Having roommate issues...

United States
April 5, 2007 11:15am CST
I want to give a little back information first, to help explain my dilema. I currently live with 4 other people, 1 girl and three guys, one of whom is my boyfriend. Anyway, one of the guys just moved in in January, and at first he was really good about cleaning up after himself, but the past 2 months or so he has been absolutely terrible. He will leave dishes filled with water soaking on the counter for a week or more, we have found plates piled up in his room and on the counter with mold on them, and whenever he spills something on the counter he will not clean it up. We have run out of plates and spoons several times. When my roommates confronted him about it (I was at work at the time), he blamed it on me, saying that all the dishes were mine. Now, I'm the one who washes all of my dishes immmediately after I use them, and I'm usually the first to complain about the pile next to the sink, and all of my other roommates know this, so they sort of told him off about that. But anyway, at the point my boyfriend threatened to take away all the dishes that belonged to us if the other guy didn't start doing his dishes. He said he would, so we gave him the chance. It's been 3 weeks or so now, and he's STILL not washing his dishes. We even have a dishwasher, all he would need to do is load them but he doesn't even do that. So yesterday my boyfriend and I, and one of our other roomates, took all of the dishes that were ours, which included all of the plates, bowls, silverware, and pasta pots. So now the roommate that won't clean up after himself has nothing to cook with or eat off of. This last last night, and he hasn't said anything to us yet, so I'm not sure how he is reacting. Was this too harsh, or did we wait too long to do something about it? Frankly I'm glad we finally took stuff away, it is really frustrating to come home from work to find all 5 pans that we have are dirty (from him) and I can't even cook dinner without washing the burnt-on pasta off the bottom of one of the pans that he used... What do you think? What would you have done in this situation?
9 people like this
26 responses
5 Apr 07
I would sya what you done was perfectly reasonable. Did you know this guy before he moved in? ithkn some poeple just do not think that stuff like this is important or irritating. I have live with two guys on seperate occasionsa nd they have actually said to people that I ma the unreasonable one when saying all dishes should sit there 24 hours at the most. I suppose it just depends on your upbringing. This though of course is no excuse though on leaving mess lying around like that when you share a flat with other people, especially so many. You could go down the road of house rules and stuff but you will probably find it is like banging your head against a wall. Try not let him get on your nerves too much and make a point banging his dishes around in the kitchen if they ar ein your way.
3 people like this
• United States
5 Apr 07
We lived on the same floor of the dorms with him last year, and we knew that he was a little bit dirty and lazy, but no one thought that it would get this bad. My parents always taught me to clean up my dishes within 24 hours of using them. And I understand that there are exceptions, such as when you are sick or if you have a very busy day, but this shouldn't be happening EVERY day, especially when he is home most of the day, just sitting on the couch and complaining about being bored... We are actually planning on starting "house rules" in the fall when we move into a new apartment with new people (altough hopefully they will be much cleaner) Thank you!
2 people like this
5 Apr 07
Yeah I think in the beginning it is good to establish house rules that everyone agrees with. Best to get it all out in the opne early. but it is a bit late for this guy now. h e will just think you are all bullies. Good luck anyway. And you are on top discussions page
1 person likes this
• United States
6 Apr 07
Yeah there's no point in doing it anymore this year. But at least we know that now we're going to have to implement that sort of system for something to work.... It's rather depressing, but that's life, I suppose. And yay fro being on the top discussions! This is pretty much my first discussion that's gotten more than 5 or so responses...
@Michele21 (3094)
• United States
5 Apr 07
I don't think it was too harsh at all. If he isn't going to clean up after himself you shouldn't have to do it!! Don't feel bad about it at all. If he wants to cook he can go out and buy his own dishes. I think ya'll handled it really well, ya'll gave him many chances to clean up but he didn't do it so ya'll did the right thing! I would hate having to hide my dishes but that is what you have to do in order to be able to use them than do it =)
• United States
5 Apr 07
Having to hide all of the dishes is a really big pain, because every time I want to cook I have to go rummage around in my closet for what I need, then after I wash them I have to dry them right away and put them back in my closet. It's not like it takes that much time, it's just REALLY inconvenient...
• United States
5 Apr 07
Having experience with messy roommates, I think you're action was warranted and well within a reasonable timeframe. You have the person ample opportunity to help out around the house and to do something about the issue with your dishes, and you are being courteous in the first place in allowing the person to use your dishes and cookware. I don't know if I would have waited as long. As soon as I realized he still did not plan to help out with the dishes and continued to do what he was doing, I would have acted almost immediately. In my experience, roommates who act like that show a lack of respect for other people's property and I do not like people like that.
