When it comes to share houses, it really is a jungle out there. You can go to all the viewings under the sun and ask every question you can possibly think of but, ultimately, you don’t really know what you’re getting yourself into until you move in.
And you’re not alone. New research by realestate.com.au found that 66% of young Aussie renters move in with strangers. But, even those who do know the person they’re moving in with, know it’s still not guaranteed to work out as they imagined, with 40% of respondents reporting losing a friendship from living with their mate.
So, here to help you navigate the wild world that is sharehouse living, we’ve compiled an A-Z guide of housemate personality types you’ll likely come across in your travels.
For those who’ve lived in a share house before, this will ring more than a few bells, but if you’re brand new to the whole ‘house share’ thing, this will act as some handy inside scoop for what you can expect.
A: The Average Cook
Bless them, their heart’s in the right place, but their ‘signature pasta dish’ might just kill you. Politely decline and avoid at all costs.
B: Bathroom Hog
When you get ready in the morning you have to allow an extra half hour in case the notorious bathroom hog is in their preferred stomping ground, doing who knows what in the shower.
C: Compulsive Alarm-Snoozer
One sure-fire way to make enemies in your share house is to repeatedly snooze your alarm, particularly at ungodly hours, more than three times. Trust me when I say that no wall is that thick.
D: Dodgy Dish Washer
There’s always one housemate who leaves their dirty plates in/around the sink for so long that you worry your kitchen might become a legit Quarantine zone. In fact, the same research found that failure to stack the dishwasher was up there with poor cleanliness as the number one housemate pet peeve – so definitely don’t be that guy.
Turning off lights when you’re still in the room or turning off the toaster at the plug? That sounds like your classic, ‘energy saver’, hellbent on saving energy one day at a time (but only your energy use).
F: Fridge Fiend
The fridge is one of those places in a share house that quickly goes to pot, and there’s normally a single perpetrator responsible for 90% of the rotting food left in it. Remorseful, they will not be, but this is the nature of the fridge fiend.
G: Gentle Gronk
They’re a little rough around the edges, but there’s something charming and surprisingly lovable about your domestic doofus.
H: Hopeless Hoarder
You might think that your housemate keeping all their old uni notes in the living room (despite graduating uni years ago) is unnecessary, but this is all very logical to your resident hoarder. Our advice? Never try to throw something out without asking them first – it’s not worth it.
I: Indoor Plant Obsessive
Fronds, ferns, cacti, succulents – you name it, it’s like bloody Flower Power galore in their room. But be warned: if they entrust you to look after their flora, you won’t want to deal with their wrath if you lapse on your duties.
Every house has a joker who can always make light of an awkward situation. These legends are worth their weight in gold.
K: Klepto Kid
The klepto isn’t as overt as you might expect. They might choose to leave your leftovers and instead choose to slowly but surely use your entire toothpaste tube without you even noticing. Whatever their prefered bounty, the faster you can identify it and make alternative arrangements, the better.
L: Loud Sex-er
No matter how hard you try to tune it out, you will still hear your housemate having loud shags. But you won’t be suffering along because everyone else will also feel your pain. Did you know that noisy sex deemed more annoying than paying rent late for housemates? The more you know.
M: Makeshift Mum
If you’re sick, the bless’d makeshift mother will whip ya up some tea and chicken soup. Keep this housemate around for as long as possible because they’re an absolute hun.
N: Neat Freak
Did you wanna clean up your dishes after you finished eating your dinner? Well, good luck doing that in peace. And heaven help you if you accidentally skip your week on the cleaning roster.
From regaling very detailed sexual encounters to incredibly graphic bathroom ordeals, the oversharer either doesn’t realise, or simply doesn’t care, how uncomfortable they make you feel. Sad but true.
P: Passive-Aggressive Post-It Note Leaver
It might take you a while to figure out who the pass-agg housemate is but when you find out, you’ll immediately feel a bit close to your other roomies.
Q: Questionable Life Choices
They might want your take on things, or they might just want to vent about what’s going on in their life. Whether happens, try not to judge ’em too harshly.
R: Relationship Advice Expert
If you’ve been on a bad date or need some emergency input on what to do about your angry friend, this is your new go-to.
Cooking dinner? They’ll invite themselves to join you. Got a half-full bottle of wine in the fridge? Not for long. This housemate will never pass up an opp for free stuff.
T: TV Hog
You will quickly become very familiar with your resident TV fanatic’s genre of choice – be it sport, reality TV or dramatic series. It’s up to you whether you get in on the action too, but if you do, you’ll make a friend for life.
U: Unappointed Fixer Of Things
This person knows their way around a toolkit and can hack a way to fix many broken fixtures so you don’t have to get your landlord involved in tiny tasks that they’re not responsible for.
V: Very Enthusiastic One
Housemate dinners and family bonding sessions will all be things this individual tries to initiate. Try to make the catch ups as often as you can but don’t rearrange your life for them, because housemates regularly cancel on this commitment if something else comes up.
W: Wannabe Singer
When someone consistently sings around you, more often than not, it’s because they honestly think they’re good. It’s as though they think ‘if I sing around them enough, they’ll realise how good I am and compliment me on it.’ Lifehack: don’t fall for this trick by saying “you’re a good singer!” unless you honestly think they’re talented, otherwise, it just encourages them.
X: Xtremely Stingy One
They’re the last to pay rent and the first to take issue with splitting the wifi bill because they ‘didn’t use as much internet as everyone else’ – we all have a mate like that.
You’ll often come home to see your living room transformed into a low-key yoga studio, complete with burning incense and chakra chats at the ready. After a stressful day at work, you might actually be thankful for this blissfully chill vibe.
Z: Zaney Hipster
The Zaney Hipster starter kit includes a vintage-inspired vinyl player, excessive Penguin books lying around the house and using the word ‘mainstream’ as an insult.Image: Instagram / [@ansel]