Flatmate problem: girlfriend practically living with us

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Flatmate problem: girlfriend practically living with us

Postby Elleski » Wed Dec 07, 2011 12:42 am

Hi,

I have been in several different flatshares since I left university over 2 years ago, some with people I knew and others with strangers. Some were better than the others, each had their own difficulties.

I have since moved in with a friend and a guy (who we did not know previously) and this guy is causing us problems.

The main issue is this flatmate's girlfriend, who - For the past 7 months that they have been going out - is now more or less living with us full time. She is an air hostess so in that respect she is gone for 2-3 days every 3-4 days or so, but the times she is not working, she is here 100%. She originally lives at home with her parents 3 hours away so staying with her boyfriend who lives so close to the airport is really very convenient.

I guess it would be less of an issue if I liked her, but she DOES NOT SPEAK to me and my other friend. The entire time I have known her, she has not said hello to me once and this is the truth. Once I asked her a question about the wifi because we had lost connection, and she blanked me. I repeated the question, and she still ignored me. After which her boyfriend (my other flatmate) replied for her. Every time I walk in a room, I say hi to my flatmate and she will pretend I don't exist.

Other issues include her using our electricity, heating and water (I sometimes work at home and she will stay in our flat the entire day), using toilet paper, leaving her stuff around the flat and not cleaning up after herself ever. We have raised these issues with our other flatmate, and he got very defensive saying he has the right to have who he wants over when he wants (which I fully understand). We have friends/family/partners over too, but they are always polite I.e. say hello (not asking for fireworks display!!!!!) and do clean up after themselves.

Another issue is that they are ALWAYS in the lounge. Since I moved in, I can count on my hands the evenings I have been able to sit on the couch and watch tv!!!! Even when I have people over, they will still stay on the couch, watching a movie on their laptop really loud. This is annoying because the other flatemate and I are often away for work or travelling to see our family/friends who live abroad. I also go out far more than they do. So in all respect, they have the house to themselves very very often.

I'm at the point now where I don't feel welcome in my own home :( I never go in the lounge in the evenings anymore and avoid crossing their paths because it just gets me angry and in a bad mood. So i end up staying in my room most of the time in which case i wonder why i am paying so much rent when all I use is a room!!!!!

I am a person that doesn't like tension, I'm a happy person and really don't like this situation but have no idea what else to do. I don't want to move, I have moved houses so many times in the past 2 years and have found a really nice flat, I really like it here. I have never had an issue like this with other flatmates and their partners.

Any advice would be much appreciated!

Thanks
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Re: Flatmate problem: girlfriend practically living with us

Postby highlandcow » Wed Dec 07, 2011 12:04 pm

Oh dear, I feel for you, she sounds very difficult. In fact, I'm annoyed with her just reading this!
Can I ask, do you rent this property? If so, I think the landlord might not be too happy with someone living full the property, not paying rent, and not being listed on the tenancy agreement. I'm not saying grass her up to the landlord, but perhaps point out that if the landlord found out, you could all be in trouble.

Check this out http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/index/you ... ements.htm

Citizens Advice can also help.

(I confess I haven't looked at it fully but there seems to be a lot of info there)

I would say to the boyfriend that if she wants to live there permanently then she needs to be on the docs, and if she's on the docs then she needs to pay rent and she needs to pitch in with housework. If she doesn't agree, then she needs to sling her hook. Draw up a housework rota and make sure she's on it.

In terms if her not speaking to you, I'd ask her straight out. If it happens, I'd ask her "what's the matter?" in a nice way.

Is it the same with your other flatmate? You could all sit down together over a takeaway or something one night, it might be that she just doesn't know you well enough to be friendlier.
Go to Glasgow at least once in your life and have a roll and square sliced sausage and a cup of tea. When you feel the tea coursing over your spice-singed tongue, you'll know what I mean when I say:
'It's good to be alive!'"

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Re: Flatmate problem: girlfriend practically living with us

Postby Aurelie » Fri Dec 30, 2011 3:34 pm

This does sound very frustrating! It's a shame that you feel confined to your room when you're at home.

It sounds like you wouldn't mind so much about her being there using the utilities, if she at least acknowledged your position within the house?

It may be an idea to list all the things which are frustrating you in order of importance, then if you can deal with the most important ones, then your position within the house will improve. You can then consider the smaller things once these are dealt with.

Which would you consider the things to be the most frustrating?

Citizens Advice is a good idea.

It would be difficult to discuss the situation with your landlord without getting her into trouble and increasing the tension within the household - but highlandcow's suggestion of pointing this out as a possibility to her boyfriend might make him see the seriousness of the way they are making you feel, which may inspire them to change the situation.

You say you have already approached the boyfriend about the situation and he became defensive. Would it be possible to approach him again? Perhaps sensitively explain that it's not anyone's fault, but that you feel very concerned that you are not comfortable in your own home, and that you would like to work together to make the environment a bit more comfortable? Perhaps explain that you know how important she is to him, and you would therefore love to be able to speak to her and get to know her also. It is a shame that you see her so often, yet have not had a proper conversation.

I also like the idea of a housework rota - could you call a meeting and explain that, as everyone is here and there constantly, it would be nice to have specific responsibilities around the house? This way, when people are away no one feels like they have to do everything to compensate for an absence.

If they like watching films often, could you get a film and ask them if they would want to watch it with you? Giving you some time in your own lounge, and also the opportunity to have something to talk about later, or connect over.

It is an unfortunate situation, but someone has to make the first move. It's great that you've already considered being this person.

How does your other flatmate feel?
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