When it comes to housemates there’s a whole lot of variables, from the brand new bestie to to the one who only communicates through passive aggressive notes on the fridge, they come in all shapes and sizes. If you’ve been around the housemate block a few times chances are you might have come across a few of the below…
Done with Black Ops-esque stealth, the sneaky not-really-moving-in of one of your housemate’s other halves is a common flatmate flashpoint. All of a sudden there’s an extra person in the bathroom in the morning (and why do they always have to take such long showers), using the communal milk and even having the nerve to put the odd load in the washing machine. They’ll go home just enough (every third Sunday) to keep up the pretence that they haven’t ACTUALLY moved in and if you get up the courage to mention it, your flatmate will then disappear to theirs for a whole two nights to prove a point…
How to deal with it: If they’re never going to pay actual money towards their upkeep then your next best solution is to work out what you can get out of them, nick their Netflix, rinse their Amazon Prime, and help yourself liberally to the posh shampoo they leave in the shower.
You don’t need to be besties with the random people you now share 16-hours-of-your-day ‘under the same roof’ with, but you would like to know that they aren’t a figment of your imagination. You’ve never actually seen this housemate, first they were moving in late, then they were away on a work thing and now it’s been five months and you’re still not sure you’d be able to pick them out of a line-up. Where the hell are they?
How to deal with it: Be grateful. They may very well be the partner of the above flatmate so thank your lucky stars you got the good end of the deal.
You don’t want to be a grandma about it, it’s not that you don’t know how to have fun and you really wouldn’t mind if it was weekends, Thursday at a push (maybe) but cooking a full fry-up and setting off the smoke alarm at 5am on a Tuesday really isn’t on. This flatmate has some kind of unidentifiable job – AKA mummy and daddy pay the rent – that means 7am can be the end of their day and they care not one jot that it’s the start of yours.
How to deal with it: Trip the fuse box. They’re too spoilt to know where it is to check so they’ll head to bed knowing someone else will deal with whatever the problem is in the morning.
This flatmate seems brilliant at first, laid-back, fit and charming. They’re not your type but when your mate mentions they fancy them and you all end up on a night out together, his or her sheepish appearance at breakfast the next day is a laugh. So far, so fun. Until they ‘do it’ with one of your other mates. And another. And doesn’t return any of their messages. Soon you’re too scared to introduce them to any of your friends… and you’re even a bit concerned about leaving them alone with your mum.
How to deal with it: You’ve got to make them unappealing. Encourage the purchase of unflattering clothes, feed them garlic-laden meals before a night out and leave the odd tube of anti-haemorrhoid cream where your friends will find it.
On paper this seems like the dream. A free cleaner negates any of that annoying: ‘whose turn is it to get the cash out for the cleaner?!’ hassle. How could this possibly be a nightmare flatmate? Try coming home to everything you’ve left in your room piled up on your bed – including festival wellies, a Nutribullet and your bike. OR when they burst into the shower – while you’re IN IT, to check you really are using the anti-mould spray properly and not just spritzing it in the air. Not so great then, is it?
How to deal with it: Shell out for an actual cleaner, it might seem a waste of money when someone’s already doing it but it does stop that person being able to be a total martyr about it all.
On the first night you just click. You share the same taste in wine/Netflix/hangover cures and fabric conditioner (but crucially not in romantic partners). They’re basically your houseshare soulmate AKA you’ve won the flatmate lottery.
How to deal with it: Enjoy it!