House of horrors
From phantom flatmates to hellish habits, Condor Properties talks to former students about their nightmare housemates.
The phantom flatmate
“In my first year at Exeter I was living in an 11 room flat,” recalls Imogen Petit, a former student at the university. “We always hung out in the communal living room and we soon realised there were only ten of us. We thought one of the rooms hadn’t been taken for about a month and were actually considering picking the lock so we could use it as a spare room.”
However, after a month of living in the flat, Imogen realised the room was in fact occupied.
“One day this guy emerged from the room – I couldn’t believe it,” she said. “He’d been living there the whole time. We tried to make an effort with him but he always made himself scarce.” The phantom flatmate was seldom seen.
“He would run into the kitchen with a microwave dinner, run back to his bedroom and emerge again to pick it up,” she laughed. “He timed it to perfection – he would come in just as it pinged and then run out again.”
The midnight urinator
Although the phantom flatmate was an unsociable soul, he didn’t cause anyone any grief – unlike a certain student at Liverpool University.
“I was living in a house share with a bunch of mates and after a few weeks I realised our pal, John, was sleepwalking in the night and taking a wee in random corners of the flat, “says Chris Andrews, a former student. “It was mainly when we had been out on the beers.”
Chris and the other flatmates confronted John after stepping on soggy carpet one morning.
“He was also doing it at his girlfriend’s house and if she wasn’t going to stop him none of us were,” he laughs. “We’re still good friends but I would never live with him again. He actually lives with the same girlfriend – apparently he hasn’t done it for two years.”
The disgusting dishwasher
Isobel Wyman thought she had found herself some great housemates, until she realised one had a disgusting secret.
“Rather than cleaning the cutlery like everyone else, he used to just lick it and put it away,” she says, screwing up her face. “I saw him doing this one night and my stomach turned because I had been living with him for a few weeks.”
Isobel was very English about it, though. “I didn’t confront him,” she says. “I just started washing the cutlery before I used it.”
The fetid thief
It’s bad enough when your housemate borrows your clothes without asking, but even worse when they have personal hygiene issues.
“One of my housemates would wear my clothes without asking,” recalls Thomas Hine, a former Cardiff University student. “This bothered me because I’m a bit precious about clothes, but it was particularly bad because he had a BO problem.”
Thomas emptied his laundry bin countless times to find smelly shirts, none of which he had worn.
“I confronted him and he apologised and said he wouldn’t do it again,” recalls Thomas. “Then one night we were in the union and I noticed a Calvin Klein waistband above his jeans – the boxers looked like mine but I gave him the benefit of the doubt. But the next day I found a very smelly pair of my Calvins in the laundry bin – I went nuts.”