How to Tolerate Tricky Housemates

Hopefully, you’ll have been lucky enough to have a lovely bunch of people to live with for the next academic year. Sadly though, for some students this isn't the case. If after moving in you’re already dreading starting the new term, don't worry, you aren't alone.

Intolerable housemates are a given, and here are our top tips for how to handle them.


The spoilt brat

Starting to get irritated when that spoilt brat always brags about having the better car? The designer clothes? The newest iPhone? They’ve probably also been on a ‘gap yah’ - which they can’t resist telling you all about.

Money is no object in their world, so they also love to have the heating on full blast in winter and streaming all the latest Netflix shows without a care for your spiking internet bill. If this an issue in your household, check out UniHomes so you don’t have to worry about fluctuating bills. 

So, 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

The slob. Lazy, messy, dirty and seems to enjoy living in a rat-infested room. 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 insects, leading to a bigger issue for the rest of the house.

Come inspection time, they'll 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 partner

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.

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 that 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 bills - which have 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

Loud music can be irritating, especially if it's in the next room. The music obsessed housemate will always turn the volume up, either after a heavy drinking session or late-night stint of revision. Why does this always happen between 2am and 4am, and is always before 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 seems like you'll have three long years full of drink-fuelled partying. However, there does come a time, especially in third 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 third year, and will probably continue to party as if freshers never ended.

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, ear plugs, or just try to ignore their 3am stumble to their room. Ignore themhitting 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!

The nagger

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!



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