12 common conflicts with flatmates and how to resolve them

When you’re living with other people no matter if you’ve just met or have known each other since birth, conflicts are unavoidable. The main point is to deal with them head on and not let them escalate into a cold war with mutually assured destruction as the only outcome. We’ve listed 12 common problems and ways to resolve them OR some alternatives in case you just don’t feel like being the bigger person.

1. The Room Row

You’re all set to move in to a new flat but somehow one of your housemates is convinced they are entitled to the biggest room. Solutions:

  • Weight the rent, so the bigger the room, the more rent you pay;
  • OR a high stakes game of rock paper scissors to decide who gets the room with the en-suite.

2. The Bills Battle

Bills start arriving and your flatmate spent the last of their money on a new ice cream maker. Solutions:

  • Open a joint account and get everyone to monthly put in more money than will be needed in case of any unforeseen costs. Any excess can be used to fund the next house party;
  • OR become ‘self-sufficient’ – by producing your own electricity with a giant hamster wheel.

3. The Cleaning Clash

You come home from a long day at work to find the kitchen in an absolute mess. Solutions:

  • Rather than the traditional cleaning rota, assign everyone specific cleaning tasks, for example you’re responsible to clean the kitchen counter which needs to be done daily but only takes a few minutes and your flatmate in return cleans the windows every 2 weeks which takes an hour;
  • OR leave the cleaning supplies in a useful place, such as right in front of your flatmates door.

4. The Shower Schedule Squabble

Starting every morning with a race to the bathroom isn’t the most peaceful way to wake up. Solutions:

  • Agree on a shower schedule for the morning or if you often need to get ready at similar times, alternate between who goes first;
  • OR next time your flatmate beats you to the bathroom, turn off the boiler.

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5. The Decibel Dispute

Your flatmate stumbles through the door at 3am, waking you up while they battle their shoelaces for the next 10 minutes. Solutions:

  • Make sure your housemates know if you have to be up early or have an important meeting the next day. Likewise let them know when you intend to be back late;
  • OR change the locks every night at 11pm.

6. The Partner Problem

Their name is not on the lease, they definitely do not live at your house, and yet you see your flatmate’s boyfriend/girlfriend more than your own. Solutions:

  • Explain why it’s annoying. It’s not personal, you just want some space back;
  • OR coldheartedly plan to break them up.

7. The Food Fracas

You come home from a night out and are craving that piece of leftover pizza in the fridge, only to find it disappeared. Solutions:

  • Mark out individual fridge shelf space so it’s clear what is yours;
  • OR add some extra hot chilli sauce to your leftovers. Next time they’ll think twice.

8. The Security Scuffle

Is it really that difficult to lock the door or make sure the windows are shut? Solutions:

  • Explain that you are concerned and just prefer to err on the side of caution;
  • OR leave helpful post-it notes on all doors and windows.

9. The Temperature Tiff

Your flatmate’s idea of a comfortable temperature is 38 degrees. Solutions:

  • Buy your flatmate a collection of blankets and jumpers for their birthday;
  • OR put up an image of melting pole caps above the thermostat.

10. The Decoration Debate

It’s that time of year again. The holiday season is upon us and where it should be a joyful occasion, your flatmates idea of lining the flat with 5,000 led lights isn’t your idea of tasteful holiday decoration. Solution:

  • Divide the flat and give each flatmate a separate section to decorate;
  • OR channel your inner Grinch and come December, hide all decoration.

11. The Brexit Brawl

After a long evening of debating current events you realise you find yourself on the other side of the Brexit divide as your flatmate. Solutions

  • To be fair, your guess here is as good as ours.

12. The Carelessness Controversy

Your flatmate manages to break the landlord’s sofa. Solution:

  • Get home contents insurance which includes tenant liability. To get your Urban Jungle quote click the button below;
  • OR by this point it might just be easier to find new flatmates.