2 people like this
• United States
5 Apr 07
I wanted to do something about it sooner, but a few of the other roommates wanted to give him a little more time, and since most of the plates and silverware belonged to them and not me, I figured we would do it their way. From now on though, I will take action for things immediately because I am pretty sure that is the only way things will actually happen... Thanks for you input! I'm glad to know that other people think I am not being unreasonable here...
@cutepenguin (6447)
• Canada
5 Apr 07
I probably would have done something similar. I mean, this is what you said you'd do. I might follow this up with a roommate meeting, to sit down and discuss (in a non-accusatory way) a fair way of sharing resources, one which of course includes cleaning up after yourself. Trying to put the blame for the dirty dishes on you was just ridiculous and makes the messy roommate look like he's trying to dodge responsibility.
2 people like this
• Philippines
5 Apr 07
I think what you have done is fair enough. Because you had given him a chance to prove himself. And it is really frustating to clean others mess especially when you are tired. If I may suggest, before accepting any boarders for the next time. Elaborate first your houserules. And emphasize it. So they'll be aware of it before entering your house. And you can even post a reminder, so it won't hurt too much if you had to undertake drastic actions. Have a nice day! (^^,)
• Canada
5 Apr 07
haha.. Well first of all I would of told him Im really sorry but if your not going to do your part in this house then you have to move out and that he has 2 weeks to prove that he is cleaning up after himself. And after the 2 weeks are up if he still wasnt doing his part in the house I would then tell him that he has to go because you dont like how he is making a big mess and is not cleaning up after himself like he isnt a 3year old or any thing like that if he is old enough to live on his own then he is old enough to clean up after his self. Thats what I would do.
2 people like this
• Canada
7 Apr 07
I fully understand with what you had to do. As far as the "roommate" that STILL needs a parent to cleanup after him is terrible. Wait.. you'd better check behind his ears to see if they're clean. I've been there myself. I know first hand ehat it's like to personally come home after a hard days work/ school and sometime you just want/ need to relax from all those hours you've sacrificed to make yourself seem like a responsible adult. I myself had lived in a house with four other guy's (5 in total) and they were rather younger than myself. Each one except for two of us would leave the kitchen in a sty. Before I had moved in the landlord left out the notion that the house was infested with roaches and mice. During the time I had stayed there, I spent two whole months preparing to clean up all the rodents that harvested there. With all the holes in the walls, leaks, water damage from the bathroom I had prepared to clean and fix up this house. So what I did was patch the hole in the wall. Fixed the piping. Placed roach powder and rat poison inside bread before I patched the walls, within 2.5 months these rodents were gone. What they did was that the resident that were there before me let the mess get to be too much. As for the reciepts that I had for the landlord, I told him that he needed to pay me pronto.. before he considered selling the house. This guy was furious with me, he was going to tear it down. I told him(landlord),... "Not anymore... It's time to pay your bills!" I said that if he didn't pay me, what owed to me, for fixing the place. I'd sue! ....long story short.... he paid!!!
• United States
9 Apr 07
Wow, I would have been furious if I'd moved into a place and found out that there were mice and roaches living in it. I'm pretty sure that is illegal, and he could probably have gotten his renter's license or whatever taken away. It's too bad you had to threaten to sue him to get him to pay you, but at least he ended up paying in the end. A girl I work with is living in a house now that they landlady forgot to mention sometimes leaks a little when it rains -- long story short, "a little" meant that their bedroom flooded in about 1/3 of it, and they had to rip out a bunch of the carpet because it started to get moldy...
• Australia
6 Apr 07
I think you've been more than reasonable. It takes 2 minutes to load and start a dishwasher, and he is using your stuff, you guys have every right to be able to use your stuff when you want to and not have to deal with someone else's irresponsibility. It's not like he wasn't given a warning. He was told to pick up his act and he didn't so he should handle the repercussions of that act.
1 person likes this
• United States
6 Apr 07
Exactly. It does not take that much of your time to rinse off your dirty plate or pan and set it in the dishwasher. That is all we are asking of him, and apparently that is too hard... It's not like we want him to handwash everyone's dishes, we aren't even asking him to unload the dishwasher and put stuff away, we just want him to put his own stuff in there...
• United States
6 Apr 07
You gave him enough time to clean up after himself and he did not do it. I think you need to find a new roommate. Get rid of him.
• United States
6 Apr 07
We would like to find a new roommate, but since we are all jointly signed on our lease, we can't just kick him out, he has to agree to move out. Also, we have to find someone to take over his place, because without him paying rent the rest of us that live here have to pay about $50 more per person each month, plus extra utilities and stuff. Although I think it would be worth it if it meant we didn't have to deal with him being loud and messy all the time...
