Confronting Annoying Roommate Habits

There are perks of living with a roommate… and for a lot of people, splitting bills is at the top of the list. The happy-go-lucky roommate situations that grace television shows are much more rare than the roommates that simply live together instead of sharing their entire lives. That’s no problem! But, what happens when you have an annoying roommate or one with certain habits that get on your nerves!?

Annoying roommate habits can span the full spectrum, from being a little messy to missing payments on critical bills. Most of the habits we hear about are little annoyances that can be easily resolved. Don’t fear some constructive confrontation!

Check out the ideas below to put an end to some annoying roommate habits:

Messy Roommate

This roommate just doesn’t pick up after herself, her pets, or her friends. This mess may come in the form of food garbage or dishes, clothes or other items strewn around the apartment, or hygiene concerns. 

If you have this roommate, sit them down and calmly talk to them about the messes you’re dealing with… but only if their messes spill into your space consistently. If your roommate left dirty dishes in the sink once or twice, wait until it happens more frequently before confronting them. If their own room is a wreck, ignore it! But, if their messes affect your space, let them know and ask them politely to clean up after themselves. A perfect example? “That dinner smells great! Can you please be sure to clean up your dirty dishes quickly so food doesn’t stick on?”

Dating Roommate

This roommate is a little inconsiderate about their significant other,  from bringing them over at all hours to letting them squat in your space or take over shared spaces.

It’s great that your roommate is happy with their significant other, but it should not disrupt your life. If you’re feeling disrupted by their presence, talk to your roommate about it and try to stay very concrete. Instead of telling him his girlfriend is annoying, tell him that you’re not able to study in the living room when she watches TV loudly, or that you’d like her to contribute to your grocery bills after eating her way through your entire pantry. By being polite and concrete with examples, the conversation should be easy to have.

Noisy Roommate

This roommate doesn’t have a ton of respect for quiet hours and may play music or TV loudly or invite loud friends over into the wee hours of the morning. 

The good news about this roommate? They probably already know what they’re doing is a little annoying. If you haven’t yet, ask to set boundaries and “quiet hours” for your apartment, like after 11pm or before 9am. Many apartment buildings have similar rules from the landlord, so this is not a new concept. If the issue is with your roommate’s friends, talk to them about a few specific examples and offer a solution, be it asking the friends to keep it down to reminding your roommate of a cool public park around the corner that the group can hang out in.

Irresponsible Roommate

This roommate is simply irresponsible. They may not pay bills on time, may make poor decisions with their health, may forget to attend scheduled meetings with you or your landlord, and are overall not very trustworthy.

These annoyances are much larger and can damage your policy with your apartment. If your roommate begins to jeopardize your lease or consistently breaks critical rules of your landlord (i.e. sending utility payments late, smoking in a non-smoking area), warn them and go to your landlord to determine a path forward. If both of your names are listed on the lease, you may be responsible for any damages or penalties faced based on their behavior, but it’s best to get ahead of it. If these behaviors continue, determine how you can exit the apartment with limited financial penalty.

As in every confrontation, remember to be nice and polite and offer a potential solution wherever possible. This will keep conversations on track and help both of you leaving the talk with a positive outcome.

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Author My First Apartment

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Sarah is a dog lover and advocate for conversation & laughing at your own jokes. Since finishing her college career in communications, she began working (and living) in Atlanta. After living in a few different apartments over the last few years, she's ready to share experiences. Stay tuned for adventures, tips and advice!

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