It’s Time for A New Roommate – Roommate Red Flags You Shouldn’t Ignore 

Moving to a new place is stressful enough –  choosing new furniture, decorating, and booking movers can be exhausting. Then you have to find a roommate (if you’re going to co-live), which is one of the most important, and nerve-wracking things about moving. Choosing who you’re going to live with is a big commitment. Sharing a living quarter with another person is something you should take a lot of time thinking about because one wrong choice and you’ll end up being miserable until your lease is up.

There are times when you think you’ve won the lottery and found the perfect roommate. But here’s the thing, some people are skilled in making good first impressions. Along the way, you might notice some unpleasant things about your roommate that you never thought they would do because they didn’t seem like the type of person who would exhibit those things when you first met them. If this is how you’ve been feeling, then we advise you not to ignore it. Just so that you have a clearer picture of what we’re talking about, here are some red flags you might not want to ignore:    

1. Passive-Aggressive Behavior

passive aggresive behavior red flags

Being passive-aggressive is never a good thing in any relationship. It is a sign that you can’t have an honest conversation with the other person. Honest and open communication is important when you live together, whether you have a good relationship or not. It is frustrating to live with someone who is passive-aggressive, and you can’t have that in your home where you are supposed to relax. 

Meeting a new person and figuring out their routine is a part of having a roommate. You’ll soon realize that there will be some things that you can’t seem to agree on. Maybe they are a morning person, while you are a night owl; or maybe they prefer to put down the toilet seat, while you prefer them up. Inevitably, there will be issues and or lines crossed. When that happens, the right thing to do is to discuss them calmly with an open mind. However, if your roommate is adamant that everything is ‘a-OK’ while constantly giving you dirty looks, rolling their eyes when you’re talking, or keep giving you passive-aggressive notes all over the house, maybe it’s time to find a new one.

2. Controlling 

Everyone has a different set of standards and ways of doing things. But if your roommate is controlling, short-tempered, and nags at you every time you disagree or ‘slip out’, living together can stress you out. Setting a mutual understanding and expectations for each other early on might be a good thing to do. Another solution is to talk about issues as soon as they come up. But what if talking doesn’t work? It might be time for you to move out or find a new roommate. If you feel like having to walk on eggshells in your own home or staying out late every day to escape your roommate, it is a sign of an unhealthy living relationship.  

It is nice to have some compassion and be sensitive to other people. However, It will be bad for your well-being, if you have to come home with more stress; not to mention the dent it will make on your wallet. Your home is the place for you to truly be yourself and unwind from a stressful day at work. 

3. Messy Habit

messy habbit red flags

Living in such close proximity will make you aware of your roommate’s hygiene. While sharing a home, each of you should do your part to create a clean and neat home. But if your roommate has disgusting habits like never throwing out spoiled food, never washing their dishes, leaving their dirty clothes on the floor, and has a seriously weird odor coming out of their room, you should run, not walk. It might be fine if it happened once or twice and then maybe you went out of your way to clean up after them as a kind gesture, but if it has become a habit, it will only make you resent them. Sooner or later cleaning up will feel like a burden and your home would start to look like a pigsty. Once more, communicate to them about the problem, speak clearly without being condescending. If they still keep up their nasty habit, you can start looking for a new roommate. 

Let’s face it, we are not perfect. Maybe we have other annoying habits that irritate our roommate. We are human and we make mistakes. But we need to know when something is too much. Someone who doesn’t clean after themselves will expect you to clean after them. THAT IS NOT OKAY! 

4. Not Respecting Personal Boundaries

If you are new to the city, a roommate can give you a much-needed company until you find your social circle- or maybe even be your best friend. Plus, having a friendly face nearby when you are facing some day-to-day challenges can be helpful and reassuring. However,  despite what “Friends” taught us, being roommates doesn’t give you or anyone the right to get involved in their personal life or invading one’s privacy. Everybody needs personal space. You don’t have to share everything. Hopefully, at the start of your arrangement, you and your roommate had a talk about boundaries when you moved in together.

Disregarding people’s boundaries can come in many ways, like eating the left-over take out you were saving in the fridge or bursting into the bathroom without knocking. or even ‘borrowing’ your clothes without asking first. Your roommate might have the sharing concept wrong and think “what’s yours is mine and what’s mine is mine”. People who cross boundaries can be exhausting. You can set up some limits on your relationship with them. But If they do this knowingly, it’s best to find a better roommate.

5. Have No Stable Income 

unstable income red flags

One of the reasons why you got a roommate in the first place maybe was because you wanted to cut back on the rent and other utilities. Splitting rent can give access to more spacious strategic locations or better accommodations than what you can afford on your own. So it is important to find a roommate with a stable income and is reliable for their own share of the rent.

What you must know is that when you move in together, their finances will affect yours.

It can be uncomfortable to ask for their financial information but, it will spare you the stress of explaining to your landlord why your rent is always late or when you have to pay the late fees. The worst outcome is for you to pay for them or move out mid-lease because your roommate can’t pay their share.

If you’ve noticed any of these red flags, we suggest you have a sit down with your roommate and talk about them before making the big decision. And if you notice that you exhibit some of these traits, please be considerate of your roommate and stop. Either way, we wish you the best of luck! 

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