Signs Your Roommate is About to Kick You Out
Ah, roommates! We love ’em; we hate ’em; sometimes we can’t afford our living space without them. There may be that time, though, where your roommate decides they don’t want you around. This can lead to them kicking you out, especially if they own/rent the space and they let you live there without signing a lease (even if you pay rent). You may be out in the cold with nowhere else to live or go and you feel that you didn’t exactly have warning. Here are some signs your roommate may be planning to kick you out:
1. Sudden Change In Behavior
Has your roommate gone from, “This is going to be so awesome to live in the same apartment as you!” to barely acknowledging your presence in the room? Consider this a red flag, especially if it keeps happening again and again. Something may have gone from, “You’re awesome!” to, “I don’t like you being around.” Do make sure to communicate with your roommate to find out if you did something to offend them or if something is wrong. If they say that everything is okay, then either there is something going on in their life that they don’t want you to know about or they don’t want you around anymore.
2. Rude Awakenings
Did your roommate that used to be polite while you were sleeping now run the vacuum next to your door or play their music so loud you can barely hear yourself think? They may be trying to push your buttons to get you to leave first so you aren’t the bad guy. They may become upset if you point out that they were loud, or play stupid and say, “Oops, sorry.”
3. They Are Pressuring You To Buy or Rent Your Own Place
Does your roommate casually say, “Have you ever considered buying a house/renting your own place?” or say that, “Buying is better than renting.” or something of this degree? Light the warning signals! This may be a last resort to find out if you plan on moving out anytime soon. If you are comfortable where you are at, making your payments, and such – you may be in for a rude awakening. It is likely they want you out by a certain time.
4. Enlisting New Roommates
This doesn’t mean they are kicking you out, but it may be along those lines if there is barley any space and they are cramming your small space or asking you to share you room with new roommates. This will cause a lot of hostility fast, especially if ground rules are not set. It’s a good way to get people to quickly become so annoyed with one another that they move out.
5. They Want You To Meet Their “Realtor Friends”
If they give you your realtor friends card, you may ignore it, but then they may find out and invite their realtor friends to come to the house to tell you how “bad” renting is. At this point, your roommate for sure does not want you in their space and is looking for any way to get rid of you without seeming like that bad guy. When their realtor friends ask you for documents to get you all pre-qualified or pre-approved, there is something definitely wrong! Don’t fall for this trap, even if you are wanting to get a house or rental space of your own. Don’t risk your personal information falling into the wrong hands and potentially being illegally passed off to your roommate!
6. Making You Take On the Weight Of Chores
Are you practically spoon feeding you roommate? No, seriously! Are you making their meals, packing their lunch, putting their laundry they “forgot” into the dryer, cleaning after their dirty dishes, scrubbing their bathroom, and cleaning their room? It seems like you roommate can’t lift a finger to take care of themselves? Does it seem like if they could, they would have you bathe them and clothe them every day? Even if you are doing this because you live there rent free – there is something wrong. At this point, they may call it a “fair exchange”, but what it really translates to is “If you have to be around, I’ll use you instead.”
7. They Play On Your Pet Peeves
Did you ever discuss your pet peeves with them? Maybe it is not washing the food off of dishes and leaving it to stick, maybe it is loud music, perhaps it is certain television shows, maybe it is when the house is a mess. Whatever your pet peeves, if your roommate has respected them up until now, but it has suddenly changed, be prepared for them to try to push you out.
8. Don’t Play Into Arguments
Before firing that first cannon and letting that vulgar sentence pass your lips that you know will make them angry, wait a moment. Ask yourself in your mind, “Is this an argument that is worth my living space?” If it isn’t an argument worth being kicked out over, don’t fuel the fire. When the argument is about chores, cleanliness of living space, food going missing, etc. make sure to sit down and peacefully solve the situation. If the issue can’t be resolved you may either have to deal with the situation best you can or start looking for other places. Make sure to apologize for offending them if they felt offended. This will put them off their game for a while, and when they figure out a new strategy, you will probably easily notice it.
9. They Try to Give You a Fake “Head Start”
Maybe they think you need that “nudge from the nest with niceness” so they offer to help you pack, pay for apartment deposits, first and last month’s rent, application and holding fees, and/or utility deposits. They may even say they will only pay with credit card or cash (which a lot of apartments don’t take – especially for deposits). So, you think, “Well, they want me out and they are paying.” Don’t fall into this one. This is often one of their last resorts to get you out while still trying to retain that false, “I’m the good guy – I offered.” composure. What will probably happen is you will be relentlessly looking at apartments, wasting your precious time. You find the right one and want to lease. When you sign the lease, there are up front fee’s like application fees.
Since your application won’t be processed until you pay the applicable fee, your roommate won’t know how much to pay. So you waste anywhere from $15 – $75 to apply of your own money. That’s one step you’ve taken into a door you can’t always shut because you may cancel, but won’t get your money back. They will need to come in person to pay for it all for you, which they probably won’t do especially if they are “super busy”. When you tell your roommate how much it will be they will shrug you off and say, “That’s too much.” and keep you busy searching. You will waste money and you may not find a place. You will get so annoyed you want to leave. If you’re going to move out, it will more than likely be on your own dime.
