It’s all about sharing
As a renter in London, it’s highly likely that at some point, you’ll end up sharing an apartment with a roommate or two. In a perfect, utopian world, you will all get along swimmingly, like in a beloved sitcom but, unfortunately, we’re living in our technologically dependent reality and the chances are that the real hell could be just an unwashed dish away from what you thought could be the heavenly place on Earth.
Chores left undone, always delaying paychecks, loud parties, extra ghost roommate going by his or her love interest, or simply plain awful personality, which you cannot handle even a minute longer – the reasons why you want to separate ways with your flatmate are countless but they have the same urgency in common. Although, this scenario is more commonly the exception, not the norm, sometimes cutting the ties seems to be a relief for both of you, so the only logical outcome is to make your roomie walk the plank and show where the door is.
Real Nightmare Roommates Do Exist
and that is not in our opinion alone, Matt Hutchinson of the well-known roommate search site SpareRoom for an instant totally agrees with the statement above. Still, in most cases, your roommate is not exactly the devil in disguise, but а plain OK person you just don’t happen to be able to live with, although this remains a solid reason to separate paths in the nearest possible future.
Let us put you in one of the most common scenarios in which you’ll surely don’t want to take any part.
This is a story about three little roommates. All of them fresh out of college and working entry-level jobs with low paychecks, which merely covered all of their necessary expenses. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? But then one of the three girls turned out to be a real pain in all of the unpleasant places. She refused to do any chores, argued about every possible thing no matter how small, delayed her fair share of money for bills and rent, and basically was a source of frustration for months. The final straw was when she gave her boyfriend a copy of the keys to the apartment without consulting her other roommates, who came home to find him there laying naked on the couch.
This last drop required emergency measures to be taken. Unfortunately, this nightmare roommate’s name was on the lease, so the others had no legal recourse to throw her out. The upper hand was held by the demon. Long story short the two other girls, had to return to their former roommate the entire amount of her security deposit, and additional funds to cover the move and ensure her cooperation, as well.
The real question here is – what you can do in order to avoid such an uncomfortable—and expensive—scenario? Follow our simple Guide on Breaking Up with your Roommate to find out but first:
Take a close look at the pre-signed papers
First thing’s first - and in this case, it is to know what kind of tenancy you’ve agreed on because this will determine your whole strategy from now on.
Let’s look at the three possible cases here:
If you have separate tenancy agreements.
This is easily the best possible scenario. House members with their own tenancy agreement will have the most rights. In this case, no matter who leaves and who stays, it won’t affect the other tenants in any way. You're responsible for your own behaviour and bills alone and no matter what you’re about to do no one else will be affected.
If you’ve signed a joint tenancy agreement.
In this case, even if someone is leaving, the rent still has to be paid, otherwise all of you can be evicted or asked to move out for whatever reason, because of just one person. If you line up a new housemate quickly, there won’t be a gap in the rent, but still, your landlord has to agree with the new inhabitant first, and you may have to pay for a new contract.
If there’s a lead tenant, whose name is written on the agreement – then it’s better to be you, otherwise the chances are that you will be the one leaving.
Being a sublet doesn’t leave you with any right but still will surely make things harder for you, since your name is nowhere to be found on the papers, especially if the landlord doesn’t have a clue about your existence in the first place. If that’s the case, you and your roommate are both in big trouble.
In any of the cases above though, you can be saved by the bell, if there’s some certain period pointed in your pre-signed agreement. If your rent goes month by month or even better - week by week, than all you have to do is to sign a new one with your landlord, when the set duration runs out and point all the necessary changes in it.
How to painlessly separate ways with your bad egg roommate?
Sharing a home is not only a matter of cash and it’s always best for you to stay on good terms with your ex-roommate. We’re all people after all and sometimes the pieces just don’t fit well together. So here’s what you can do in order if not anything else, to at least keep things civilized untill the bittersweet end.
But first and extremely important, if by anyway you’ve been threatened or harassed by your roommate, you shouldn’t hesitate to immediately contact the police or local council.
In any other case, the following Guide on Breaking Up with your Roommate will do just fine.
What if this is just a phase?
Breaking up is always hard. Full stop. It doesn't matter whether we’re talking about your love interest or your roommate. After all, you’ve been sharing your Home with this person and we’re pretty sure that you cannot say the same about all of your crushes, right?! So to cut the ties may be pretty hard for both of you. Exactly like in love, you need to detach yourself from the current situation and figure out - is the hard time you are having with your flatmate just a phase or the sun won’t shine on your street ever again.
Still, before making any final decision, you should take into consideration all the pros and cons and the current factors, which may be affecting your shared household. If things have already gone beyond reparable and it's really over-over, it’s time for you to face the music.
Have an honest, sober, face-to-face conversation
Every journey begins with a first step and this is the one that you should take as soon as possible. The healthiest way to cut ties with your roommate is to simply tell the truth in person! - this one is indeed mandatory - you cannot simply dump someone via text.
Don’t make it personal, though. Just make your point clear and try to explain that you’re not a healthy match and it would be best for all if your flatmate finds another place to settle down.
After all, when you strip it down to the essentials, as harsh as it may sound - an apartment share is nothing more than a financial transaction. Make it about ending the financial relationship between both of you, rather than telling your roommates that you don’t like them.
Don't point fingers Well, you don’t have to hold hands, either but simply just try not to make accusations. Be mature and aware of your own mistakes as well.
