Few things can make the renting experience as awful as having a bad roommate. Of course, all relationships have their highs and lows. But, while living with someone might bring you great benefits, it’s also important to consider the disadvantages, too. That is because, sometimes, the money or time you save by living together simply doesn’t outweigh your roommate’s problematic behavior.
When considering breaking up with your roommate, you might wonder if your relationship is really beyond repair or if you’re just overreacting. Such thoughts often prevent people from making the decision to move sooner because they’re not sure that it’s the right thing to do. Of course, situations differ, but there are some obvious signs that you should consider finding a new roommate.
Here are five red flags that may help you realize you need to move on from your current roommate:
1. They Don’t Respect Your Belongings or Privacy
Normally, the place that you rent should feel like a safe space where you don’t have to be on your toes. But, if your roommate comfortably busts into your room at any given time without warning or always uses your items without asking, these are major signs that they don’t respect your boundaries. And, if you can’t rest assured knowing that your space isn’t going to be invaded (and the situation doesn’t get better after communicating about it), it might be a sign that you need to move on to a new roommate.
2. Their Friends or Significant Other Dominate Your Apartment
Granted, both of you should be able to make use of your part of the rental as you please. That said, allowing people who don’t financially contribute to the rent or bills to be in the apartment for a significant amount of time raises certain issues. For instance, perhaps the essential supplies that you pay for suddenly become goods of general use that empty quickly. Or, maybe your sleep or study schedules are constantly interrupted. Both of these scenarios can negatively affect your finances, health and academic or professional life. Ultimately, you’re not obligated to support additional roommates just because they’re people that your roommate cares about.
3. Communicating About Issues Feels Like Walking on Eggshells
Misunderstandings are part of many human interactions. You can’t expect to always be on the same page about everything with your roommate. But, if you feel like any situation that needs to be discussed between you two is bound to be blown out of proportion, or that no solution ever comes out of your chat, it would be wise for you to reconsider your rental relationship. A roommate who isn’t willing to cooperate when issues arise is not someone you want to live with, as their behavior can negatively influence your mental health.
4. They Don’t Take Their Roommate Duties Seriously
Your roommate should be a person you can count on — not someone you have to look after and scold like you would a younger sibling to ensure the apartment is kept clean and the rent and bills are paid on time. Plus, if your roomie isn’t mature enough to be trusted to keep the rental under basic management, they can’t be depended on in more serious matters, like appliance malfunctions or inspection visits.
5. They Try to Avoid Paying Their Share on Bills
If you keep finding yourself in situations where you have to cover living expenses for the both of you, and then you have to nag them to pay you back, you should seriously consider finding a new roommate — even if you’re close friends. Their financial irresponsibility or inability to afford to live with you shouldn’t suddenly become your responsibility.
Finally, if you do have to break up with your roommate, make sure you’re prepared to ask the right questions when choosing a new one, so you don’t end up dealing with more issues in the future.