How to be a good flatmate

The manners we learnt the hard way

Graduating from the safe recluse of halls is terrifying for most. The new found freedom means cooking your own food, paying bills, and generally being an adult.

“Living with all my best pals will make it easier and more fun, right?” WRONG. Coexisting with people that don’t share your DNA comes with an unwritten list of rules and regulations. Luckily for you, we’ve written them down.


Pay your rent and bills on time

If you walk these floors, switch on the lights, and cook food. Then that means you have rent and bills to pay. Pay them on time and you’ll be the best flat mate on this side of Potterrow.

Put on the heating when it’s bloody freezing

It’s not a “treat yourself”, warmth is a basic human survival need. Put on the heating, you live in Scotland. But don’t whinge if your flatmates don’t put it on in September – put a jumper on, you live in Scotland.

Speak to your flatmates

One of the joys of not being a fresher is getting to choose who you live with. This is an inherently social experience, and if you isolate yourself or spend all of your time out of the flat with other people, you’re ruining it.

Spend time together


Remember how before your the title of your relationship was “flatmates”, it was “friends”? Embrace those memories and spend time together like friends would. Make meals or cakes together. Go to films. Have a brew. I’m no relationship expert but this is a necessity to being a good flat mate.

Knock before opening a closed door

I don’t think I need to go into detail here. Doors get closed for reasons. Enter without knocking and face the label of terrible flatmate for the rest of your days.

Ask your flatmates before hosting 4AM afters

Everybody loves a good after party. That is except for the flatmates that didn’t realise it was happening until a dozen drunks come stumbling into the flat screeching “Come on Eileen” four hours before their first lecture. Make sure your flatmates know that you’re hosting afters, so they can buy a couple pairs of ear plugs.


Leave flat responsibilities up to your flat mates

Don’t be the flatmate that doesn’t pick up on any of the flat responsibilities. This includes taking out the trash, buying loo roll and kitchen roll, and cleaning up your belongings from the common area.

Forget what you have in the fridge and cupboards

In all my 19 years of living, I have come across nothing worse than mould that has been stewing in the back of the fridge for a week. Once you catch a whiff of a mysterious and nauseating smell from where everyone stores their food, just take a second to think if you actually did eat the rest of your spinach and ricotta tortellini. Disgusting.

Be a passive aggressive swine

Don’t be the passive aggressive flatmate that sends snarky Whatsapp messages about the lack of clean forks. That just creates unnecessary bad vibes.

Smoke inside

If you’re a smoker in a flat of non-smokers, don’t smoke inside unless they’ve expressed permission. Especially if its drugs. Nobody wants to wake up to their room full of smoke and feeling a sudden and desperate desire for Doritos.

Leave your dishes for ages

congealed bacon grease is not okay

A soft spot for many, leaving your dishes for extended periods of time is often considered the worst flat mate crime. Don’t make your flatmates clean up your mess so that they can make their meals. And if your stack of plates stops other people from cleaning up after themselves, you’ve pretty much made your flatmates accomplices to your crimes. Rude.

Let your significant other think they live there too

Once your boyfriend/girlfriend is confident enough to take daily baths in your flat, or to walk around in his boxers, you’ve crossed a line. Be a good flatmate and go to his/her flat sometimes.

Make seal like sex noises

The walls may be thin but there is never an excuse for this.

Bring up politics when there’s a divide in the flat

If you know that one of your flatmates is very anti-Trump, don’t start a conversation with “I think Donald’s idea to build a wall between America and Mexico is great!”. There’s no reason to deepen the divide and create even more political tension. Shut your trap.

Be the one who takes long poos

This is a reputation you’ll never lose, and your flatmates will forever try to schedule their showers around your bladder’s agenda.