Arguments with Housemates

publication date: Sep 3, 2014
author/source: Guest article by Sam Cowen of
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Avoid those annoying arguments with housemates

We’ve all had them. Most of us hate them. The good news is there are plenty of ways to avoid unnecessary quibbles. Follow these tips from for a more peaceful houseshare.

Start by making sure you find the right housemates. It may sound obvious but most people give far more thought to viewing the property than getting to know the people they’ll be living with.

Spend time getting to know the housemates and, crucially, make sure you meet them all before you move in. Arrange to meet in a local pub or, if you live in London or Manchester, invite them to a SpeedFlatmating event. SpeedFlatmating is great because you get to meet lots of potential housemates in a social setting in the time it might take to view one property. Viewings and housemate interviews are always difficult to get right because it’s hard to get a sense of real character in a short amount of time (and in such a forced situation). Two drinks in a bar, however, and you can really get a sense of who someone is.

Read Spareroom's renting by the room checklist

If you're not sure about someone but can't necessarily say why, it doesn't matter. Trust your gut and move on. Our instincts have developed over thousands of years of collective experience and are right more often than not - listen to them. 

Once you’ve found housemates you get on with think about the details. Ask about partners - there’s nothing worse than one housemate moving in then turning out to be two housemates because their partner stays over most nights. That’s not to say you shouldn’t share with a couple if you’re happy to but you need to be clear from the outset. Also ask about work patterns - keeping completely different hours can work for some people but won’t for most.

Most issues can be avoided by simply talking (preferably before you move in) so you’re both clear on what’s expected. If your expectations are wildly different it’s inevitable one of you will have an issue at some stage.

Keep talking throughout living together. If issues develop, tackle them as they arise, don’t stew over them.

Read Spareroom's renting by the room checklist

If you do get to the stage where an argument is inevitable, take time to think logically about the issue and try to understand the other person’s situation. We all make bad decisions from time to time, especially when we’re stressed.

Sit down over a coffee and discuss the problem. Don’t send a grumbly text or, that eternal roommate communication tool, a passive-aggressive Post-It note on the fridge. Living in a houseshare is all about compassion and tolerance so cut some slack when you can and choose your arguments wisely.

For lots of great advice, helpful tips and average renting a room prices by area, visit

As a landlord if you are thinking about renting rooms, visit SpareRoom’s renting a room checklist and download their free guide.

Find out why it’s worth advertising through to find your new roommates to share a property with

Guest article from Sam Cowen
Head of marketing

Sam Cowen

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