Removing a flatmate
Sharing a house or flat takes a lot of effort, tolerance, understanding and a bit of caring and sharing. But what if someone's not doing their bit and it's ruining things for the rest of you?
If you're not getting on with one of your flatmates, you can persuade them to move out without too much stress. If it's a simple personality clash, they'll probably beat you to it and move out first. They'll probably be glad to see the back of you too.
Do the right thing
It's surprisingly easy to scapegoat one person, blaming them for problems that everyone's jointly responsible for. So be sure it really is that one person who's the problem. A clique of friends can sometimes round on someone unfairly, just because they are shy, or don't share the same interests or religion.
Dean from Cardiff still feels guilty about allowing his best mate to be pushed out of a house they shared as students: "It seems really stupid and selfish now, but when everyone turned against Phil I didn't want to be associated with him anymore. Blaming him for everything kind of made us feel united against a common enemy. Eventually he left. If anything though, we got on worse afterwards, we all had to face up to not being perfect ourselves. I lost a good mate and I'll always regret the way we treated him."
As much as you may want to boot them out pronto, if you signed the same agreement as your flatmate, it makes you joint tenants. This means you all have equal rights to stay in the property. Even if you're having problems with your flatmate, as a joint tenant you won't have the right to exclude someone without getting a court order.
You could try to report the problems to your landlord, but if your landlord took action to evict them, it could end the tenancy for all of you. It may be worth trying to negotiate with your landlord about this, and if you're really lucky, your landlord may agree to grant a new tenancy for you and the other joint tenants after the problem flatmate is evicted.
If you've got a problem with someone's behaviour, you have to tell them that there's a problem, and most of the time you should then give them a chance to change their offensive ways. If there's a genuine problem and you've decided life would definitely be better minus the weakest link, get everyone together to discuss it first. Storm in without consulting anyone and you could cause all kinds of grief.
If you've been friends with your flatmate for a long time, it can be hard to accept that sharing a place isn't working out, but you're probably the best person to speak to them.
You could leave a note, but that's wimpish and a bit disrespectful, so it's best to break it to them in person. Pick your time carefully though, if they've got an important interview or exam, they probably won't take news that they're out on their ass too well.
Making it easier
Think about what you're going say first. Try saying something like: "You don't seem to like living here very much", and they'll naturally think of somewhere they'd rather be. Alternatively: "You seem to have outgrown the others in your house, I think it's time to move on" is good because you're not attacking their personality, you're not letting on that everyone's been slating them, and hopefully they'll leave thinking it was their own decision.
Helping them to move, or offering to help, will show there are no hard feelings. Handle the situation with care and there's no need for any drama or upset. Think before you act, and make sure all the other members of your home are in agreement before you do anything. Not everyone can live together, it's a fact, but it doesn't necessarily mean you can't stay friends.
If they're really antisocial (stealing, verbal abuse, violence), gently but firmly tell them they can't have a second chance, and offer to help them find a new place. If they still won't budge, don't think twice about calling in the landlord or even the police.
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