10. Your Stuff Is Going Missing
Your roommate may have always been respectful of your personal belongings and always asked before they ate your food. Maybe you’re finding they are sneaking your food in such ways you don’t realize they’ve eaten it. Sometimes the sole roommate has never taken anything of yours before, but they invite new roommates (see #4) and then your stuff goes missing. The perpetrator is not the new roommates, but the original one. They now take your stuff because you will not notice and the only change is new roommates.
What better way to get roommates to fight against each other than have food go missing, things left about, etc.? Your original roommate may be cleverly plotting this to get rid of everyone so they can live once again by themselves. It’s sneaky, but it happens.
11. They Are a Twig Waiting to SNAP
You don’t feel you have done anything, but they are moving your stuff around without your permission to clean a bathroom or the kitchen. You walk by, give a glance, say nothing, and you walk back to your room. Your door accidentally shuts a little louder than normal behind you when it wasn’t your intention. Next thing you know, your roommate is all up in arms saying they “hate your attitude problem” because they are only “trying to be a good roommate” and “clean the bathroom/kitchen”. They demand an apology for your “seemingly poor behavior”. They are usually looking for ANY excuse to kick you out because nothing has worked.
12. Know Their Stress Relievers
When your roommate is stressed, you will often know. Maybe they binge on Netflix, play a lot of video games, sit at the computer, order take out, binge on sweets, sleep in, or start cleaning like a mad man. Do not disturb them when they are doing whatever they do to relieve stress. If their stress keeps increasing or is constant and nothing else seems to be wrong even though you’ve asked- it could be you. Be prepared for the situation to escalate if you are the common denominator.
13. They Don’t Tell You About Guests
Did you roommate used to tell you when guests were going to stop by? Maybe they were considerate so that you could make sure your space was nice and clean. Did that recently graduate from “I’m not telling you at all”? It may be a way they are trying to annoy you. It’s not cool for you roommate to invite over guests at any time without telling you they will be there. No one wants to wake up, walk out of their room with bed head, pajamas on, and foul breath only to see that 20 people are over for a breakfast party. Not cool!
14. They Place You In Charge of Their Guests
This is beyond rude if they don’t give you heads up. There’s a difference between, “Could you stay out here with so-and-so while I run to the bathroom?” and, “Here’s a party of 30 people over, but I’m going to stay out for an hour or so after the party is started to get pizza and such. I’ll show up late and set a stack of uncooked pizza’s on the counter and make you cook them and serve their guests.” They may be either rude, or they are trying to push you to the edge. Communication is key, and do let your roommate know your feelings and if something they did upset you. If they turn it around back on you then something is probably wrong.
15. All They Do Is Complain
Was your roommate an awesome listener before? Did they seem to care about your feelings, give you advice, and some ways to perhaps solve a relationship issue? Now do they not care about your problems? All of a sudden it has become about them? They vent to you about the same issue again, again, and again. They don’t give you a chance to put your input because it is about them. It’s a cycle, and they are more than likely hoping to annoy you with it so you move out. It is possible they had a bad day and don’t know how to express it, but if they’ve never done it before it might be something deeper.
16. They Delete You From Social Media
I’m not a huge social media fan, but if you friended your roommate on Facebook – you may have noticed that you were deleted. They may lie and say, “Oh yeah, I deleted my Facebook.” So you don’t know you were deleted until you do an internet search and find a whole new profile that is theirs or you can’t help but notice all the new Facebook notifications that keep popping on their phone when they leave it on the kitchen table. This may be sending a flag that they don’t want you too close.
17. They Fade You Out
Fading someone out is a technique I am familiar with. I don’t use it on people because it is harmful and hurtful. The concept is, you make excuses not to hang out with the individual more and more until you are nothing more than a distant memory to them or so you hope. It doesn’t work this way, and it isn’t “painless” as online articles want you to believe. The person being faded out will have no idea why because they were never told – it’s heart breaking. It’s most common among 20 – 30 year olds, but older people still may use it. It’s the coward’s way out if you ask me.
Your roommate has become uninterested in you, uninteresting in your life, and uninterested with anything important to you. At this point, they are not going to hold back on trying to kick you out.
18. They Are Excited When You Go Out
If your roommate is suddenly giddy when they normally wouldn’t be when you announce you will be gone for a few hours or a day, something else may be up. Maybe they like to be alone, but if combined with the other qualities on this post – they may want you out of their life.
19. They Give You a Sob Story
Maybe you live in an HOA with a roommate and they invite more roommates and all cars are supposed to be in the garage. They are fined for parking on the street, but there is no room in the driveway anymore. They place the burden on you saying they weren’t granted the parking permit. This puts stress on you, even if it is true, to move out. It’s a hypothetical scenario, but if your roommate gives you some scenario whether it be true or false that involves you moving out and stresses you out with it – be prepared for them to try and kick you out. The oldest roommate, more loyal roommate may be the first to go.
