News and tips
Posted on Monday, 16th April 2018
When you imagined living in a student house or sharing a room, did you imagine it would be the best fun ever and you would instantly bond with everyone? Well, we’re sorry to be the bearers of bad news but living with other peoples’ drama, and the stress of Uni can make for an ‘interesting’ experience.
Of course, many people do manage to make it through University and shared student accommodation with nothing but great memories but most students will experience a roommate from hell at some point.
Let’s start on a nice positive note by looking at what you can to live in peace with your roommates from the get-go.
If you’re all new to shared student accommodation then it can really help to draw up some ‘house rules’ at the beginning of your tenancy. Having a defined list of rules, for example – ‘loud music or television banned after 11 pm’, can help you if you end up having an issue with one person. When you speak to them about the problem, you can point out that it is the ‘house rules’, and not just you being a grump, or singling people out.
Similarly, a rota can also help avoid arguments when it comes to ensuring everyone picks up their fair share of the housework.
When it comes to communicating with your housemates, always try some good old fashioned talking! If there is an issue, address it early so it doesn’t get blown out of proportion and gently approach the offending roommate ‘for a chat’. We all know how easy it is to misinterpret a text message or email, so it’s definitely best to try and resolve problems face to face with your roommate.
Some people have annoying or antisocial habits that they may not even be aware of. Having a gentle chat about your gripes is much better than letting an issue brew up and turn into a big deal after you’ve left a series of passive aggressive notes on the fridge door for weeks! It’s also a good way to check that your roommate is willing to communicate over issues and fix them.
The way you behave and react to your roommates is an important factor in everyone getting along nicely. Tensions are created when you're the one unknowingly doing things that annoy your roommates so pay attention to your own habits and fix the ones that could drive everyone mad!
A big no-no when dealing with problem roommates is waiting to bring issues up when you’ve had a drink. Sat down your local or on a night out is not the right time to bring up your burning hatred of their habit of leaving dirty dishes in the lounge! When everyone is drunk, small issues can become magnified by a thousand, so keep the friendly chats to a time and place where alcohol won’t be involved.
Roommate problems also don’t mean all-out war and hospitality – you may have a roommate who abides by house rules, pays the rent on time and is a generally good housemate with one huge flaw – they’re emotionally draining. We all know the type; the person who has permanent drama going on doesn’t listen to or take advice. You and your roomies should be supportive of each other, but University is hard enough without having to constantly play agony aunt to that one person. Avoid this by avoiding their dram in the first place. If an issue doesn’t seem too serious – don’t get involved!
Sometimes, a roommate will just be annoying. There is a difference between an annoying roommate and a problem housemate. If you simply have annoying roommates, you will just have to do your best and suck it up!
There are things you can do to minimise your own stress though. For instance, if you have a housemate who talks a little bit too loudly or you can hear their television at night and you like to get to sleep early, invest in some earplugs or listen to music using headphones.
If you’re an exceptionally tidy person who can't cope with the slightest bit of mess, keep your room a ‘roommate free sanctuary’, then you will at least have a tidy place to retreat to if your shared accommodation is looking a little untidy.
If you're at your absolute limit with a housemate and have had endless chats with them about their bad behaviour, or they keep falling behind with bills, then you might be at the point where you want to ask them to move out. Carefully check your rental contracts in this instance and contact your student accommodation provider for help and advice. Your student landlord will be able to help you go over your contract and see if a breach has been made and what the best course of action is.
Here at Sheffield Property to Let, we can’t guarantee the perfect roommate or that you will all get along just great, but we do have a selection of fantastic, conveniently located student accommodation to let in an around Sheffield centre. Browse our available properties here.