw myself. On the other hand, I myself have made the same complaints featured in all of the above stories: so and so was too messy, so and so got too defensive when we pointed out his unhygienic ways, so and so was too pushy (my current housemate from hell falls into that category).
If I am a housemate from hell, I am probably the hypercritical kind but reading this site reminds me that we all are. At least I keep my mouth shut, most of the time! Face it: humans are a bit unnatural in their behaviour, their psyche, their lifestyle. Everything about us is a little more neurotic than it probably ought to be. Even the nicest people in the world become a pain when you have to deal with their flaws and neuroses every day. Why is that? Because our own flaws and neuroses are enough for one person to handle, thank you very much! Added to this is the fact that, when people are in their home, they want to relax and let it all hang out. That means behaving in the way that they can’t behave when they’re out in public.
If they have a taboo, socially inept tendency, it will come out at home. But before you shake your head and start citing examples of taboo behaviour right left and centre, why not try practicing a little forgiveness? I mean, aren’t the standards for public behaviour a tad too high anyways? Isn’t that the reason why all of us have days when we ‘can’t face the world’, when we throw a sickie so we can just ‘be’ in our own comfort zone instead? People do not like having the spotlight turned on them at home. End of story. For that reason the best place to discuss any problems you’re having, in my experience, is outside the house. Keeping in mind that being flawed and neurotic is just a natural part of the human condition, let’s move on to the task at hand: identifying what kind of person will make an awful housemate from the first encounter.
I won’t pretend to have all the answers here, but I definitely use a checklist when going to a new home to meet prospective housemates. Figuring out who is annoying in a normal, forgivable way and who is going to be downright dangerous and/or disturbing to live with is a difficult call. We all have an equal propensity for being childish, dirty, petty, controlling, you name it, and conflict in our safety zone – the home – will only exaggerate all those tendencies. With that in mind, living with strangers, or even friends you don’t know very well, becomes a case of damage limitation. So finding someone who 1 not at home all day, every day, is the first point on my checklist. ‘Absence makes the heart grow fonder’ as they say. Now, I admit to having a problem with taking this approach too far, as I tend to be TOO absent in times of conflict (and as Lil’s story reminds me, this is unfair when the other person is unaware what the ‘conflict’ even is). Nonetheless, I have to defend my approach to the extent that too much exposure to anybody with the possible exception of your life’s true love and your children becomes annoying. So when meeting a potential housemate, ask them how much time they spend at home.
The perfect answer is somewhere between “I only sleep there” and “I work from home” but exactly where depends on your individual tastes. So feel free to ask them to give you an idea of what their weekly or daily schedule is like. But for the love of god, DON’T move in if they work at home or are jobless not if you want an easy life! 2) Avoid somebody who complains about every housemate they have ever had, at length. They will be a nightmare to live with for the sole reason that they are probably unable to consider that they are equally difficult to live with at times. They lack perspective. House-sharing successfully does not require totally submission of one’s values, but it does require a ramped up sense of humility. 3) Stay away from somebody who puts excessive conditions or clauses in your contract or has a totally spotless, showpiece of a house. Being in THAT much control of your home is a privilege that only the rich independent house can afford. The rest of us have to do with compromise and that means accepting that the shared areas and so on belong to no one. They will always be a bit of a quagmire of conflicting habits and if you don’t like it, you should stay in your room! 4) High turnover of housemates. The person sitting in front of you may look sweet and innocent. And your city may have a highly transient population with lots of students. And it may be that there’s a recession on, or that the housing market is going through an upturn/downturn that has renters on the go. It may also be that the last five tenants had to move out at short notice because their maiden aunts in the Outer Hebrides took ill. But what is far more likely is that a raging maniac from hell lurks underneath your new housemates smiling veneer. Trust me if no one wants to live with them there is always a reason.
