Your Flatmate: Friend or Foe?
The majority of people have either flatted or are currently flatting with other people. And there are certain people that I know who live with flat-mates who are our worst nightmares. The people in the world which shouldn’t exist they are that scummy – yet we fail to realise this when we begin flatting with this cheer faced person who under the exterior are eviler than Satan and are worse flat-mates than Germaine Greer would be to an old fashioned housewife.
I myself have been renting for almost four years and have had a multitude of weird, odd and delusional flat-mates;
- A guy that would trap you for hours on end telling quite possibly the most boring stories ever (escapism would only occur if I ‘went to the toilet’)
- An exceptionally odd person who hardly ventured out of his room and when so it was only to collect something weird like a spanner and orange
- A black guy who would open his door and say ‘shit damn’ when I emerged from the shower
- An Indian GIRL who used to wait outside the shower in her towel.
- An Indian guy who ate 3 curries a day – enough said
- A girl who shamelessly came on to my boyfriend in front of me
- A bulimic
- A health conscious, hippie who would meditate at weird hours, eat stuff like salmon and wheatgrass and exercise for 3-4 hours PER DAY
Now these people were all fine people, but to live with someone changes MANY dynamics in how personalities mesh. I am the first to admit that I am SURE I have driven people crazy before with my many annoying habits;
- Going to bed at early hours and demanding a very low volume of noise
- Cleaning the house at 6 am
- My art and craft – the ASTROMONICAL mess I make
- The pedantic-ness I have about ‘people touching and using my stuff’
- When lending people my things the rules that accompany them AKA books are only lent out when previous loaned books are returned (and yes I do have a mini library notebook) and if DVDs are borrowed and scratched THEY MUST BE REPLACED.
- My incessant volume that appears form my mouth and the relentless dancing around in unides
- My high demand for massages
And I’m sure people have a list of many MANY more.
There are a few certain rules associated with flatting that anyone who is currently living with a flat-mate or considering one in the future should read;
1. All costs are split equally – Rent, electricity, water etc None of this “oh but she uses the heater and TV more, so she should pay for more electricity” or ” his room gets more sunlight thus I should pay less rent” …………… UM NO!!!!! That is part of renting with other people!!!!!!!! If you are going to be that narcotic then live by yourself you uptight idiot. As a key example; In my current situation I flat share with both my boyfriend and lover (gay friend), obviously my boyfriend and I share a room and yes we do have the bigger room, but WE ALL PAY THE SAME RENT. On the other hand a person who is quite dear to me pays astronomically higher rent then her flat-mates a) because they are a couple and share a room and b) because she has a cupboard…………… No I am not kidding. Basically people should not be punished for being single. When you flat share- YOU ALL PAY THE SAME RENT.
2. Upon moving in with someone, cleaning duties should be discussed as nothing creates more household tension then one flat-mate constantly cleaning with the added build up of resentment towards the others. Be clear before you move in with someone. Are you a disgusting pig who likes to sit in your own filth or do you enjoy tidiness and cleanliness and the basic respect a home deserves? (And not when Mummy does it).
3. Which brings me to the next rule – If you can help it NEVER move in with someone and attempt to ‘break them in’ AKA be their first flat-mate as they probably had mummy changing their sheets, ironing, cooking and cleaning and don’t realise that someone actually carries out those tasks.
4.Upon moving in with someone make sure you all have ground rules for having people over – IT IS NOT OK for your flat-mates boyfriend/girlfriend, or friends to be over a lot, it’s your place and you want to feel comfortable. If they are over a lot, suggest that they should pay rent aswell and help out with the washing of the towels and bills!
5. Never go into your flat-mates room. NEVER (unless it’s an emergency or you have permission) NEVER NEVER NEVER I cannot stress this enough, you don’t borrow anything without their consent and you should preferably wait till they get home and retrieve it so that you are not going though their stuff.
6. Don’t eat your flat-mates food UNLESS you have permission. Also communal items like toilet paper, toothpaste, oil etc should NOT be paid by one person constantly SPREAD THE COST. I had a friend once who got so sick of always buying the toothpaste she started hiding it after using it so the others HAD to buy some, clever huh!
To the people who have never flat-shared or who don’t remember it, all of the above will seem extremely petty and borderline ridiculous but for a flatter, they will TOTALLY GET IT!
I currently count myself very blessed to live with my boyfriend who I get along with famously (most of the time) and my ankuta who has turned into one of my best friends. It is possible to have brilliant relationships with your flat-mates all it takes is communication and respect.