Tips for dealing with a difficult roommate

Harshita Anandon 16 November 2021
Tips for dealing with a difficult roommate

Luckily, we can choose who we want to be friends with, but we hardly have an option for selecting roommates! 

Finding the right roommate is like searching for a needle in a haystack. But stumbling upon a bad one happens almost all the time. There are many ways a roommate is capable of annoying you: maybe, they use your belongings without your permission, never do the dishes after dinner, or play loud music during your study time.

You might not be able to evade an annoying roommate, but you can definitely learn to tackle them with some effective measures. Check out these five life-saving tips on how to deal with a problematic roommate you are stuck with!

Create a Contract with Your Roommate

Your roommate, at first, might seem like an ideal person to share space with, but don't become complacent! They may be a good person, but clashes of opinions and heated arguments are possible with anyone, even your best friend. So it is always preferable to clear things out from the beginning by setting up a contract. This should not necessarily be an official contract but a mutual understanding to distribute responsibilities and create rules for your home.

You can consider the points given below when deciding what to be included in the contract.

  • Cleaning standards and schedule of your place
  • Rules for personal space and quiet times
  • What to do when anyone of you moves out early
  • Handling payments for communal items like grocery items
  • Guest policies 
  • Managing payment of bills such as utilities

Remember, you can make agreements; however, the rules are subject to change and modification. You can even add more rules as per the changing situations. So next time when you are chilling with your roommate in your student housing in London or student housing in Birmingham, don't fight over which Netflix show to binge-watch. Instead, introduce a new rule that either of you should decide what to watch every week in alternate turns.

Talk it Out

How can you fix an issue without having a proper conversation? And that is why we advise you to discuss thoroughly and respectfully with your roommate whatever is bothering you about their behaviour.

Remember, don't talk when you are angry; instead, wait to get cooled down. Once you are calm, approach your roommate for a healthy discussion. Avoid making one-sided accusations, and be patient to listen to what your roommate has to say. Use a polite tone and the right words to bring up your concerns to them.

For example, don't say this to your roommate: 'I hate when you don't clean up your dishes after dinner.' Say this instead, 'I would really appreciate it if you clean up your dishes after dinner as it will ensure a clean and hygienic kitchen'. 

Practice What You Preach

Before pointing the finger at someone, make sure your hands are clean, too. You might think they are at fault, but maybe, they are also feeling the same about you--they are facing the same or other issues with you. 

Let's admit that nobody is perfect! So before you complain about your issues with them, first reflect on your behaviour, whether you're following all the rules yourself and are considerate towards your roommate or not.

If you think you have made mistakes, too, rectify them immediately. You can also have a one-on-one conversation with your roommate where you talk to each other about what you have done wrong and how you both can make amends for the same. 

Act Maturely

Sometimes, it is beneficial to control your actions rather than fixing others' to avoid unnecessary drama, which can strip you of your mental peace. No matter how hard you try to prevent disputes, they will arise. But going through a routine of the blame game, it is sensible to act with maturity.

So, next time when your roommate irritates you with loud music while you are studying, wear noise-cancelling headphones. You can even go out and have your 'me time' strolling through the quaint parks or reading your favourite book in a cafe. Remember, your peace is more valuable than entertaining your roommate with frequent confrontations.

Ask for Help

We know that you are now an adult and can solve your problems without the interference of others. But sometimes, when things get worse and out of your hands, you need to turn to someone who can assist you in these challenging times. However, you must confront your roommate first and try to resolve the issue. Even still the situation does not improve, you must ask the concerned authority to tackle it.

Who to approach? 

  • If you are staying in the uni dorm and dealing with a horrible roommate who steals your stuff or is simply a nuisance, you can approach the resident assistant to look into the issue.
  • If you reside in private accommodation near Sheffield Hallam Uni or Manchester Uni, you can talk to your landlord or property owner about the critical issues you are facing with your roommate.

We hope you find all the tips relevant in the article, which can help you end the ongoing cold war with your roommate. Moreover, you should remain patient and kind towards your roommate as we all have bad days. But remember, you must take a stand for yourself when things start to take a toll on your mental health!

Need assistance in finding your ideal home overseas?

Amber is an international accommodation booking platform that helps millions of students locate a safe, secure, and affordable abode. We are continuously upgraded with the latest COVID-19 protocols and will provide you with 24/7 free assistance in searching for the home you desire. Check out our Instagram and Facebook pages, and don't miss out on any updates!

Harshita Anandon 16 November 2021