Housesharing? The 5 flatmates you’ll definitely encounter (and how to deal with them)

Jo Hoare

It’s as much part of London life as tube delays and pigeons scavenging chicken wing bones, and sometimes about as pleasant. Unless your bank balance makes Paris Hilton look hard done by you’ll definitely have some kind of experience with sharing your living space with a total weirdo. How many of these have you come across?

1. The one who moves their other half in

Done with Black Ops-esque stealth, the sneaky not-really-moving-in of one of your housemates 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 pretense 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: They’re never going to pay actual money towards their upkeep so 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.

2. The one you’re not even sure if they exist

You don’t need to be besties with the random people you now have to share 16 hours of your day with just cos they had the only room going that you could just about afford and wasn’t coated in mould but you would like to know 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 lineup. 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.

3. The nocturnal one

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.

4. The player

This flatmate seems brilliant at first, laid-back, fit and charming. They’re not your type but when your mate mentions she fancies him and you all end up on a night out together her sheepish appearance at breakfast the next day is a laugh. So far, so fun. Until he does it with one of your other mates. And another. And doesn’t return any of their messages. Soon you’re too scared to introduce him to any of your friends and you’re even a bit concerned about leaving him alone with your mum.

How to deal with it: You’ve got to make him unappealing. Encourage the purchase of unflattering clothes, feed him garlic-laden meals before a night out and leave the odd tube of anti-haemorrhoid cream where your girlfriends will find it.

5. The cleaning obsessive

On paper this seems like the dream. A free cleaner with none of that annoying, whose turn is it to get the cash out for them/do we have to tell our landlord we’ve got them a main door key cut type hassle. How could this be a nightmare flatmate? Try coming home to everything you’ve left out the jurisdiction of your room piled up on your bed. Including festival wellies, a Nutribullet and your bike or them bursting in the shower when you’re still 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 the C.O being able to be a total martyr about it all.


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