My First Experience of Flat Sharing in London at Age 25

I moved out of home around the age of 16 and straight in with my boyfriend of the time, we moved to Leeds together and went to University there and lived together there too, completely bypassing the usual rite of passage that is flatsharing and student halls. After University, we got married and continued living together, it wasn’t until last year when we broke up and eventually got divorced that flat sharing had even come close to being part of my life.

I was excited to be able to experience flat sharing for the first time at the age of 25, after living alone for about four months in the flat that I had previously shared with my ex, I was excited about having someone to share space with and honestly envisioned some kind of Friends-esque flat share situation, where my home became the hub for numerous shenanigans and happy times. Oh, how I was wrong.

Housemate Number One

I moved out of my ex’s place and temporarily sub-letted a place from a friend, where I lived on my own for three weeks before moving in with a good friend of mine in Central Shoreditch. It was pretty much my dream home, modern, spacious and close to everything I needed. My friend worked in the same industry of me and we were both considerate with each other. Unfortunately for me though, he was soon ready to move in with his beautiful girlfriend and then things changed.

In a bit of a panic, I found random people via Spareroom to take his vacant room. We met once and got on really well and had plenty of things in common, so I didn’t mess about and accepted them as new housemates. Then another bad thing happened, it turned out that my tenancy wasn’t as simple of just switching names on a contract, a whole new contract and new deposit had to be put down which was a logistical nightmare and took three times longer than any of us as suspected. Anyway, at least it meant everything was done officially, legally and safely, I soon got over that.

The New Housemates

The new housemates were students when they moved in (I honestly didn’t see a problem with this at the start) and much younger then me (mentally as well as physically) they seemed like fun though. They were a couple, the guy a music student who DJed trance music and the girl a fashion tailoring student and they both had cool style and colourful hair. On their first night in the place, we had so much silly fun it was awesome.

Unfortunately, this didn’t last for long.

The Mess

At first, I put the mess down to them just being young and busy and having just moved in, so not settled yet. But no, I was wrong, soon enough I realised that I had unluckily managed to agree to live with two of the dirtiest and most inconsiderate people I’ve ever known. The guy liked to go out drinking A LOT, which is fine until he comes home at 4am and put trance music on full volume and attempts to cook soup from scratch.

I’ve lived with them six months, they’ve damaged a large percentage of my own personal kitchen items (things I’ve had for nearly 10 years!), they have taken the bin out once the whole time. They buy fruit and watch it rot and go moldy on the side ( I didn’t even know that orange could go moldy, until now!). If they spill something, they just leave it as it is. They have no concept of sharing space in any respect: fridge, freezer, dining room table…etc.

I had to sell my own personal sofa, because I was sick of having them spill on it and having their random mates sleep on it and was worried about it getting damaged beyond repair. I’ve used the living room twice in six months because it’s disgusting.

I’ve never used the dining room table, because it’s been adopted as a home for a set of DJ decks. Even when I asked for it to be moved, it never did.

I’ve picked up a lot of gross and nasty things off the floor and surfaces, which they have left in the shared spaces including: used tissues, dirty socks, remnants of drug use, empty beer cans, empty cigarette packets, cigarette ash, used cotton buds, hair trimmings, fruit so moldy it disintegrates when you pick it up, gone off milk.

Being Inconsiderate

There have been many occasions when I’ve woken up, gone to get breakfast and found a stranger asleep on my sofa and so much mess in the kitchen that I physically can’t use it. There have also been many times when I’ve been woken up in the early hours of the morning by drunken housemates returning home and playing obscenely loud music.

But the worst night was this one that I’m going to tell you about now. If you’ve got a weak stomach, you might not want to read on.


So, they know that I work from home and am a light sleeper, they have learnt this in the past four months quite quickly. On the day in question they also knew that I wasn’t feeling very well and had spent most of the day trying to sleep. So, you would have thought they might have been sensitive to this on a Wednesday afternoon. Alas, no.

At 3pm, they had people round and started playing music at full volume, trance music of course. They also started drinking at this time and it didn’t stop until about 8pm when they FINALLY went out. During the pain of the loud music, I did send them texts to ask for the music to be lowered but it didn’t do much. When I went to make myself some food, having felt like I couldn’t get in the way for the past five hours, the sights of the kitchen and living room actually made me physically cry.

They had managed to use every single pot and pan (all of which are mine) and left them all strewn across the counter space. There was a mystery brown sticky layer across the kitchen floor, it made me gag. I couldn’t even get to the toaster or kettle to make the simplest thing.

The living room had a gathering of spirits, mixers and empty beer cans in the middle of the floor and a thing veil of sticky coating the laminate flooring and the stink of alcohol, as if some kind of squatter party has occurred. Honestly, the worst state they had ever left the place in. I couldn’t cook, so just went to bed with a glass of tap water siphoned from the bathroom tap and some dry crackers and honestly cried myself to sleep.

At about 11pm, I get woken up by the girl housemate arriving home, she’s can’t walk in a straight line and gets from room to room by genuinely bouncing off the walls. And hour or so later, the other guys arrive back, there’s about five of them in total.

For some insane and unknown reason, they decide to shave one of their friends heads in the bathroom, which is right next to my room, so I’m kept awake by the noise from that instead. Joy.

I can’t remember what time they shut up, I just remember feeling horrendous the day after.

