Roommate Problems: What to Do When You Don’t Get Along | My Move

Roommate Problems: What to Do When You Don’t Get Along

Author: K.C. Roads

When you live on campus, chances are you’ll run into one or two people who don’t make it to your inner circle of BFFs. But when your new roommate rapidly becomes your least favorite person, you’ve got a problem. When moving out isn’t an option, both of you need to resolve your conflicts and find common ground so you can live out your lease. Keep the following scenarios and accompanying conflict-management tips in mind to keep the peace:

Your Roommate Is a Party Animal

Many of us have been there: stuck in a cramped, two-bedroom apartment with a roommate who’s a noisy night owl. She comes home drunk or stays home and drinks. She doesn’t roll out of bed and eat your cereal until the six o’clock news comes on in the evening. And she can only be depended on to invite the town’s barflies to your place after last call.

What to do: Don’t be a parent, but do be an equal. Set a meeting to discuss mutual respect issues for a home. Point out that this isn’t a dorm or a bar environment, and that you’re uncomfortable with these habits. Agree on times to party and times to be quiet so both of you get a bit of what you want.

Your Roommate Is a Slob

He’s messy, lazy and never cleans up after himself. He leaves his dirty dishes in the sink. His room smells like a bad lab experiment, and nobody wants to use the bathroom after him.

What to do: Set up a chores schedule. Though most adults will naturally adopt a pattern in which they clean up after themselves and do a thorough cleaning session once or twice a week, there are those who simply don’t. The way to deal with this is to discuss the issue from a health standpoint. Alert your roommate to the fact that unsanitary living conditions attract bugs, roaches and other vermin, and all can cause serious health issues. Then draw up a cleaning schedule and agree to stick with it.

Your Roommate Has a Permanent Guest or Goes MIA

It’s touching at first: your roommate meets the love of her life and the couple cannot bear to be apart for more than three seconds. But all too soon, the novelty wears off and your living situation changes. Either your roommate is always at her new friend’s place and refuses to pay her share of the bills, or her friend practically moves in with you, resulting in higher bills, more noise and less bathroom time.

What to do: Discuss the consequences of the situation for you. You’ll need to be tactful and patient, but you should point out how your living situation is being affected by your roommate’s new habits. Discuss realistic expectations and divisions of costs and, if necessary, adapt your written agreements to reflect the new situation.