How To Escape From A Terrible Share House Situation

Sometimes, you just have to get out of there.

When I first moved out of home, I was so eager to get out and be my own adult that I jumped at the chance to live with a couple of people I didn’t know all that well. We’d grown up together, been to school together, and when I hung out with them they were fine. We all had jobs and we would spend our evenings having group dinners and hanging out and watching TV and everything would be awesome, right?

Obviously, that tanked, and now that I live with two wonderful people I want to share my how-not-to-ruin-everything tips.

Try To Fix What’s Broke, But Not With Notes

One of my big problems was that one of my housemates created mess and didn’t clean it. They never did any chores and then my other housemate and I would do all the cleaning. We resented it and didn’t handle it all that well and left notes on the dirty dishes and on the fridge.

Hot tip: even if you don’t mean a note as passive aggressive, it will come across that way. Have the awkward conversation and deal with problems like the adults we’re all trying to be.

Make A Decision

If talking to your housemates about their bad habits doesn’t give you the outcome you hoped for, you can take things three ways: See out the lease and put up with the problems and say nothing; break the lease; or keep nagging, ruin everything and leave in a blaze of glory.

I mixed the last two together. If you’re most of the way through a lease and it’s not bad enough that you can’t stand being there, see the lease out, part amicably and stay friends (if you want to). I was four months in and I couldn’t deal with it. I talked to one of my housemates about moving out together but they bailed when things got serious and they stayed. Do what works for you, but try not to burn bridges along the way.

How To Move Out

OK, so you’re leaving. Step one: tell your housemates you’re planning on leaving. Give them time to find someone they like if they don’t want to live with a stranger. Hopefully they’ll actually try to find someone (unlike mine). You also need to try and find someone through Gumtree or the like. Let them meet your housemates, have a tour and all that jazz. Again, fingers crossed.

I got to one or two weeks out from my leaving and had found someone that was perfect, the housemates liked him and everything seemed sweet. Then suddenly, they decided they didn’t want to live with a stranger.

Until someone moves in, depending on what decision you come to, you still have to cover the rent. The more time you give the better.

The Biggest Piece Of Advice

This is my main point and I want to make it super clear: KEEP RECORDS. It will seem stupid as hell to record your house meetings and get your housemates to sign a document that states what you all agreed to in front of witnesses but oh my god, JUST DO IT.

You are (probably) on the lease and most likely you have a bond. You are legally responsible for everything that happens in that house. If you agree that you’ll go half in the rent until someone moves in or that they will pay your bond back in instalments and they “forget” (they haven’t forgotten, they’re just assholes), you’re responsible. If everything goes to shit and you need to go to court, you’ll thank me so hard. Trust me on this one.

(Lead image: Friends/NBC)