5 Tips for Dealing With Annoying Roommates

January 12, 2017


Living with roommates in Toronto can definitely be a challenge. You might be able to work out your differences, but sometimes it’s nearly impossible. Whether you’re new to the roomie game or you’ve been living with them for a long time, figuring out how to deal with the worst roommates is never easy. Let’s talk about some of the major issues faced in the Toronto rental market today when it comes to renting with a roommate.

Problem: Food

You’ve been longing for the slice of pizza you saved last night, and poof, it’s gone! You know your roommate is the culprit, but how can you get them to keep their hands off of your snacks?

Solution: Let them know that they need to ask you before eating your food.
If this is the first time, a gentle reminder is usually enough to make the thievery stop. If it happens again, hand them a bill for the food they’ve eaten. After all, they did technically steal it from you. Even if they never pay it, at least they get the point!

Problem: A dirty apartment

The occasional dirty bowl in the sink isn’t a big deal, but when the dishes are piling up or the bathroom has been neglected for weeks it’s time to say something.

Solution: Show them how it’s done.
We all have our differences as to how we clean, but it’s safe to say there’s only one generic way to clean a toilet, to use one example. If your roommate is on washroom duty, and you can clearly see they’ve done a poor job, show them how the washroom should look after it’s cleaned. You can also express how important it is to live in a clean environment.

Problem: The Girlfriend/Boyfriend

Love them or hate them, partners and friends are going to be coming by your place once in a while. When your roommate’s significant other starts spending too much time in your apartment and doesn’t really contribute in any way, you have a right to let your roomie know this isn’t okay.

Solution: Now that there’s three of you, their friend or partner will need to pitch too.
You’re not a bad person for asking your roommate’s partner/friend to contribute to chores, bills or even rent. If you have to pay, they do too. If they refuse, tell your roommate you need to set some rules about how much their partner/friend is allowed to “visit”.

Problem: The party never (ever) stops

We all like to have fun sometimes, but we all know those people who take it to the next level a little too often. If your roommate smokes, drinks, or plays loud music way too much, it can lead to tension. You want to be in a quiet space sometimes and you deserve to feel relaxed in your own place.

Solution: Let them know you need your beauty rest.
If you have an exam tomorrow, or are getting up early for work, sleep is essential. Ask them to forget about throwing a party or bringing back drunk friends after a night at the bar. They can party all they want, but if they’re not going to come in quietly, they need to find another safe place to crash for the night.
It’s not all about you though, too much drinking can be signs of a serious issue. Remember, they could possibly be going through a rough time. Sit them down and see if you can get to the bottom of it. If the problem is serious, recommend help!

Problem: “Borrowing”

We’re not talking about the nice kind of borrowing here where you actually get the person’s permission. We mean the kind of borrowing where you drive yourself crazy to find your favourite blue sweater, only to find it in your roommate’s closet.

Solution: Remind them that they should ask you before taking your stuff.
Let your roommate know how important it is for them to ask before they take! It’ll avoid arguments and tension. Chances are you’ll be fine with it, you just need to know. Make sure you don’t sound too upset, this is more of a consideration for the future, not an angry rant about what happened in the past.

Any other problems?

Communication is key! If something is bothering you, don’t be afraid to speak up about it. Always remain calm, cool, collected and respectful.