SocietySeptember 30, 2022

The worst flatmate horror stories in the world… ever!!!


We asked… you delivered.

“Once, I took the day off as my friends from out of town were visiting. We came home early from the beach, and my housemate, who was a social worker, was home (we lived in a two-bedroom apartment together, she was a stranger who’d run out the door sometimes saying, “My friends have just scored a bag of coke! Be back later tonight or in three days!”). We walked in on her cooking in the kitchen wearing an outfit entirely from my wardrobe while a boy she was looking after was sitting on the couch watching cartoons on my laptop.”

“The flatmate that decided to keep her feral mouse as a pet in a bin with Glad Wrap on top.”

“I lived in a flat with three randoms. It was the kind of flat where nobody talked to anybody, we just lived in our rooms, cooked instant ramen, and occasionally bathed. I went on a lovely summer holiday and came back to a flooded bathroom. I mopped it up, did bathroom things, and then when I flushed the toilet… the bathroom flooded. So I mopped it up again, and waited until someone was around. It turns out they’d been doing this for the two weeks I was on holiday, and nobody, including the head tenant, had thought to contact the property manager. The head tenant did so, and it was fixed that afternoon. I moved out a month later.”

“The flatmate that started every question with ‘Question…'”

“I once lived with a very, very dirty man who lived in the damp, dark basement like Smeagol and never did any cleaning at all. One day I snapped and did a full deep clean of the disgusting bathroom by his room, including washing out and disinfecting the bin and leaving it to dry in the sun on the deck. While I was out of the bathroom, he went in, brushed his teeth, flossed and then left the used floss ON THE FLOOR in the spot where the BIN USED TO BE. I hope he’s OK.”

“Walked in on a guy in his bedroom rolling his poo into little balls.”

“I once lived with a dude called [redacted] who was super into mushroom season. During it he went from ordinary weird / annoying (had a large objet d’art made of skulls in the lounge, spent a lot of time practising body painting) to keeping very strange hours and highly prone to corner you to explain how banks work. “They take your money… and turn it into MONEY”. Would not recommend.”

“A guy who stole my tights off the clothes horse. We found five pairs hidden in his room.”

wellington rentals
Image: Getty / Design: Archi Banal

“One flatmate went on holiday for six weeks and didn’t tell us, and came back and didn’t acknowledge it. This same person turned on the gas hob one morning, starting cooking eggs, and then popped out to the laundromat up the road. He also broke a window and did nothing about it. Oh, and he thought it was reasonable to dry his clothes by laying them across all of the leather seats in the lounge.”

“Had a $1,000 power bill… turns out flatmate had a grow room in the attic. Didn’t even pay for their share of the bill.”

“My flatmate was a pageant queen – perfectly polished on the outside, but the filthiest person I think I’ve ever met when she was at home. One time she cooked meatballs with cheese in a slow cooker, and then left it in the kitchen. I was sick of cleaning up after her, so I didn’t want to move it. One day I looked inside and there were maggots in the meatballs. I threw the entire slow cooker out and she never said a single thing about it.”

“Temporarily flatted with a kleptomaniac. Was so stressful.”

“I lived in a six-bedroom, one-bathroom house in Dunedin with five people (four of which had significant others) One day I got a call from my property manager asking why there were leaks coming from our floor to the bottom floor where other tenants lived. I wasn’t at home, so she went to check on the house and found that it was completely flooded all the way from the bathroom down the hallway. The carpets were soaked, the insulation was soaked – this was a Dunedin flat, so it wasn’t maintained very well anyway. 

My property manager was swearing all over the place because no one wanted to own up to what happened. Eventually one of my flatmates finally came clean and admitted that he was having sex with his girlfriend in the bathroom while the shower was on and they got distracted. Must have done it for hours because you cant flood a friggin’ house with a quickie y’know? He had to pay almost $10k to have the house repaired and we couldn’t shower for weeks.”

“Sharing a room, late on rent, left a maggoty mattress and stole my cheese.”

“We live on Great North Road in Grey Lynn, where street parking is either 120 minutes or bus lanes. Our landlord wanted to start charging us to park in our own driveway, as well as increasing the rent, effective immediately. We know our rights and asked for the correct amount of notice and said they weren’t allowed to charge us to park in our own off street driveway. She then threatened to tow our cars and towed our neighbours (also her tenants) at 2am. Not to mention we have no main heat source and no working smoke alarms.”

“He was stealing our rent money and then lied about having cancer.”

“My flatmate, let’s call him Charles, made a sheet of paper on the fridge with all of our names on it and an “in” and “out” column. Each person was represented with a magnet, and you had to put the magnet in the right column to show whether you were at home or were out. Ostensibly, it was for setting the alarm to make sure that no one was inside, but it felt like he was tracking us. One of my flatmates started including a magnet for his partner when they were staying over, and then it became expected that you would do that for any overnight guests.

Charles’ favorite time was during lockdown because no one was visiting our flat, but afterwards he insisted we give him 24 hour notice before anyone was visiting and would send passive aggressive texts or write post-it notes about why he was upset. He also got mad if any extra noise was happening like music being played. Needless to say, I moved out a couple months after lockdown.”

A house on a blue background with lightning bolts
Design: Tina Tiller

“My flatmate left the oven on and went to uni. His excuse? ‘I was too busy’.”

“We lived in a high crime area in central Auckland as three girls fresh out of first year uni housing. We were below ground level with a balcony covered in rubbish and hundreds of cigarette butts. We had people try and use our balcony to enter our building and ask for alcohol or drugs. The big kicker was that our apartment door didn’t latch so when we thought it was locked (because the handle wouldn’t budge) you could just push the door in.

We have no idea how many people had entered our apartment. We had multiple people enter while we were in the apartment so it begs the question of how many people entered when we were away or asleep. It was terrifying and we felt utterly alone (this was also level three last year) and our landlords (who we paid $580 on time every week) didn’t care for us or our safety.”

“Temporarily flatted with a kleptomaniac. Was so stressful.”

“One of the flatmates at my first ever flat was really… something else. She worked… sometimes? We think? But she was always in her room with whoever was her boyfriend that month – we knew this because girlie was constantly belting out these earth-shattering moans and sex screams all day, every day. Like, genuinely, she must have been doing it on purpose, because we never went a day without hearing it all throughout the house.

Props to her I guess, but I’ll never live down the trauma of the day my parents came to help me move out and were disassembling furniture right outside her door just as she reached climax. Mum went ‘oh, I see why you’re moving out’. She also attached the flat card to her Uber account and stole a bunch of money from us and also vomited in the shower and didn’t clean it for a week. Bless her soul.”

Rent Week 2022 runs until October 2. Read the best of our renting coverage here.

Keep going!