They probably don’t know what it is themselves but by god, you don’t want to find out! So if you’re unhappy with your current housemate, do get out there and start looking for a new one but take care and good luck! Sang Froid London
“He literally wanted me to drive from three states away to deliver his shot glass collection”
I lived in Norfolk when I was in the military. Housing there is at an extreme premium and it’s very difficult just finding a place close to work let alone something that is within your means. I ended up living in a
pretty bad area with 3 other guys in the military, in a two bedroom/two bath place. You know it’s a crap hole when the landlord doesn’t care that many people were on the lease. Two of us were on one boat, and the other two were on another. Basically when my housemate and I were out to sea, the other two housemates were in there and vice versa except for about maybe six weeks out of the year when we would all be there together. It worked out okay for about nine months until I came back from a four month deployment with a living room that was falling into the apartment below us. One of the housemates bought an AC window unit and must have had it running on the coffee table (none of this makes a lick of sense because we had central air). To this day, I have no clue what the hell they were thinking (all the hot air was just going into the same room?!?). Despite the water damage, the unit must not have run very
long because they stop paying for electricity for about 1 month after me and the one roommate left. And no, they did not empty the fridge. I got the joyous job of contacting the landlord and informing them of the massive amount of damage to the place (the living room, the one toilet was smashed into bits, holes in
the wall) naturally we got evicted even after me and the other dude put up the funds to prevent the four of us from getting sued. (To be clear the two morons were on a deployment when we got back so I am not sure as to when they abandoned the place and left the mess for us). The best thing though was not only did we have to cover for the damages, these other two a-holes never attempted to make contact with us until about two years later when the
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one clown demanded to know whatever happened to the crap he left in the place (no kidding the places was a natural disaster and there was nothing worth selling or holding onto). He literally wanted me to drive from three states away to deliver his shot glass collection to him along with a string-less guitar that had a broken neck and he threatened to sue me or some shit because I neglected to protect and hold onto his crap for all this time. Diablo Norfolk, VA
“It’s gotten to the point where C and I don’t eat much, or at all”
I’m in my first year of university, living with 3 other people who will be referred to as A, B and C. C and I have gotten along since day one. In fact we all got along until November. This is when A developed some serious issues with C and I. We have done absolutely nothing wrong, we keep to ourselves, clean up after ourselves etc. I should mention that A and B are on the same course so they have more in common. For whatever reason A stopped talking to me and C, then A and B started talking crap about me and C, after the Christmas holidays things start to get progressively worse. They have their friends
around most days, making a lot of noise, slamming doors, smoking (I’m a non-smoker, and C has really bad asthma), they enjoy talking about me and C, making fun of us, this’ll go on for hours! They won’t leave till! They always stay in the living room, which you have to go through to get to not only the kitchen, but also the bathroom! What annoys me most though is how pathetic
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they are. I overheard A and B making fun of me just for filling the kettle using the bathroom sink because A was doing the washing up and I didn’t know how long she was going to be, and quite frankly I limit my time around them. It’s gotten to the point where C and I don’t eat much, or at all. We wait till after A and B have retired to their rooms until we
go to the bathroom. I’ve even started having headaches nearly every day, some of them making me feel nauseous because of the noise and how stressed I get because of them. I honestly don’t know what C and I have supposedly
done wrong to deserve this. If you have any advice
on how you could resolve this issue please leave a comment below. Angel1991 Carlisle
“I come home and the toilets and bathrooms are FILTY full of their clothes, the toilet hadn’t been cleaned since I left”
I have been living with my two best friends and one of their boyfriends’ for the past six months. It’s been a complete nightmare! I just need to vent my anger and get some feedback on my story. What makes me believe my housemates are from hell?
They lied to me before I even moved in, they said the lease was six months, but when I signed the lease a day after I moved in I discovered it was actually a year-long contract. Now I’m stuck with these people for a whole year.
2. The car
One night the two sisters asked me if they could borrow my car being too lazy to get the bus and I said “No sorry, there is something I have to do in the morning and I need my car for it”. I wake up in the morning and my car is gone. My sister who was visiting informed me that they had taken my car, even when I told them they couldn’t use it. This made me so angry. They didn’t even reimburse me for petrol and they drove it about 30kms or s o. I mentioned how I felt about it to them and they just kept changing the subject, this made me even more angry.
3. The chopping board situation
I was given an expensive wooden chopping board as a gift, which I didn’t mind people using in the house until I realised they never cleaned it after using it. Even if they chopped up uncooked chicken on it, they left it sitting th ere overnight afterwards, I just think this is so unhygienic! I informed them that this was disgusting and unhygienic of them and when I told them I didn’t want them using my stuff anymore if that’s the
way they”re going to treat it and I received a smart arse comment back from t hem saying “you use all our furniture and sit on our couch and watch our T.V. which is ours”. I feel that that is so petty. I treat their stuff with respect all the time.
4. The kitchen
I stopped eating dinner altogether so I don’t have to use the kitchen. Every night they cook their dinner, they leave dirty pots and pans for me to clean up, I really don’t think that’s fair at all. I asked them on a number of occasions to clean up at the end of the night so dirty pots and pans aren’t sitting there overnight working up a stench but No, nobody listens. I’m trying to make some kind of order in the house so we don’t get
sick but they still leave pots and pans sitting there for weeks. It’s depressing to live with, not being able to use my own kitchen and it’s such a shame because I love cooking.
