Problems with housemates – what is the problem?
Problems with housemates can be hard to resolve. What you can do usually depends on what the problem is and whose name the agreement is in.
Are they not paying their share of the rent? Are they noisy? Are they not doing their share of the household tasks? Or are you simply not getting on? The type of problem that you have influences what you can do about it.
For instance, if it’s a personality clash, discussing things may help. If talking doesn’t help there may be little you can do to change the situation.
However, if your housemates are making excessive noise or not paying their share of the rent, it may be possible for the landlord or the council to take action. But if you have a joint tenancy, or the tenancy is in the other person’s name, bear in mind that the landlord may decide to end the tenancy for everyone – not just the person causing problems.
Can you agree a solution?
The first step towards solving any problem with your housemates is to discuss the situation. Ensure each person makes it clear what s/he wants – you may be able to reach a satisfactory compromise before the problem gets too serious. Think about inviting an impartial person from outside your household to help negotiate.
Many problems in shared accommodation are to do with mundane things such as the washing-up, the volume of music or smoking in shared space. In these situations, if talking doesn’t help, the only options may be to put up with the situation or move out.
Can you ask the landlord for help?
If talking doesn’t sort the problem out it may be worth asking your landlord for help. In some cases s/he may be able to take action against the people responsible, although you can’t force them to do this. What your landlord can do depends on the type of tenancy you have and the particular problem in your household.
What about extreme cases?
In very extreme cases you may be able to get help from the council or the police. This is only likely to be possible in situations where:
- another tenant has threatened you with violence
- the noise or damage caused is so severe that it has become a serious nuisance
- there is racial or sexual harassment.
If you are in any of these situations, get advice immediately.