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London Flat Sharing: When All Doesn't Go to Plan

10 July 2021 Simon Banks Read time: 4 min
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Simon Banks

They say sharing is caring. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. 

While there are some awesome co-living stories out there, moving in with others can be difficult at the best of times. If you’re living with a complete stranger, the chances of them being a great flatmate or a terrible one are about 50/50.

We could write an article about all the wonderful stories of amazing flatmates that went on to form long-lasting bonds. But instead we're looking at horrible flatmates so you'll appreciate the good ones that little bit more. 

Most of us have had at least one experience with a flatmate from hell. You know the ones - they don’t believe in hygiene, or sit in your room and watch you sleep at 3am.

Ok, that last one is a bit drastic.

Or is it?

We’ve cobbled together a list of traits that indicate a nightmare flatmate. Avoid at all costs!

The “I don’t believe in personal hygiene” flatmate


“What’s that smell”, you keep asking yourself. “Perhaps there’s a problem with the drainage”, you wonder.

Turns out your drains are fine - it’s Steve, who has decided to go on a shower strike, that is causing the odor problem. Is it really too much to ask your flatmate to at least have some form of basic hygiene?

Apparently so.

And he’s only gone and left two weeks worth of laundry piling up next to the washing machine (of course he has. He never washes anything). How many pairs of underwear does this dude own?

Oh, he’s reusing last week’s.

The “never leaves home” flatmate


Pre-pandemic, we all knew the “never leaves home” flatmate. What do they even do with their life? How do they keep paying the rent on time?

Seeing that flatmate comfortably sitting on the couch, chowing down on doritos, every time you leave for work and come back again is très annoying.  

You get it - flat sharing means more than one person occupying the space. But, come on, just once you’d like to arrive home and have the place to yourself.

But, noooo. Stay home-y McStayington has Come Dine With Me on repeat 24/7.  And now you've just spent the last 12-or-so-months living in each other's pockets. Maybe it's time to look for a new place. 

The “party monster” flatmate


You like to let loose every now and then; you’re certainly no prude.


Sometimes you even stay out past midnight, living life on the edge. You once ate a box of 20 chicken nuggets from Mcdonalds at 1am while feeling tipsy.

But this new flatmate enjoys partying a bit too much. They’re out at 9pm, and don’t come back until 6am - and that’s on a Tuesday. A Tuesday!

And you can’t really have a word with them about it because you might come across as that person - the party pooper. It’s great to know a party animal. Living with one is a stretch too far, though.

The “sexually experimental” flatmate




It’s 2021. We’re more open about things than we used to be. That’s a good thing. But, you know, it’s ok to be a little concerned about your new flatmate and their intimate monthly parties.

You just thought everyone was leaving their keys in that bowl so nobody would lose them. How do you politely tell your flatmate’s new friends that your room is off limits for their key-swapping shenanigans?

And you thought your flatmate was talking about going on a 5k run or trying new restaurants when they said they were “open minded” during the moving-in interview.

The “potential serial killer flatmate”


“Why do you keep staring at me like that?”

“What do you mean ‘you were thinking about me today while carving up the chicken’?”

If those are questions you find yourself asking a new flatmate, we’re sorry to tell you, but you’ve got a potential serial killer living with you.

What did you expect after they kept harping on about how clever the bad guy is in the film SevenLook on the bright side - they may become one of history's most notorious serial killers, and you can say you lived with them.

It could be your only claim to fame.

The “borefest” flatmate


At least the serial killer flatmate made things interesting. This new roomie is about as much fun as watching paint dry.

“No, Dave, I don’t have any plans this weekend. You already asked me that question seven times in the last hour.”

“Dave, listen, I know you mean well, but I don’t want to watch aeroplanes land at Heathrow with you. It’s great that you have a hobby though”.

“Do I want to hear a joke? Sure! Why did the chicken cross the road? I don’t know… what do you mean ‘to stretch its legs?’

Don’t quit your day job, Dave”.  

Bet you miss the party animal flatmate now.

The “gets annoyed at everything” flatmate


New flatmate: “I heard you last night when I was trying to sleep”

You: “But I didn’t get up and was in my room all night”

New flatmate: “Yes, but I heard you breathing. It kept me awake”

You: “Ok, I’ll try and breathe quieter in my sleep”

We’ve all been there. All of a sudden you find yourself with a flatmate who gets annoyed by every.little.thing. You can probably combine this one with the “serial killer” flatmate, because that’s what they’re on their way to becoming.

The “neat freak” flatmate


After the fiasco with Steve, the personal hygiene avoider, you’re relieved to find someone that not only keeps themselves as clean as a whistle, but also likes a house super tidy.

At least you thought you were relieved. Until they start telling you to take your shoes off before you get in the house, complain about that biscuit crumb you left on the table, or have a moan because you didn’t leave your towel neatly folded at a 90-degree angle.   

Oh, how you suddenly pine for Steve and his re-wearable undies.

Flatmates from hell

Most people experience terrible flatmate at least once in their lifetime, especially when living in London. It’s like a rite of passage.

Have you experienced any of the above? Share your nightmare flatmate stories in the comments below and tell us how you dealt with them.

If you currently have a nightmare flatmate and are looking to escape, check out the latest rental properties

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