How to Fix 5 Common Roommate Problems

June 22, 2020

When more than one person lives in a house, there’s bound to be a little friction. We all have unique ideas about how we expect things to work.

Problems come up when our ideas and expectations don’t align with those of our roommate. It’s important to address problems and find solutions before they become major issues. The key is to communicate your needs, listen to those of your roommate, and compromise to find solutions.

With that formula in mind, here are some of the most common roommate issues and how to resolve them.

How to Resolve 5 Common Roommate Problems

Messy PadMates

Everyone has their own idea of cleanliness. Some people are very neat and organized. Some people are okay with clutter. It’s challenging when you and your PadMates have different ideas of how clean you should keep the house. It’s best to address this problem early so it doesn’t become a big problem later on.

How to fix it: At your next house meeting, have an open, honest conversation about the cleanliness of shared living spaces. Be sure your tone isn’t judgmental or accusatory. For example, say something like, “I’d like to talk about how we keep shared living spaces. Can we discuss some rules and a cleaning schedule that works for all of us?” Then, work together on rules and a schedule everyone in the house is comfortable following.

PadMate eats your food without asking

Eating someone’s food without asking comes down to boundaries. Just as everyone has different ideas of cleanliness, everyone has different boundaries. Some people don’t mind when another eats their food or uses their belongings without asking. Some people are really bothered by it. The only way to know one another’s boundaries is to communicate and honor them.

How to fix it: Setting boundaries is an essential part of any relationship. At your next house meeting, have an open conversation about them. Be sure to share your boundaries and ask your PadMates to share their boundaries. Then, work together on a solution that honors everyone’s boundaries. Keep any non-perishable food in your room, and label your items in the refrigerator and freezer.

PadMate takes too long in the bathroom.

Everyone’s bathroom habits are unique which can make sharing a bathroom a little tricky. If you feel like your PadMate takes too long in the bathroom, there are some simple solutions.

How to fix it: Schedule some time to talk with your PadMate about the issue. This could be at your next house meeting or on a day when you’re both at home from work. Share your needs in a non-judgmental way and ask to work on a solution together. We recommend creating a bathroom schedule, so everyone has enough time to get ready and out the door.

PadMate smokes near doorways and windows.

Living with a smoker when you aren’t one can be an adjustment. Smoking cigarettes is a habit that affects everyone in the house and some people aren’t comfortable with the smell. It’s important to establish rules and boundaries so your PadMate’s smoking doesn’t become a major problem.

How to fix it: Talk to your PadMate about it. Let them know you don’t like it when they smoke near doorways or windows because the smoke comes into the house. Offer to help set up a designated smoking area with chairs and shade that’s further away. They’re likely smoking near the house because they don’t have another place to smoke.

Parking issues between PadMates.

Parking can be a big challenge when there’s limited space and more than one housemate owns a car. But, it’s an easy challenge to solve. You just need to work with your PadMates on a solution that works for everyone in the house.

How to fix it: Sit down with your PadMates and work out a plan. Look at everyone’s work schedule to know when you’re coming and going. Then, look at your available parking spaces and work together to find a solution. For example: Perhaps it makes sense for you to park in the driveway on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays because you leave last. But, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, you park in the street because you leave first. Then, you and your PadMates alternate weekends when you park in the driveway or street. A parking plan like this makes sure everyone shares the limited prime parking spaces and no one gets blocked in when they need to leave.


Sharing a house with someone isn’t always easy. Fortunately, most problems between PadMates can be fixed through communication, listening, and compromise. Use the PadMate Member Messenger app to communicate with your PadMates if you have different schedules. Check out our quick guide on How to Talk to Your Roommate About Problems for even more advice.

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