What kind of people are your flatmates? Below is a list of things which are likely to drive any reasonable (or not stoned) person up the wall:
Doesn’t pay the rent or bills on time, or pays them late.
Never pays the full amount due (“I’m short this week, but I promise I’ll fix you up next week….!”)
Is into filth and too short-sighted to notice how dirty the place is.
Argues about how much electricity, gas, toll calls, appliance rental, pay-to-view movies, etc they are responsible for.
Forgets to give you your phone messages.
Reads your brand new newspaper/Listener/Best Bets/Salient before you’ve even seen it.
Uses your shampoo and the very expensive “Opium” shower gel that your Dad gave you for Christmas.
Turns their heater up to ‘Sahara’ in their room while the heat pump designed to heat the whole house is on in the lounge.
Worse – leaves their heater on when they go out “because I just can’t stand to come home to a cold place…”
Makes soup in the only decent sized saucepan and then leaves it on the stove for five days, while they have a little of the soup each night.
Breaks your stuff and doesn’t tell you – just leaves you to find it partially hidden in the rubbish, or waits until you say “have you seen the priceless Lladro ornament that belonged to my great-grandmother?”
Has a really noisy lover who is there every night. The one in our flat was nicknamed ‘the decibel queen’.
Uses up all your milk/coffee/sugar/bread and doesn’t replace it by breakfast time.
The cardinal sin of flatting is not paying what you owe. The person who doesn’t pay, or consistently doesn’t pay enough or late, is worth kicking out. After it happens twice, don’t hesitate – these people are like wife-beaters – they will apologise profusely every time, then do it again and again.
The next most irritating thing is the people who don’t clean up their mess. Messy people depend on the fact that other people have a lower threshold for filth than they do, so will eventually do the housework they don’t do. They are also usually right. In one of my flats, we got so pissed off with the guy who never did his dishes that we put them in his bed. Not long after that he moved in with his girlfriend…poor girl.
Also near the top of my list is the high volume stereo lout – especially the b*st*rds who play death metal full volume. I used to have a Goth living below me who would never turn down his music: “It’s my whole life.” he would say…. My heart just bled when he was evicted.
What many years of flatting have taught me is that no issue with any flatmate is worth stressing over, unless you really want to get rid of them. One fight and your flatmate will probably hate you forever, and they will be secretly wanting to move out, but may never get the inertia to actually do it until after exams. Much better to turn a blind eye if you possibly can – it’s better for your blood pressure.
Send your flatmates-from-hell stories to email@example.com and I will print the really good ones.