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How To Deal With A Bad Roommate

Apr 1, 2008
It is no secret that rent can be very expensive and this is why apartment dwellers will look for a variety of means to cut down on costs. The most common method of cutting costs is to share an apartment with someone else. While this may seem like a great idea it can also turn out to be disastrous if the relationship between you and your roommate deteriorates a nightmare. Problems between roommates can range from benign contrived situations such as one roommate being sloppy or inconsiderately loud to more serious situations such as a roommate being abusively angry or having serious drug problems. Needless to say, when the dynamic between roommates is shaky it makes living in an apartment, well, unlivable. Of course, this then leads to obvious questions in regards to how to deal with the situation.

Discuss the problem. While this may seem academic it is surprising how many people never address the problems they are facing with roommates. People, by nature, do not like to be confrontational (Well, most people anyway) so they do not address problems when they arise. This not only leads to the problems never being addressed but also it leads to festering animosity that can erode a relationship. As such, it is important to address the problems you may be having with a roommate be it messiness, tardiness on rent payments, disagreeable behavior, et al.

Be firm. Being wishy washy about your problems and concerns is a surefire way to not be taken seriously. You need to annunciate your problems and concerns and stress that the situation is not one to be taken lightly. In a way, this could motivate a change in behavior on the part of your roommate.

Seek a solution to the problem. Making demands or threats is hardly the right way to go about finding a remedy. Instead, it is best to seek solutions to the problem that are agreeable to all. If your roommate plays loud music late at night suggest that after a certain hour (say, 9pm) the roomie needs to switch to headphones. If the problem is messiness then suggest that the roommate pay strict attention to cleaning up after himself. The problem will not solve itself and this is why steps need to be taken to make sure the problems are corrected.

Be willing to compromise. Don't be too inflexible or condescending to a roommate and always be willing to listen to what a roommate has to say. If the roommate is sloppy because he or she is working too many hours and is just too tired to clean up then maybe it may be best to work out a dual cleaning schedule that both can prescribe.

Of course, there also comes a time when all options have been exhausted and drastic measures are required. If you are the person who moved into an apartment where the person who owns the lease is the problem then the way out is fairly easy. Leave. There is no reason to make your life miserable if the situation is not workable. Of course, you shouldn't flippantly move out and should try to smooth over problems but if they aren't working out then you should extricate yourself from the situation. Conversely, if you are the leaseholder and have a problem with the person you "took in" as a roommate you also have to weigh the option of asking the person to leave. When a situation is flat out unworkable, there just comes a time when it is time to move on.
About the Author
James Mattox is the founder and CEO of WhatsTheRent.com, a totally free site to search for roommates, apartments, houses, condos and more. Free and user friendly to either list a property for rent or search for a new place to call home. Find Roommates and Apartments
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