Handling Awkward Home Issues with Roommates

Handling Awkward Home Issues with Roommates

Sarah Han
Jan 23, 2009

Whether you live with friends or with people who were once strangers, you're bound to come across issues that must be brought up and resolved. Most issues can be discussed without hurting any feelings or bringing up sensitive issues, such as figuring out a chore schedule or splitting the utility bills. Other times, it's not so easy. After the jump, we discuss three awkward roommate situations and how they were (or weren't) dealt with.

• A friend of ours is currently living in an apartment with a new roommate who she doesn't like. She and her other roommate chose the newbie because they desperately needed to fill a vacancy when their former third roommate could no longer afford the place. The new guy was the only one who wanted the spot. But since he's moved in, our friend has noticed that he has failed to do any house chores, has a larger collection of furniture than he initially said he'd bring to the apartment, and has stacks and stacks of boxes cluttering up the hallway in front of his bedroom door. Our friend's response? At first, she left passive aggressive notes and voicemails about these things, but when things didn't change, she eventually told him in person about things that were bothering both her and her other roommate. The new guy didn't take it so well, and they eventually had a huge argument that led to a house meeting. The meeting was good on some level, since all grievances were out in the open, but so far the results of pow wow are yet to be seen.

• Our other friend lived with an acquaintance and another roommate. He experienced several embarrassing roommate situations, most awkwardly, overhearing loud, kinky sex every early evening (he and his friend roommate could predict the exact time of this nightly rendezvous -- the couple was very punctual). He also was unsure which of his two roommates was leaving mysterious stains on the toilet seat (he wasn't close enough with the friend roommate to ask if it were her). And lastly, he had to deal with the non-friend roommate's elderly, sick and stressed cats who constantly left unpleasant surprises throughout the house. His solution? Keep quiet. He eventually moved to another state and currently lives alone.

• We've personally have had a few awkward roommate encounters, but the worst was when a new roommate bounced a couple of rent checks. She was a friend's friend, and we didn't want to be mean or passive aggressive, even though we were angry and annoyed that it happened. We knew we couldn't beat around the bush so we brought the matter to her promptly and in a straight forward manner the first time it happened, and hoped it wouldn't happen again. After the second time, we asked that future rent money be paid in cash. If she weren't a friend of a friend, we probably wouldn't have been as forgiving, but we were glad that we handled it this way -- she eventually became a good friend.

What awkward roommate situations have you had to deal with? And what do you think is the best solution to deal with them?

Image via PassiveAggressiveNotes.Com

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