Living in a shared house is definitely a mixed blessing. But of course, there are nightmare housemates you don’t want to live with – at least, for the sake of your sanity.
We have all been in shared houses and we lived with housemates for several obvious reasons such as cheaper rent and cheaper bills. Nevertheless, it is not like what we always expected. Sometimes we have a nightmare housemate or two that drive us crazy. Therefore, you must be certain of the kind of housemates that you want to live with before you jump feet first into a shared house situation.
Here are five nightmare housemates you don’t want to live with. Let’s hope you don’t end up with one of these.
1. The unhygienic housemate
It doesn’t matter if you are a student or a working adult, life is always hectic, and it is understandable. Nevertheless, it shouldn’t be an excuse not to keep things in order. Having a housemate that is messy and unhygienic is an absolute ‘combo’. Isn’t it disgusting when the house smells like a colony of rats just died because your housemate left dirty laundry, unwashed dishes and smelly socks all over the place?
Nobody wants to live in a house that looks like it was hit by a tornado and most importantly, you don’t want to catch a fatal disease just because someone failed to tick the cleanliness box. Nightmare housemates often seem nonchalant about their actions, because sometimes they do not realise that their action is bothersome. So why don’t you be the house Nazi? Set boundaries and be clear about what you and everyone else can or cannot tolerate.
What to do: Make sure everyone has a basket for dirty laundry. Also, make the kitchen as a no-show area for the nightmare housemates who don’t do their dishes. Be clear that they are not allowed to use the kitchen unless they take part in cleaning it. On top of that, make a duty roster so everyone can take a turn to take the trash out. If they fail to abide by the house rules, they will be penalised according to the house rules.
2. The always late for rent and bills
When you live in a shared house, everyone has a fair share of the rent, bills, and responsibilities. However, you might have one housemate with a long overdue cheque for his share of the rent. Even though money is a touchy subject, you cannot let that person get away from responsibilities. It will get awkward, but nothing is as bad as paying double rent and dealing with other financial issues. Besides, never let anyone ruin your financial credit because it is terribly unfair for you and everyone else to fork out money to cover the overdue expenses. Avoid these flaky types as it is not your responsibility to back up someone financially.
What to do:
You can scream, throw a temper but none of this will ease the situation. When a problem like this happens, make it clear that paying rent and bills on time is crucial to ensure smooth cash flow.
Also, appoint a financial captain to collect all the money before the rent and bills are due. This is to ensure everyone in the house has enough money to allocate before month-end. The financial captain is also responsible to make sure everyone pays their dues on time. You may also consider using the bill splitting apps to ease bill monitoring.
3. The sneaky eater
Sharing storage space and refrigerator is one the most challenging parts of living with housemates. The refrigerator especially can be a tricky territory. There is nothing more disheartening than your favourite fancy jam being snatched from the fridge! If you are unlucky enough to escape a nightmare housemate, you will have at least one of them who assumes the fridge as a free food bank. Imagine stocking up fruits, vegetables, and snacks, but end up being savoured by someone else! It is completely forgivable if it happens once or twice, but if it starts to get worse, you really need to hunt the person down.
What to do:
Check with your housemates before you start to accuse anyone. Sometimes, it is frustrating when you know who the person is, but it is too awkward to deal with it. As a last resort, you might want to mark all your food containers with your name. Practice the “you bought it, you can eat it” rule and create a list of what everyone CAN and CANNOT eat.
4. The music lover
We all love music and there’s no harm to play it out loud – only if you know how to be considerate. The problem with the music lover is that they love to play their tunes at maximum volume to the point that infuriates the other housemates. Imagine having a lecture or working at 9 a.m. but you couldn’t sleep because your housemate is headbanging over Metallica at 4 a.m.
What to do:
The best thing to do is to set boundaries of when everyone can and cannot blast loud music. For example, no loud music near bedtime or early morning. Make it clear that you need a peaceful night sleep. Most people work or go to classes in the morning, so you don’t want to ruin your day from lack of sleep
5. The borrowing your stuff without permission
There are things that must be shared like kitchen utensils but there is also personal stuff that is strictly for personal use. If your housemates are cool to use your stuff like clothing and toiletries without checking with you first, that’s bad news! Nobody has the right to borrow your personal stuff without having your consent as this is an act of disrespect. It can also lead to other bigger issues like disagreement and invasion of privacy. As housemates usually share things, sometimes the lines begin to blur between what you share, and what you don’t share.
What to do:
You can hide your stuff, but it is difficult if you need to use it regularly. The best way is to talk about the problem with the person involved. Make it clear that they need to ask for permission if they need to use your stuff. Also, let them know about the things that you don’t want to share. Make an agreement that the item can only be shared if they contributed money into it. If it still happened, you may consider hiding out your personal belongings.
At the end of the day, it is important that all of you understand each other and act maturely when handling this issue. Sometimes, your housemates will still drive you crazy no matter what you do. You will quickly learn that living alone and living with housemates are two entirely different situations. Living with housemates could be tedious but if you meet the nice ones, they can be your shoulder to cry on when you have a crummy day. So, do you have a truly nightmare housemate? Maybe you can share how to deal with it.