Living in shared student houses or student flats might sound like a dream; you’re away from home, studying your favourite subjects, and living with like minded people – what could possibly go wrong? Unfortunately, we’re only human so things don’t always go according to plan, and problem housemates or problems within your student accommodation can arise. There’s nothing more distracting than issues within your home environment, so what can you do to minimise hassle and deal with difficulties as they occur?
Choose Wisely: Your chosen student accommodation can impact your happiness, so consider your options carefully. If you’re a social animal and crave other people’s company, choose housemates that are similar to you in terms of their social life and energy levels, rather than subject. If a student house share is your preference, group some friends together and seek out a property; student rooms to rent in houses or flats that already have their own dynamics may make it difficult to settle in.
Be prepared: Certain issues regularly cause problems further down the line; but if discussed up front with your housemates, this can be avoided. Three of the biggest complaints that arise are people not cleaning after themselves, people using other people’s food, and an unfair sharing of bills. Figure these out before you move in to your student accommodation to prevent unnecessary fallouts. It might sound silly, but choosing to have some communal food basics and a cleaning rota could be your saving grace!
Agree Boundaries: We’re talking important stuff that can easily irritate and set sparks flying – for instance, visitors (How many? How often?) noise levels (How loud and how late?), wifi usage (streaming – how much, how often?), partners (Is staying over OK? How frequently?). With boundaries set, you can offer a reasoned argument if someone oversteps them; otherwise, you don’t have a leg to stand on and your complaints will probably be ignored.
Approach Calmly: Whatever the issue, approach the person you have an issue with calmly. Find out if other housemates also have the same issues and if so, approach together. Often, the person may not realise their behaviour is offensive; if they do and they refuse to listen to reason, then you make have to take the next step.
Landlord Intervention: This may be your last choice of action, but if you are suffering at the hands of some truly difficult and obnoxious behaviour (property damage, violence, etc), let your landlord know. You can contact your landlord directly or through your chosen student letting agents; your landlord will want to make sure that their accommodation and tenants are happy and safe.