You've moved into student accommodation and the first few days, or even couple of weeks, have been great. But now things are settling down and the work is beginning, you find that some of your new housemates aren't what you thought or were expecting.
However, even though the annoying habits and disregard for others can make you feel a little uncomfortable in your student digs, it’s important to try and give your new housemates a chance. After all, this is new for them too and they might not be being themselves.
While there are a number of different ways to handle annoying housemates, not all of them will work. Let’s take a look at how you can cope with irritating housemates and why you should take the time to give them a chance.
Patience and perkiness
In many situations, patience is a great attribute to have when dealing with new housemates you don’t know all that well, who have become ultra-annoying. Remember, they’re in the same boat as you; this is their first time living away from home and they’re just enjoying the freedom while also working out the best way for them to handle this new student life.
But, don’t be mistaken by what we mean by patience. We certainly don’t mean you should let your housemates continue with their annoying behaviour and trash your home, disrupt your studies and be rude.
What we do mean is that you could be patient in the way in which you speak to them, show them how their behaviour negatively affects you and your other housemates or even be a shoulder to cry on if they’re actually finding things really tough.
- Times when patience and a calm discussion can be required is where:
- A housemate is constantly eating your food and not replacing it.
- Where they’re always in late and make a noisy entrance, waking everyone else up.
- They never clean up after themselves in the kitchen or bathroom.
- A housemate isn’t paying their share of any bills you’re required to regularly cover as a group.
A lot of the time, having a chat with the annoying housemates about their behaviour – either in a one-on-one or house meeting – and alerting them that their behaviour is annoying/disruptive/inappropriate/rude, can be enough. Often people simply aren’t aware of the impact their behaviour has on other people’s lives and reminding them to think about it will encourage more thoughtful and acceptable behaviour in a shared Uni house or flat.
When to take things further
If you’ve already had a chat or chats, but your housemate is still acting in a way that’s disrupting you and the rest of the household, you may need to take things further.
For behaviour relating to non-payment of bills, not taking their turn on a cleaning rota or something relating to the upkeep of your property, you may want to take them through everyone’s commitments as detailed under your tenancy agreements. If you find they’re still not listening, ask for support from your university, they may be able to advise you on how to encourage your housemate to take the commitments they signed up to in their lettings agreement, seriously.
Another option is to speak with your University and see if they can offer some help for you and your housemates. Maybe the unruly housemate simply needs some additional support to help them adjust to their new life, or advice as to how to manage a balance between, studying, partying and looking after their shared student home.
If that doesn’t work and things are going from bad to worse, it may be time to take another look at that tenancy agreement and see what can be done in terms of swapping housemates or moving out into another shared student property. Although, it’s worth noting that while this may be possible in a university led tenancy agreement, it will be less likely in a standard Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) agreed with a private sector landlord.
Even though living with a difficult housemate isn’t fun, once the initial novelty of living away from home wears off and they realise they need to knuckle down and get on with their work, in most cases a little bit of patience, support and a nudge in the right direction can work wonders and encourage all your housemates to be fun to live with and sometimes, become life-long friends.
Will talk about how to be patient and try to give your housemates time to settle in and calm down and include a couple of tips if you're not getting on with your new house mates.