Don’t blame the other person for everything and try to stay diplomatic. For example – it’s much better to say something like: I know I have high cleaning standards, than: You never clean a thing at this apartment and I find your hygiene habits disgusting!.
We’re pretty sure, that you got the idea.
Give plenty of notice
You've been there, done that and know how time-consuming and hard it is to find an affordable but still habitable place to rent. So be a decent human being and give your flatmate at least 30 days’ notice before the desired moving out date.
Be reasonable here and if your former roomie needs a day or two after the pointed period go with the flow and don’t throw his or her stuff in the hallway.
Offer a financial incentive
Flattery will get you everywhere and sometimes so does money as well.
In other words, if you can, offer to help by financing your roommate’s next move, pay his or her first month’s rent in a new place or give back their security deposit early – that will make things much easier, faster and smoother for both of you. It’s not easy for someone who just moved to fund a second move, so if you can ease the financial burden, you might help expedite the process.
Not all friendships are meant to be
And even if they are, there’s no guarantee that your best friend will be a great roommate, as well. Actually, this kind of attempts can end up pretty bad by destroying your friendship and ruining your entire social network in the process. Your close ties may become a burden when it comes to putting the cards on the table. So don’t procrastinate and put it straight, it’s literally the best approach, especially if you want to keep your friendship in the process.
If this person really means (or meant) something to you, then put in your best effort to stay in touch. It may be awkward at the beginning but if you want to remain close with your former roomie, the nuisance will most likely fade away with time. Once you both realize that even if you can’t live under the same roof, you can still be great friends, everything will be just fine and probably much better than before.
Figure out if you can evict your nightmare roommate
For your own sake, we sincerely hope that things won’t end up at such mandatory terms but it never hurts to be prepared. If a conversation gets you nowhere, you'll have to act by using the power of the law. But whether you're going to be the one kicked out or do the kicking depends a lot on the terms of your lease. We’ve written quite a lot about the types of rent in the UK and about the eviction process, as well. So do your homework and learn the basics before taking this road. Just remember that you can’t simply leave someone out in the street without a solid reason.
- If everything else fails, take them to court
This is one truly desperate move and we hope that you won’t have to go through the court process but if this is the only way to keep on living your life without any bloodshed, then don’t hesitate to do so. The court’s calendar is somewhat congested, so it might take a few months to get a court date, but it will eventually happen. Remember to seek a piece of advice from a professional. This will not only spare you some time but a lot of the hassle as well.
If you want to play it dirty
Well if you’re ready to play the game on who is the biggest child in the apartment and not ready to be a functional adult, then there are indeed a few infant tips, which can help you get rid of your unwanted roommate. Just don’t say that we didn’t warn you about the immaturity of this particular approach.
The (willful) Ignorance is a bliss
You have to be close with and supportive to your roommate – says no one ever. There has never been a rule which obligates you to be a decent human being and actually care for the people near you. So start by ignoring your roommate at all costs. It may pass unnoticed for a day or two, but if don’t say a word for a whole week (for example, although it should take much less time), hopefully your silence will be rewarded with your roomie leaving the building, unless he or she isn’t as ignorant as you on regular basis.
Never flush the toilet
Gross, isn’t it? We’ve warned you about this approach being quite childish, don’t we? So if you’re going to play by those rules, this disgusting manner should become your habit for a while. Let’s hope that no normal human being would keep on living with someone with the lack of a basic hygiene routine.
Become a night-walker
You may not be able to become a white walker but you can read a few of Stephen King’s works in order to prepare for your role of a somnambulist. It’s your time to shine because you’ll have to pretend to have nightmares, sleep-scream, and sleep walk. Your roommate will surely be quite uncomfortable being around someone with such a fragile mental condition. On top of that, you should start to subconsciously scream her or his name in your
sleepevery night. You’ll get bonus points if you eat your roomie’s food while sleep-walking.
Let's Get Dirty (without
We’re not talking about being unrolled in Christina Aguilera’s way, instead of that - your mess should become everyone’s mess. Dirty clothes, shoes and whatever you can think of in-between should keep laying around in your shared spaces. Chores?! This should become a word you’ve never heard of. Dirty dishes, clogged sink, dust accumulated for weeks – this should be only the beginning. If your roommate happens to be a neat freak, nothing will stress her or him more than this kind of environment. If you’re one though, well don’t lose hope, there are more tricks from where this came from.
Pump Up The Volume
Your roommate hates rap? Nu metal? Screamo? All of the above? Well, look who’ve just got a whole new playlist to constantly listen on max. Just be sure not to do it in the middle of the night because of neighbours, laws and fines – all of the ordinate stuff.
Take a loooong shower
Like the ones, which feel like eternity long showers. Do it in the morning, right before your roommate. Head up straight to the bathroom and try to sabotage his or her early morning meeting at the office or your roomie’s planned night out. You get extra points if there’s no hot water left by the time you get out.
Someone like it hot, others keep it cool
Just find out what type your roomie is and do the exact opposite. Don’t forget to constantly complain about how hot or cold you are, every time he or she tries to change the set temperature in your shared room.
That’s it. We sincerely hope that you’ve found our Guide on Breaking Up with your Nightmare Roommate helpful. And no matter if you’ve just moved in or are moving out, the chances are that proper cleaning is in order.
Whenever you need professional cleaning services, we’re here to get the job flawlessly done.
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