The lounge room is usually crowded with bowls still with bits of dinner left in them. Once there was a really bad situation where they all left bowls of chicken and bacon pasta in the lounge room for, it stank out the house and when they finally dealt with it the bowls ended up having maggots in them. That’s how bad and foul it is. I cry a lot because of it and I’m scared to speak up because they will just gang up on me again and start making excuses, thus causing conflict.
6. Going away for Christmas
I went away for three weeks at Christmas time while they stayed home. I come home and the toilets and bathrooms are FILTY full of their clothes, the toilet hadn’t been cleaned since I left, there was rubbish everywhere, toilet rolls, dirt, even brown stains in the toilet bowl that had obviously been there a while. It still hasn’t been cleaned. One of the two sisters doesn’t even work and is at home all day. I’m at work 7am to 7pm, no time to clean unless on the weekend, which we usually do but they didn’t do anything at all over the break. All the crockery and cutlery are completely dirty in the sink, they’ve been there for at least a week. The grass is up to my shoulders too. It’s one of the housemate’s jobs to do but he doesn’t do it nor does he clean the house much. I get hives from long grass so I can’t go outside to hang
my washing on the line so I’ve got a pile of dirty laundry to do.
7. The air conditioning
There is one air-conditioning unit in the whole house which is in the main bedroom (where the one girl and her boyfriend sleep). They have it going everynight and the box is right under my window. I get no sleep whatsoever. It’s unfair that a large part of the electricty bill from the aircon is being on the whole night and I have to pay for that when I dont get any of the air at all! I asked them if they could not have it running over night and just have the window open instead because I’m sleep deprived from it. They said ok but that same night and two nights later it has been going the whole night and into the morning, still, Even when I asked them not to have it running all night.
8. They use my work clothes, which I need!
They tend to go into my cupboard and take whatever. So when I go to wear them they are stinking of sweat. They are my clothes and I have asked so many times for them to not take my belongings and they just don’t listen. I want move out so badly but I paid a $900 bond and won’t be able to get that back until the end of my lease and if I move out I will loose that big lot of money and it will all go to the other housemates. It’s hard because I love them, they are my best friends but I can’t deal with this any longer. I don’t know what to do. If you have any advice on how to confront people and to resolve the issue of bullying and ganging up on someone please leave a comment below. enl Australia
“When I get to choose housemates for my second year, I’ve already eliminated a few candidates”
Living in a shared house with total strangers was expected to be difficult.
But it’s barely been three weeks and already some of them are driving everyone else insane. There’s the usual drama about washing up, most of us hate doing it. Fair enough. The problem is that if it doesn’t get done before the cleaner shows up for the weekly clean, we all get fined. Unfortunately some of my housemates are so used to having someone else clean up after them that they won’t lift a finger. The rest of us have had to try to sort the two kitchens out without them. Personally think we’re incredibly lucky to have someone clean the surfaces for us, and be courteous enough to do the dishes even
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only once a week, shouldn’t be so beneath my lazy, snobby, housemates. Then there’s the
guy who keeps peeing in the shower every time he gets drunk. The shower is next to my room, so the smell wafts in. Why he uses the female shower as a urinal is beyond me. Hopefully, things will get better. I’d like to think we’ll all sit
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down and talk about it like adult, but after reading some of the stories here, I doubt it. When I get to choose housemates for my second year, I’ve already eliminated a few candidates! Ren UK
“even the sound of his voice is beginning to make my blood boil”
I am sharing a flat in Plymouth with a person from my course, who I thought to be nice in the first year of being in class with them. Shortly after we moved into a flat together, ready for the second year, I realised the reason he had found no-one else to live with. He treats everything like a business transaction, and is very, very blunt. Furthermore, he doesn’t tidy up after himself and has left the same pile of dirty washing up in our tiny, over-crowded kitchen for the better part of a month and a half and I have suspicions that he is using my cutlery and kitchen equipment. The bathroom is a mess and he continually throws-up down the toilet and does not bleach or clean this area all. His music is always on at
a ridiculous volume & time and even the sound of his voice is beginning to make my blood boil. His bluntness does not stop with me and he has acted the same way to our landlord. Also we have a
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group of people living in a flat downstairs that appear to love him and they invite him down and they come in to our flat whenever they so feel. As I have not been out with them the past couple of times, they have decided to completely ignore me and be solely ‘his’ friend. What makes matters worse is that I am contracted to live there with him until September and I do not know
what to do. If anyone has any comments or suggestions I would very much like to read them!