20. You Become a Free Babysitter
If your roommate has young relatives – don’t let yourself be used. You may get along with them as you do your roommate, but if your roommate says, “I said I would babysit, but it turns out I have to work! I can’t cancel now! I don’t know what to do!” You feel bad for your roommate and say, “I can’t watch them until you get home from work.” Then they say, “Oh! Thank you! You’re the best!” You babysit for free while they work. All the while, when the child’s guardian comes to pick them up your roommate says, “Oh yes! They were good! We had lots of fun!” and lies as if they were watching them the entire time! If they lie, speak up about it to the guardian (preferably on the side in private), especially since you were not the babysitter hired and they may not feel comfortable because they don’t know you well enough.
How To Avoid These Roommate Issues
Here are some tips that will hopefully help you avoid an issue such as being kicked out. These tips aren’t guaranteed to work or prevent you from being kicked out, but they are worth a try.
1. Put Your Name on the Lease
If there is a lease, go down to the leasing office and have your name written on the lease. This gives you more rights, especially if the rent is split. It will be difficult for your roommate to simply kick you out of the apartment. You may need your roommate to accompany you to the leasing office, but if they don’t want to – let the office know your situation. If you roommate does not want you adding your name to the lease at all, consider finding a different roommate. This could be a red flag that they want to be able to kick you out for any reason if they ever get angry or tired of you.
2. Keep All Rent Receipts
When you pay rent, get a written and signed receipt. Keep it somewhere hidden and safe. This way if the amount of rent you are paying comes into question, you can back yourself up with the receipts.
3. Pay Rent Directly to the Office/Landlord
If you can, avoid giving rent payments to you roommate. If they insist on this, politely refuse. Even if your roommate may mean well, you need to know where your money is going. If they took your rent payment and you never got a receipt they can make your money disappear and blame you for not paying your rent.
4. Choose Your Roommates Wisely
Be careful on who you select to be your roommate. I have seen one too many friends get a roommate and decide to move out without giving notice, and leaving a friend to pay all of the rent and utilities. Even with a signed lease, a written agreement between roommates, or an explanation to your landlord you both signed an agreement to be liable for a certain amount each month. If your roommate leaves all of the rent on you, there isn’t a whole lot (not that I know of) that you can do about it.
5. Build Your Savings Account
It is always a good thing to have emergency savings fund for emergencies. Everyone should build one if at all possible. Keep $1,000 for emergencies and continue to build on it. This way, if your roommate’s friend destroys your laptop, your roommate will be late on rent or decides not to pay, your utilities are about to be shut off, or if you must pay off your remaining rent in order to move into a new place – be prepared! This equals a bit less financial stress on you.
6. Don’t Let Situations “Work Themselves Out”
It is easy to stay away from a potential argument or shy away from asking your roommate what is wrong, why they are angry, or if something has been especially stressful on them lately. If your roommate has stopped talking to you or acknowledging you, don’t expect it to get better on its own. Make time to sit down with the roommate that is treating you this way in a comfortable, private setting and lend a listening ear. Keep an open mind, and don’t resort to anger if there is something you may have done to offend even if you didn’t intend to. Apologize and move on.
7. Avoid Getting a Pet
Even if you and your roommate both agree on getting a pet, it is wise not to get one. The animal may soon be the center of arguments. Perhaps one person takes care of the animal, while the other doesn’t. Maybe one person pays for their vet visits while the other doesn’t want the responsibility. Either way, it may not be ideal for the pet’s welfare to have needs ignored or stuck in the middle of constant fighting. Every pet deserves a happy, loving home.
8. Decide Rules and Boundaries First
This is a common pitfall. People become roommates and never bother to discuss rules because everything is going to be “AWESOME!” When you decide to get a roommate, sit down with them and decide what appropriate rules of your living space are. How do you feel about them walking into your bedroom? Are there food allergies and certain foods must be banned from your living space? Where would your roommate like their mail placed if you make the run to the mailbox? Share pet peeves so you don’t accidentally annoy each other and cause hostility. After all, if there are no rules or boundaries then “anything goes”. Make rules or boundaries clear. If your roommate does not believe in setting rules or boundaries because you share a space now – you need to be running out of that door.
9. Don’t Ignore Red Flags
If something isn’t feeling right about your roommate, you may already be right even if you don’t have the explanation for it. If you haven’t begun to share a place yet, back out of it while you are able and look elsewhere.
10. Be Polite and Respectful
Be polite to your roommate and their guests, be respectful of their personal space and belongings, and don’t take anything of theirs without asking. Apologize when needed, and listen when they are sharing personal thoughts or feelings with you. Be honest and do replace anything you have eaten or accidentally broken.
Do you have any helpful roommate tips? Post below!
[Image Credit: Jimmy Bay on unsplash.com]