Student Accommodation

Revealed: the 10 most annoying housemate habits

We've all got our own pet peeves, but a new survey has uncovered the most common housemate gripes.

Annoying housemate habits

New research has revealed the ten most common ways in which housemates can get on your nerves.

Most of us end up sharing a house or flat with other people at some point in our lives, whether you're at university or a young professional. You may share with your best friends or people you don’t know, but inevitably your co-habitants will have habits that rub you up the wrong way.

What's more, it can be difficult or awkward to let them know how you feel – especially if you want to avoid tension in the house. Even if you do tell them, sometimes they just won’t listen.

Smart Energy GB, a company aiming to show the Great British public how best to use their smart meters, has released results of its survey on what it's like to share a household.

Check out our advice on how to deal with tricky housemates.

Top ten most common household gripes

Most annoying flatmates

Here are the flatmate habits that anger you the most:

  1. Leaving dirty dishes lying around (61%)
  2. Leaving the lights/electrical appliances on when not in use (48%)
  3. Not changing the bins when full (45%)
  4. Not changing the toilet roll (38%)
  5. Not removing hair from the plug hole/sink (37%)
  6. Out of date food left in the fridge (30%)
  7. Leaving the toilet seat up after use (28%)
  8. Leaving the window open when the heating is on (25%)
  9. Taking excessively long showers (24%)
  10. Moving their boyfriend or girlfriend in and not asking them to contribute to bills (21%)

There is one overwhelming conclusions from these stats: anything unsanitary, or anything that adds to the bills, will anger them.

The ranking also underlines the fact that money is a massive consideration in students’ lives – after all, leaving electrical appliances on placed higher than leaving mouldy food in the fridge or not changing the bins when full.

According to the survey, 90% of those living in shared accommodation lose their cool at least a few times a month over their housemates committing the above misdemeanours.

Tackling the problem

Dealing with tricky housemates

Inventor and designer, Dominic Wilcox, has come up with some humorous solutions to these daily problems, including a mechanical hand that's designed to switch off unused lights when no-one's in the room.

His other solutions include:

  1. The ‘Clothes Drying Wind Tunnel’ – a pedal-powered device, which quickly dries garments and prevents wet clothes draining heat from radiators
  2. The ‘Sound Proof Disco Bed Box’ – a magic box designed for lovers of anti-social loud music, to give housemates a bit of peace and quiet
  3. The ‘Toothpaste Wiper’ – a handy wiper to get of unwanted splashes on bathroom mirrors
  4. The ‘Rumbling and Grumbling Recycling Bin’ – a bin that lets forgetful housemates know that it needs emptying before it becomes an unruly mountain of milk bottles
  5. The ‘Toilet Seat Pulley System’ – a mechanical pulley to make sure the loo seat is never left up again.

All of the above sound pretty useful, but our favourite has to be the ‘Rumbling and Grumbling Recycling Bin’. It's unlikely that any of your housemates would ever avoid putting the bin out if one of these resided in your kitchen.

If you’re looking for more general tips on living happily in a house share, the best policy is honesty. Sit down with all of your housemates when you first move in and have a discussion about how all of you would like your house share to work.

Discuss points like cleaning, buying communal products, and heating and other bills, and make a fair plan which means no one person is putting in any more work or money than another to keep the house running smoothly. But avoid the passive-aggressive post-its, they never go down well.

Struggling to cope with your flatmates? Find out how to survive shared living.

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