“we should be trusting of them because they are good honest folk. BARF.”
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of mine, his girlfriend and another girl about 15 months ago. Typical shared house arrangement. After a short while I begin to become weary of his girlfriend’s manipulative narcissistic behaviour. No job, lazy, demanding and always a crisis of some sort happening to try to make you feel sorry for her. Leaches off anyone and everyone and believes she deserves special treatment. I distrusted her very early on. She is the expert at blame diversion and everything is everyone
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else’s fault but her own. Had suspicions about her honesty early on so kept my bedroom door locked when I went out and convinced our other flatmate to lock her door as well. Lo and behold my mate’s girlfriend questions why we would do that as we should be trusting of them because they are good honest folk. BARF. Anyways I am becoming sick of her constant dramas, family and monetary. I decide to leave my bedroom door unlocked, but put a hidden webcam in my room that records when motion is detected. Can you believe that the very first day I record her stealing money from my change tin and the second day as well. A third time a few days later. I am over her but she is my friend’s girlfriend. What should I do now? loudisgood
“One morning I opened the door to the shower cubicle and was greeted by a nice big smelly yellow puddle”
I have less of a story and more a long list of difficult moments:
The electricity went off in the house one evening, which was strange because the lights remained on. So on a trip downstairs to have a look at the fuse box, I peered around the kitchen door to see what might have happened. Finding my housemate and his girlfriend with a rather large knife jammed into the toaster. ‘oh we were just trying to um… get it out’
I preheat ovens, because that’s what it says to do on the pizza box. I tend to make the assumption that nobody would be stupid enough to leave something in the oven and
am usually right. But not on this particular day, on this particular day I found myself coming down the stairs to
a very peculiar smell. In a moment of great kindness, my housemate’s girlfriend had decided to dispose of the plastic cartons and wrappings from last night’s meal inside the oven, it was not appreciated by me in the slightest. The gas: (Here’s a nice short and sweet complaint) I came back one afternoon to find the gas hobs running on full with no flame. The house was full of gas. They had been running for over four hours. Clever, I think Darwin’s theory of evolution doesn’t apply to my housemate.
The Yellow Puddle:
One morning I opened the door to the shower cubicle and was greeted by a nice big smelly yellow puddle. Now let me just explain the layout of our bathroom. You walk into the bathroom and immediately to your right there is a shower, two steps away from the shower is the toilet. Now I know that my housemate is lazy, but that’s just ridiculous, and I have a horrible feeling that his girlfriend and him may have been in their together the night before.
One day I came home with some friends to find the bathroom in a disgusting state. The bath was FULL of LONG hair, there was smashed glass down the back of the bath tub, my shampoos and shower gels had all been moved and used.
There was white gunk in the toothbrush holding glasses. It was commented that it looked as though somebody had shaved a dog in there.
Now I know that some people are very picky about the heating and won’t let their housemates turn it on unless it’s absolutely necessary. Well here’s a horror story for you guys! One winter’s day I opened the front door to be greeted by a heat wave, I looked at the thermostat, it had moved to a place higher than numbers! It was
blank zone above 30! There was not a single surface in the house that was even slightly cool, everything was boiling to the touch, it was as if the house had been picked up and dumped on the equator! I ended up going into my room and removing all of my clothes, and still found myself dripping with sweat. I later asked one of my housemates why they didn’t turn it down. I received this response: ‘oh.. I didn’t realise… I just came home and it was so nice in the kitchen that I kind of just chilled out for a bit, sat in the heat and just got nice and cosy’ And these are just the incidents worth mentioning. The rest of my complaints are fairly normal e.g. poor personal hygiene, lack of cleanliness, communal areas becoming dumps, accidental damage to the property on a regular basis, poo on the toilet seat, menstrual discharge on the toilet seat, wiping of toothpaste covered faces all over communal hand towels, housemates not paying rent on time, housemates having very loud sex, housemates using dirty dish cloths as face flannels, imagine every inconsiderate thing that you might ever have to put up with in a house because the chances are that I’ve had to deal with them
all in one property. It is however very important to note that these are not horrible or unpleasant people. They are great people to hang out with, chat to etc. But I have learnt the hard way that nice people can be very difficult to live with. Venting UK