Don’t let a bad housemate ruin your home. 4 actionable tips to deal with that nasty housemate.

Communal living has the potential of being truly awesome. It can literally mean living with your best mates 🙂 Just imagine: Pizza, beers and banter every night, wardrobe sharing for endless outfit options and no hassle from your parents anymore! But sometimes such a utopian vision can be unfairly shattered by the arrival of the dreaded “bad housemate”.



Maybe it’s not in fact a bad housemate but just a housemate that isn’t suited to the house in question. It’s unreasonable to think people living together will get along perfectly all the time, without the odd disagreement now again.

Although if a person is knowingly and intentionally causing continuous grief by taking food, not paying bills or making loud noise all the time, it’s understandable that they’re labeled a bad housemate. Your home is supposed to be your refuge from the office, your sanctuary away from the harsh streets outside; NOT somewhere to make life more unbearable.

So, don’t be a house-hater, be a house-mater by following our 4 easy steps to diplomatically and constructively deal with nasty housemates:

  • Step 1: Be honest and have a word
  • Step 2: Give them an ultimatum
  • Step 3: Seek out support
  • Step 4: Move on and move out

Step 1: Be honest and have a word

You shouldn’t have to suffer in silence, and don’t be tempted to immaturely retaliate anonymously or start bitching behind their back – otherwise you’ll become a bad housemate! Although it’s an awkward conversation to have, being open and honest is the best policy and fastest way to get things resolved. Offer to make em a brew and share your issues in amongst other more light hearted conversation. If they’re a decent person, this should do the trick and might even strengthen your relationship!

Step 2: Give them an ultimatum

If they’re still being a bad housemate, time to take things a little more seriously: have a frank and to the point conversation, put it in writing so you have a paper trail and give them an ultimatum. Try offering a metaphorical olive branch by suggesting you can stop doing stuff that they maybe found annoying in the past. This way they’ll be more inclined to play ball, seeing you’re making an effort too.

Step 3: Seek out support

If your honest words and ultimatum have failed to improve the situation, time to talk to your other housemates and possibly your landlord too. As they say – a problem shared is a problem halved! If there’s a consensus amongst your housemates that they really are a bad housemate, consider holding a formal house meeting to talk things through. Hopefully by acting like the UN and displaying a united front, they’ll wise up and mend their ways.

Step 4: Move out and move on

Still no improvement? Life’s too short not to enjoy where you live. Although it may seem unfair that you’re the one who has to move out, at least this way you’re taking control of the situation and that’s nothing to be ashamed of. Now you can get away from the bad housemate issues sooner, rather than letting them drag on or get worse. Besides, it’s probably totes awkward living with them, following your dispute up until now. Time to find a cooler crib and better housemates 🙂


This article is a guest post by Spilttable’s contributing writer: Jonathan McLellan