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Roommate Horror Stories

Yvonne Boulay
Two roommates sitting next to each other with their backs against a white wall, one has a sticker covering their face with an illustrated smiley face and the other has a sticker covering their face with an illustrated frowning face

There are plenty of  upsides to living alone, including avoiding unnecessary roommate drama.

Roommate issues are known to snowball out of control if not properly addressed. Something very tiny can easily cause resentment if you let your annoyance fester. For example, in my college apartment two roommates refused to speak to each other for a whole week because of a spoon that was left in the sink. A whole week! One, singular spoon!

We’ve collected the best, worst  roommate stories submitted on Reddit’s r/badroommates thread. While they may be the exception to what life with roommates is like, they do make for some great stories.

Some People are Gross

Every household across the world has different standards of cleanliness. What may be disorganization to some, may look like a tornado hit to another. This not only applies to mess, but basic hygiene. @Ok-Fish8721 turned to the internet for help solving a common area issue. Their roommate had been sick for a week and was consistently lounging in the living room coughing up a storm. We’ve all been through the pandemic – let alone kindergarten – don’t we know how easy germs spread?

User @r8u4 has a similar story asking the internet for advice on how to confront their roommate: “ My bedroom is right next to the bathroom and the walls are thin – I hear everything whether I’d like to or not. I notice often times that he goes to the bathroom, flushes, and walks out without so much as turning the sink on.” Ew! What would you say to your roommate in that situation?

Not Paying the Bills

Relying on others when it comes to something as serious as paying your bills on time requires a lot of trust. While Reddit user @rad_cactus_dad was kind enough to give their roommate leeway on paying the bills during a time of financial troubles, they immediately regretted enabling what came next. Everything returned back to normal for a couple of months until the roommate didn’t pay their half of the utility bill. 

“[I] asked her about the bill and she said she didn’t figure she’d have to pay it because she got me a birthday present???” You may be thinking to yourself either a) what kind of backwards logic is that or b) it must’ve been a huge gift. Although we can’t answer the first question, the answer to the second is no. It was only a $20-$30 generic gift. To make matters worse, that roommate isn’t some stranger off of Facebook, it was one of their best friends! Our message to the roommate and anyone reading: don’t sign a lease if you can’t afford it!

Accusations Go Flying

The temperature of your apartment can make or break how comfortable it is to sleep, work, and live in your space. Unfortunately for @beachb0yy, the AC unit broke right before he moved in with 2 strangers… in June. Of course the place was sweltering, but it was soon fixed. The Reddit user’s first utility bill was twice as high as normal, so all three of the roommates chalked it up to the broken AC fiasco. He noticed the AC being set at 50 degrees a few times and assumed it was a glitch in the new system. However, when the next month came around, the bill was even higher. Right away, roommate B accused him for being the culprit, stating that the bill was never this high until he moved in. Knowing that having a few extra lights on wouldn’t double the bill like that, he mentioned that the AC might still be broken because he keeps seeing the thermostat read 50 degrees. Roommate B then replied, “Oh yeah, I always keep it on 50 during summer.”

For those who may not know, setting your AC to 50 degrees will never make it that cold in the apartment. It also means that it would be running all. the. time. No wonder why the AC kept breaking! Running your AC on a lower temperature than you need is the easiest way to increase your electricity bill. Don’t be a roommate B. 

Nonsensical Logic

A lot of Redditors on the r/badroommates thread hop online to ask for advice. Some, however, have crazy stories that are hard to believe. @Flimsy-Meringue-5982 tells a story that mentions a steep electric bill, but it takes an unexpected turn during the confrontation stage. In a drafty house with the thermostat set at 90 degrees in the winter by a roommate named “Courtney,” 4 roommates began to fight over a $500+ electricity bill. Courtney refused to pay her $130 share and the other roommates were worried that they couldn’t afford the bill. As the fight got heated, Courtney says, "Well, I don't have to pay $130 because I use the least amount of electricity as you can tell!" while gesturing to her body.” HUH? Courtney claimed that she was the skinniest of all the roommates and even referenced that she wears kids clothing to solidify her argument. It’s safe to say that @Flimsy-Meringue-5982 moved out shortly after to avoid any more crazy rationale. Common sense may not be so common!

Your apartment should be a safe haven and not a source of stress. You should be very careful who you choose to live with. 

If you read this article to help yourself feel better about your own roommate situation, let me share some advice that I’ve carried over from my time as a resident assistant in college: the 24/3 rule. If something is still bothering you after 24 hours, you have three days to confront them about it. Or else? You need to drop it. Resolving conflicts in a timely manner is key to avoiding a hostile living environment.

Prefer to live alone? Check out Ori Expandable Studios in over 30 cities across the country. Ori gives you extra room to make the most of your space.

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