Hopefully you’ll have been lucky enough to have a lovely bunch of people to spend your home life with for the next academic year. But, if after moving in you’re already dreading starting the new term and having to spend your spare time dealing with messy, bossy or just intolerable housemates, then you’ll need our top tips for how to handle them…
Your first few weeks might flash by in a vodka-filled haze whilst you drink up the summer months, but as Uni kicks in, so can your housemates’ bad habits.
The Spoilt Brat
Starting to get irritated when that ‘Spoilt Brat’ always brags about having the better car (or even a car at all!), the designer clothes and the newest iPhone? They’ve probably also been on a ‘Gap Yah’ and can’t resist telling you all about “that one time in Thailand…”, even though they’re the only one not to have a part time job.
Money is no object in their world, so they also love to have the heating on full blast in winter and stream all the latest Netflix shows without a care for your spiking internet bill. One solution is UniHomes so you don’t have to worry about fluctuating bills, but how do you silence this self obsessed housemate?
You could try befriending them so their extra cash comes in handy when you need bailing out of your Pot Noodle marathon! And as for the ‘Gap Yah’… we’re sure you’ll soon be able to finish their sentences – they’ll soon get the hint!
The Slob. Lazy, messy, dirty and seems to enjoy living in a rat-infested hovel. All students can proclaim to be lazy to some extent, but those dishes that have been on the side for over a week with the leftovers turning a worrying shade of green are soon going to attract unwanted rodents, leading to a bigger issue for the rest of the house.
Come inspection time, they also refuse to help with any of the cleaning duties, leaving you and your housemates to compensate to ensure you all pass the landlord’s visit!
To sort this out, The Slob needs to be told they are a Slob. Embarrass them in front of your other housemates, clean up everything else except their dishes and their mess, and then draw attention to that stench coming from their room. However, this could result in a big fat FAIL when it comes to the inspection, so be careful how far you take it!
If the first approach fails, then there is no other way to deal with The Slob other than to nag at them, a lot! Yes, you’ll become The Nagger for a good few days, but the end result will be a spotless, pest-free house. Result!
The Sloppy Lover
You get on perfectly fine with your housemate’s other half, but you did not sign up to paying extra for them to live with you. They can get increasingly irritating when you become the third wheel for most nights as they take over Netflix and the whole sofa whilst snuggling up and talking to each other in soppy baby voices.
It might seem daunting to speak up as you don’t want to create an awkward atmosphere in the house, but you and the rest of your housemates didn’t sign up to live with an extra tenant. With the backing of everyone else, speak to the offending housemate and explain that you’re feeling a little cramped in your own home and you’d prefer it if they stopped over a little less often.
If things don’t go to plan and they’re still round 24/7, ask them to contribute to your food bill which has suddenly sky rocketed. Maybe you could agree a sleepover quota so they stay over every other night instead of moving in permanently.
The Music Obsessed
Any loud music which isn’t yours can be irritating, but drums and heavy rock are the worst! The Music Obsessed will always turn the volume up either after a heavy drinking session or late-night stint of revision. This will always commence between 2am – 4am and will be on the only day you have a 9am lecture. Fantastic.
We advise in this situation to stop the music at the source. Find the drumsticks and hide them. Find the power supply and sabotage. Anything to get an hour of sleep! If this seems a little too harsh, maybe you could have a quick whip round for a second-hand pair of headphones – a subtle but effective present.
The Party Animal
The start of Uni it seems like you will have 3 long years stretched out ahead of you full of drink-fuelled partying and lectures seem like an occasional necessity. However, there does come a time, especially in 3rd year, when you really need to crack down on rolling in at silly o’clock and start revising into the early hours instead! The Party Animal will not see the importance of 3rd year, and will continue to party as if it was 1999 and make friends with the Fresher’s descending on the city.
This kind of housemate is brilliant if you fancy letting of a bit of steam after a stressful assignment or exam period, but can soon be heading to the opposite end of the scale if their partying starts to interrupt the revision you’ve finally summoned the courage to start.
Try headphones, try ear plugs or just try to ignore their 3am stumble to their room, hitting and knocking over everything on their way. They’ll soon fall into a comatose sleep and won’t be seen until their Dominos’ delivery driver knocks on the door the following evening. You could also be that irritating Nag (see below) whilst they’re nursing their hangover – that should teach them!
The Social Loafer
There always has to be one Social Loafer in every household who sits back and lets the others do the chores. They’ll breeze through life without having to brave the creepy spider-infested cellar to take the metre readings and never once have you seen them take the rubbish out. They’re quite happy to rely on others and enjoy just relaxing whilst you do all the work.
This situation can become very irritating, very quickly and isn’t contributing to the peace in the house. The likely hood is that The Social Loafer is really just The Slob at heart, and probably doesn’t notice he/she is avoiding lifting a finger.
Quick fix? You could have a subtle word to spring them into action, however they’ll soon slip back into their old ways. For a long-term solution, sit down with all your housemates and write up a rota of chores, so you can be sure they’re doing their fair share!
You’ll quickly find out that being friends and living together are two entirely different situations and relationships can become strained long-term if the root of the problem isn’t addressed.
Ultimately, dealing with housemate disagreements can be a challenge, and the most valuable skill anyone can have in any of these scenarios is compromise. We’re sure you’ll also fit into one of these categories at some stage during your university experience and might soon find yourself on the receiving end of that awkward conversation!