• Canada
5 Apr 07
I have to say that what you did is something I find perfectly reasonable. He was given a chance to clean up after himself and he was given a second chance, and quite frankly, he blew it. If he starts to complain then the others of you need to be firm and tell him that he was given a chance to clean up after himself and he didn't. Also, you could maybe ask why he stopped cleaning up after himself when he was doing it before. Maybe he thought he'd do it to get himself "in" and now is taking you guys for a ride. I would give him one more chance. If he fails to change his ways, then serve him with a notice to move out.
• United States
6 Apr 07
I really would like to ask him to move out, but since we are all signed jointly on our lease, we can't actually force him to move out, he has to do it willingly. And I'm pretty sure that he won't, because he doesn't want to move back home with his parents, and he doesn't really have anywhere else that he can go. I think we're eventually going to give him one set of everything to use, and if he can manage to keep those clean, as well as cleaning up the kitchen, we'll let him use stuff again.
@kurtbiewald (2627)
• United States
5 Apr 07
these days civilised people require at least one dishwasher, two is better then a sign for the one with the dirty ones if its really a problem, get rid of dishes, one plate per person, one fork, one spoon, etc then thats all the dishes that will ever be dirty at the same time
1 person likes this
• United States
6 Apr 07
Yeah, if/when we let him use our dishes again, we are only going to give him one of everything so he HAS to wash it when he's done or he won't have anything to eat off of later. It's sort of silly and childish that we have to do things this way, but I suppose if it's the only thing we can do that works, it's what we have to do...
@dbeast (1498)
• India
5 Apr 07
well it was absolutely right as to what you did.at times one needs to put their foot down in order to get things done and i think it was way over time for you guys to do what you have done.if i was in your place i would have kicked him out if a person doesnt respect the rules of the place,even if i did know the person.there are certain things whcih need to be done and one should never neglect them.a person like this would have definitely got on my nerves and i would have lost my temper and thrown tantrums.i would have gone mad and brought the roof down.this is totally unacceptable.
1 person likes this
• United States
6 Apr 07
I'm actually glad that someone else did it and not me, because when I get mad, I get MAD, and I probably would have just started screaming at him. I get frustrated easily, so when I get a little bit mad I tend to yell a lot, and my voice gets REALLY loud....
• India
6 Apr 07
to become a roommate of someone is a very responsible task. you not only to take care of yourself but also care the feelings, things ,and work of your roommate. A roommate is a person which knows about you many things and if you make good relationship with your roommate he can help you a lot. he is the best friend for you. you can share many problems with him and solve them easily with his help. but if your roommate is not your good friend or you both does not like each other than you can imagine how much dangerous he is for you.
@shadyone2 (129)
• Australia
6 Apr 07
i feel that you have done the right thing. you gave him a chance and he still didn't do what he said he would. give it time he will say something or even have enough and maybe move out. either way good luck, as long as you all stick together he will not win this round.
1 person likes this
@coolsree (509)
• India
6 Apr 07
I think you have done a very less thing that he must get , because If I am in your place , he would have been replaced due to this, but you have just taken your things thats all.You should try for a replacement to him.I think that is the better way to get a solution.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
6 Apr 07
I think what you have done is ok. I think three weeks notice is enough for him to change his way of living. I have been in a situation where I live with others girls and we really look for each others stuff and always make an schedule of who will clean the whole house. I think he is the problem and maybe for the betterment of all it would be the best to let him go and find other place to stay. You all have to adjust to each other cause you are regarded as a team and if he don't do that then I guess he is not prepared and willing to be part of that team.
1 person likes this
• India
6 Apr 07
i have four roommates ,I have no problem with them ,we livw like a family & we sahare our problems with each other & we enjoy a lot they r my good friends
1 person likes this
@wildhorse (1293)
• Egypt
6 Apr 07
You did the right thing and maybe waited too long for it too, some people are like that, they don't do things unless they really have to, now I guess he just need to get his stuff and make sure he clean it or it will not be available for him again.. I hate living with many people for this, too many contradicted personalities and personal moods that you have to coexist with.
1 person likes this
@judyt00 (3501)
• Canada
6 Apr 07
Men like that make me sick, He knows that you will have to clean up after him, so he leaves it to you. He will use women like this for his whole life, and I suspect that you will soon find that he has gone into your rooms to find the dishes, and then still leave them for you to clean. I think your next step is to tell him to find new lodgings where he can find a servant. yes, you did the correct thing.
1 person likes this
@pengqing (218)
• China
6 Apr 07
I think so many people living in very inconvenient.Moreover,a long time,it may be a contradiction.
1 person likes this