How to Deal with Problematic Flatmates

Sometimes we can get into arguments with the people we live with. Here's how to sort those issues out - big or small. 

1. Set Ground Rules

Get things off to a good start by setting up ground rules from the beginning. Decide a set of rules with your flatmates that everyone agrees on, are fair, and post them up somewhere that everyone can see. Make sure you abide by these rules, and ensure everyone else in the flat does too. It can be handy to have as you can point them out easily if someone isn't doing their part, or behaving in an unacceptable way. 

2. Socialise

The best way to improve your relationship with your flatmates is to get to know them. This can then make life easier for you all if you can figure out their personality, their likes and dislikes, and most importantly - how they communicate. This will help you a lot when you do need to discuss harder topics - like paying rent on time or asking people to clean up the living room.  By getting to know them better, you can improve your relationship and hopefully make your living situation run smoother. Why not schedule in a monthly meal outside the flat, or get a weekly Netflix show on the go to spend more time with them? 

3. Set Up a System

Fed up of always doing the dishes or taking out the bins? Get it sorted with a schedule. Get your flatmates together and divide up each chore, making sure to take into account peoples work shifts/social life etc. Make sure the timetable is clear and understandable by everyone. If someone can't do their chore one day, make sure it's easy to swap it with someone else.

4. Know Your Rights

Unfortunately there might come a time where you feel you can no longer live with someone – whether this is due to illegal activities taking place in your shared space, their inability to pay rent, or even in some cases a relationship break down. It's important to know your rights in situations like this, as you don't want to be out of pocket or out of a home unexpectedly. This all depends on what kind of tenancy agreement you have – are you a sole tenant, a joint tenant? Do you live with your landlord? Find out more about your rights and responsibilities as a tenant with New Digs.

Had enough? 

You can look into finding new flatmates should you decide to move elsewhere. You can pop a post on Facebook and ask if any of your pals might be needing somewhere to stay, or have a look for Facebook groups in the area you want to stay and chuck a message in there to see if anyone is looking for a roomie.

Still at college or uni? Ask about and see if anyone in any clubs or societies you're a part of is interested in sharing a flat. You can also use websites like GumTree and SpareRoom to find flatmates, but remember that it's important to stay safe whenever you are chatting to, or meeting up with someone you've met online.

Need legal advice?

Call 0808 801 0801 and speak to a lawyer at JC Hughes Solicitors for free with the Young Scot Lawline.

Find out more about Private Renting by checking out the New Digs campaign page.