How to hack it with housemates from hell

Chloe Sweet
18.01.21 – 05 Mins Read

Do you know how to handle them? If not help is at hand!

As the first term of the year comes to an end, likely so too is some of that initial love you felt for your new housemates. Over time the shine will have worn off, as your housemates gradually began to reveal their true selves and slip into their annoying habits, habits they initially tried hard to hide. If you now find yourself in this situation you will be no doubt familiar with some of the following characters, aka housemates from hell, but do you know how to handle them? If not help is at hand!

The neat freak

They say cleanliness is next to Godliness, and to begin with the neat freak really did seem like a God send, keeping the place nice and tidy. But now? Well, their obsessive-compulsive cleaning and need for constant order is almost as suffocating as the overwhelming smell of cleaning products that permeate the place on a daily basis. And God help you if you dare leave a mug on the side or mix a knife with the spoons. Sure, it’s no big deal to you, but to the neat freak it’s a cutlery catastrophe sure to tip them over the edge.

How to handle them

The best way to handle a neat freak is to learn to compromise. Sit down together and calmly explain that while you appreciate and understand their need for order, it’s a need that is exceptional compared to that of the average person, i.e. you. The neat freak needs to understand that neither you nor your housemates are likely to ever live up to their sparkling standards, but you do appreciate you all need to try to maintain an acceptable level of cleanliness. Together make a list. Highlighting the problems the neat freak’s ways cause you and let them outline the messes that make them most uncomfortable. Once you have your list find a way to compromise and achieve a level of cleanliness the neat freak can tolerate, and you can realistically achieve.

The gannet aka the food thief

Sure, we’ve all done it, used a splash of someone’s milk or bit of butter when we’ve run out ourselves, the food thief however thinks nothing of eating your food on a regular basis.

Rather than get off their arse and buy their own, they simply help themselves to their flatmates. And they don’t just stop at the basic necessities. As far as the gannet is concerned any and all food is up for grabs, so leave that leftover pizza in the fridge at your peril.

How to handle them

As tempting as it may be to spike your food with laxatives and teach the gannet a lesson this is not the way to handle a food thief. Chances are they’ll be pretty pissed and only retaliate, not to mention it’s kinda dangerous. Try appealing to their better nature. Leave a note on the fridge (not the passive aggressive kind) or if you’ve identified the culprit speak to them in person, hopefully the shame of being caught will be enough to deter them. Other measures you can take include a mini fridge or using thief proof sandwich containers printed with fake mould, although this approach might see you lose your food to the neat freak during one of their cleaning rampages.

The music lover

The music lover, there’s usually one in every flat and you get it music is their life, but do they really have to blast it at full volume all day every day! You might love Post Malone as much as the next person but when it’s three in the morning and you have a lecture in six hours suddenly he loses his appeal.

How to handle them

The number one rule when it comes to handling the music lover is to NOT antagonise them otherwise you can forget getting a decent night’s sleep again all year. While you might have to bang aggressively on their door purely to alert them to your presence over the deafening sounds from their speakers, be sure to be reasonable and ask them nicely if they would please turn down the volume during certain hours. Alternatively, if all else fails club together with your flatmates and buy them some wireless headphones, Groupon has some great deals plus Christmas is coming up so the timing couldn’t be better!

The Couple

Whether you’re in halls or a house share, living with a couple presents a variety of challenges, especially if only one half of said couple is actually an official housemate.

In a house share scenario, there’s nothing more irritating than going to watch the TV only to find the unofficial housemate is keeping up with the Kardashians, or stepping in the shower and screaming with icy shock at the realisation a certain somebody has used the last of the hot water. If you’re living in halls things might be better on the facilities front, but everything in life is a trade-off and you’ll likely have to contend with a far more awkward scenario. Yes, one of the joys of student accommodation is paper-thin walls which allow you to hear everything your neighbour is up to, and we mean E-V-E-R-YTHING! If you’re unlucky enough to find yourself in a room next to a very loved up housemate, then we really do pity you and your poor ears!

How to handle them

If scenario A is your problem, take a look at your utilities bill. If you can prove an increase in cost that correlates with the arrival of your flatmate’s other half, then broach the subject. If you are living in halls and unwanted noises are your problem, well it might be time to borrow the music lover’s headphones!

The Slob

Often found glued to their PS4 sat amongst a pile of dirty clothes and dishes, the slob is the neat freaks worst nightmare. Forget washing the dishes, the slob’s plates are probably an environmental health hazard – more mould than china. Half their food in the fridge is rotten and the smell emanating from their room leaves you questioning whether something died. You’d best hope it’s not the slob themselves murdered by the neat freak!

How to handle them

As harsh as it may be the only way to pull the slob out of their bubble of lazy grossness is to give them a cold hard wakeup call (bucket of water optional.) Call them out on their behaviour and gently explain the effect their habits are having on the rest of the flat. Hopefully the shame will be enough to make them change their ways.

So there you have it, five housemates from hell and how to handle them, although when you live with Vita Student of course it’s problem solved. A self-contained studio, housekeeping included, your own fridge and a lovely team on site 24/7 to deal with any loud music, you’ll never want to go back to the dark days of housemates from hell.