It doesn’t end there though.

On inspection of the bathroom, I discover a towel full of hair clippings in the middle of the room and blood on my towel, which was definitely not there before. I inspect the room closer to find MY razor in the middle of the bath, odd. I pick it up and inspect in and want to vomit when I realise that it’s got someone else’s hair on it and blood. True story, honestly.

I assume my razor has been used to shave the random person’s head, until a few days later I see photos on Facebook of them shaving my housemates back….with my razor. WHO DOES THAT?!

Understandably, this causes the biggest argument ever and changes everything.


Ok, so the rent here isn’t cheap. If you were to sell this flat it would be way over a million pounds. It’s a two bed with balcony, behind Shoreditch High Street and very modern. No bills are included in the rent.

When I moved in I set up all the bills in my name for ease and housemate one contributed an even share. Naturally, I assumed that the new guys would do the same, surely you expect to pay towards bills in addition to rent in London?!

Unfortunately not, in the whole six months they have contributed £30 only to all the bills, that’s council tax, internet, phone and electricity. Do the maths, you can guess how much they owe me now. I’ve asked every month for their share of the bills, they’ve mainly just ignored the request until this month when one of them outright refused to contribute.

Since the bills are in my name, there’s not much I can do other than just deal with it. I wouldn’t mind so much if they’d been nice people to live with and considerate, but to be that out of pocket to live in a flat that feels like a expensive squat is not much fun. Right now, I honestly don’t even feel safe being in my own home, because they’ve been so hostile about everything.

Moving On

I’m very happy that I’ve now got my boyfriend Miz, who has been amazingly supportive during the above ordeal and we’re moving on to move in together just the two of us.

I’m sure there’s worse housemate horror stories out there, please feel free to share them below. What I’ve learnt from this experience is that I won’t be house sharing with anyone else in any hurry again. I wish their new housemates lots of luck, they will have to have strong stomach or be equally bizarre to cope with it.

Got some housemate horror stories to share? 

What advise would you have given in this situation?

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12 thoughts on “My First Experience of Flat Sharing in London at Age 25

  1. This makes me feel sick amd anxious for you.. Your home is supposed to be a place to relax and feel safe, and this clearly hasn’t been the case for some time. Wishing you all the best for Brighton!

  2. I am SO sorry you have had to deal with this! I knew from your tweets it wasn’t great, but this is hideous. If only housemates came with a CV and references you could check out.

    Hooray for the new flat though! Hope your move isn’t too painful 🙂

  3. This is horrendous – i’m so sorry you had to go through all of that crap because of other people’s insensitivity. It’s always astounded me how some just don’t have any consideration of personal property or pride on their surroundings. It sounds like you coped calmly and with dignity, so well done.

    I had housemates as a student who would stumble in after a night out and have food fights in the hallway. They were never the ones scrubbing dried mashed potato off the walls the day afterwards either. We’ve all got varying opinions on what’s disgusting and what’s not, but c’mon! Wishing you all the best for your new place. And I’m really pleased you’re finally free of the old one!

    Charley x

  4. I have been in this situation before more then I’d like to admit, it sucks, house sharing is really hard. I want to move to London soon but I can’t invision a house share again

  5. So sorry you have had to deal with this crap, no manners what so ever. People shouldn’t do that. I’ve never shared a place with someone like that, thankfully. I don’t know what I’d do though, be temepted to throw their stuff out. I have had annoying neighbours behaving like this though. I hope the new flat and move is a lot smoother this time xx

  6. It must be so hard to make a decision about who to get to move in with you – I’m sorry that you had this experience. I hated uni because of living with people who I thought were grim but nothing was ever as bad as you’ve mentioned here, so I think I had it pretty lucky.

  7. I’ve lived in and around east London for the past 6 years and have had some similar experiences. I’ve even fallen out with friends I’ve had for years after living with them for just 6 months due to mess and inconsiderate behaviour. It is a shame your first and only experience flat sharing in London was bad though, because it really can be brilliant! But of course moving in with strangers is always a risk. I will say after moving with just my boyfriend to Stoke Newington was the best decision I’ve made and the happiest I’ve been in London, but I think flat sharing is definitely a good life experience to have!

    Love your blog by the way, I’ve been reading for a while x

  8. […] following on from my  blog post detailing the bad experiences earlier in the year I encountered from my first (and hopefully last) flat share experience, I […]

  9. […] bed, spacious flat and shared with another couple (which did not end well, you can read about that experience here) a two bed in Central Shoreditch is around £2000 per month but as it’s a fashionable place […]

  10. Hi Jane. just reading this after looking at your very thorough and informative post about the things to consider when moving to London. This one of the worst stories I’ve come across about house-sharing. I’m not tarring all students or under 25s with the same brush, but exactly how long does it take for someone to grow the F up and start behaving like a responsible adult? Would they do that in their parents’ homes? Anyway, pleased for you that its now a bad memory.

    1. Lol. They really were spoilt, so really didn’t have a clue about how to deal with adult life. When the lads dad used to come and visit he used to take him food shopping to Harrods and come back with ridiculous things like gold leaf cigarettes and really expensive vodka, he was really like something out of Nathan Barley crossed with Made in Chelsea. I was pretty unlucky, at least it gave me some funny stories to tell.

  11. […] My First Experience of Flat Sharing in London by Jayne Kitsch […]

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