Ask Amanda: What To Do When You’re Having Roommate Issues
posted on July 24, 2015 | by Amanda Holstein
I’m in my 20s and rent an apartment with my best friend and another acquaintance. After 6 months of living together the acquaintance has become, for many specific reasons, someone we would really prefer not to live with. To be blunt—which I don’t like to do—she’s messy, disrespectful, and entitled. We’re all on the lease which ends in November (6 months from now), and it’s important to note that we’ve all invested quite a bit in moving costs and furniture. We’ve tried to subtly give her some outs, i.e. “just fyi, don’t feel like you’re locked into re-signing if you want to look at other places!” but she hasn’t taken the bait. Is there any way we can get her to move out? Or are we forced to look for a new place? Does being direct with her risk a very tense living situation if in no one ultimately is willing to move?
Ohhh roommate issues. First of all, know that ALL of us go through this at some point in our lives. Now, I’m an advocate for being honest and direct. I’ve found that it’s always been worth it. First, have you talked to her about being messy and disrespectful? It’s totally normal for roommates to have a sit down and figure out what could be going better, what everyone could be pitching in on, etc. If you haven’t done that, I would highly suggest trying that first if you want to give it a chance and see if things improve. If/when you do, avoid making her the target of the conversation. You can (and should) specifically point out what she could be doing differently, but make sure you do that to your other roommate and yourself so it doesn’t feel like you’re attacking her.
If you’ve already tried this approach or are just very adamant about not living with her anymore, then you should be direct. Sit down all together and tell her that you like her as a person, but that as roommates, you just have very different ways of doing things and it’s not a good match. See if she feels similar. Tell her that ideally, you and your roommate would like to stay and give her 30 days to find another place. I would assume that upon hearing this, she would rather live somewhere as well rather than stay with roommates who don’t want her. It would also be helpful if you already had a friend interested in moving in. Then you could also frame it around the fact that you three friends have been wanting to live together and it’d be a better fit, etc.
In the end, if this isn’t someone you plan to be friends with or keep in your life, then my advice is, do you what you need to do to be happy. You’re going to experience conflict throughout life, there’s just no way to avoid it. So perhaps this is one of those times where you just need to approach it full force and see what happens.
I hope this helps! This is definitely how I would personally approach it, but of course you need to do what feels authentic to you. Good luck!
What would you guys do in this situation? I know we’ve all been there!
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