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# Dealing With Housemates Who Won't Pay Their Bills Watch

In short:

The British Gas bill was £519.23. There are three of us. One of the housemates is rather surly and sulky and doesn't really talk to us much (well, he hates me actually but I'll get back to that) so we couldn't include him in our discussions over how to split the bill. Here's how we split the bill.

£519.23, divided by the days in the billing period = daily rate. The daily rate was then split into three sub-rates: the daily rate for one person in the house, the daily rate for two people in the house and the daily rate for three people in the house. We worked out who had spent time in the house with who and charged them the daily rate accordingly.

This meant that housemate 1 owed £202, housemate 2 (me) £183, and housemate 3 £133.

Housemate 1 has paid £100 of his share but refuses to pay more. Housemate 3 has no money at all but has recently got a job, so I'm optimistic he'll pay soon.

Housemate 1 is the real problem. He's Nigerian and his English is poor. A lot of the time he sounds like he is speaking in riddle/code and he uses a lot of metaphor.

Last night, an argument became physical and I came very close to hitting him, but didn't because I wasn't going to hit him unless it was in self-defence. He thinks I hate him because he isn't English and he thinks I'm trying to kill him. So, he rang the police and told them this.

Now, at the moment I'm having to balance university, my job and the bills that my housemate are incapable of paying. I'm having to put up with aggression and racism from housemate 1.

I'm at a complete loss for what to do and feeling very, very stressed.

What on earth can I do?
2. (Original post by ilickbatteries)

In short:

The British Gas bill was £519.23. There are three of us. One of the housemates is rather surly and sulky and doesn't really talk to us much (well, he hates me actually but I'll get back to that) so we couldn't include him in our discussions over how to split the bill. Here's how we split the bill.

£519.23, divided by the days in the billing period = daily rate. The daily rate was then split into three sub-rates: the daily rate for one person in the house, the daily rate for two people in the house and the daily rate for three people in the house. We worked out who had spent time in the house with who and charged them the daily rate accordingly.

This meant that housemate 1 owed £202, housemate 2 (me) £183, and housemate 3 £133.

Housemate 1 has paid £100 of his share but refuses to pay more. Housemate 3 has no money at all but has recently got a job, so I'm optimistic he'll pay soon.

Housemate 1 is the real problem. He's Nigerian and his English is poor. A lot of the time he sounds like he is speaking in riddle/code and he uses a lot of metaphor.

Last night, an argument became physical and I came very close to hitting him, but didn't because I wasn't going to hit him unless it was in self-defence. He thinks I hate him because he isn't English and he thinks I'm trying to kill him. So, he rang the police and told them this.

Now, at the moment I'm having to balance university, my job and the bills that my housemate are incapable of paying. I'm having to put up with aggression and racism from housemate 1.

I'm at a complete loss for what to do and feeling very, very stressed.

What on earth can I do?
Wow he sounds really difficult to live with, I feel for you

With our house last year our letting agent wouldn't release our deposit until we proved that we had paid everything, so if yours is the same then surely they'll both pay you at least at the end so they can get their money back.

Why did you decide to work the bills out that way? I personally would have split it three ways. In my house there was one girl who basically lived there on her own for 3 months but we didn't charge her extra as we agreed that it was a joint house and therefore we were all responsible. Moreover, as we were all able to live there over that time, it was our choice that we didn't.
3. (Original post by ilickbatteries)

In short:

The British Gas bill was £519.23. There are three of us. One of the housemates is rather surly and sulky and doesn't really talk to us much (well, he hates me actually but I'll get back to that) so we couldn't include him in our discussions over how to split the bill. Here's how we split the bill.

£519.23, divided by the days in the billing period = daily rate. The daily rate was then split into three sub-rates: the daily rate for one person in the house, the daily rate for two people in the house and the daily rate for three people in the house. We worked out who had spent time in the house with who and charged them the daily rate accordingly.

This meant that housemate 1 owed £202, housemate 2 (me) £183, and housemate 3 £133.

Housemate 1 has paid £100 of his share but refuses to pay more. Housemate 3 has no money at all but has recently got a job, so I'm optimistic he'll pay soon.

Housemate 1 is the real problem. He's Nigerian and his English is poor. A lot of the time he sounds like he is speaking in riddle/code and he uses a lot of metaphor.

Last night, an argument became physical and I came very close to hitting him, but didn't because I wasn't going to hit him unless it was in self-defence. He thinks I hate him because he isn't English and he thinks I'm trying to kill him. So, he rang the police and told them this.

Now, at the moment I'm having to balance university, my job and the bills that my housemate are incapable of paying. I'm having to put up with aggression and racism from housemate 1.

I'm at a complete loss for what to do and feeling very, very stressed.

What on earth can I do?
Just curious, what race are you?
4. You've overcomplicated the division of the bills, without his input, and he's ended up with the biggest part of it. No wonder he's pissed.
5. (Original post by Mukhabarat)
Just curious, what race are you?
I'm white. My other two housemates are black.

After Housemate 1 rang the police, I left, because I didn't fancy being arrested for racially aggravated assault, or whatever else Housemate 1 was trying to accuse me of.

This afternoon, Housemate 3 told me that after I left, Housemate 1 accused him of 'colluding with the white boy'.
6. (Original post by Hopple)
You've overcomplicated the division of the bills, without his input, and he's ended up with the biggest part of it. No wonder he's pissed.
It was either that, or we charge Housemate 3 gas and electricity for the 20-something days he spent at home over Christmas, which I personally don't feel is fair.

He has no right to be angry at the amount of the bill IMO, because he's only being charged for what he has used.
7. (Original post by Tiina)
Wow he sounds really difficult to live with, I feel for you

With our house last year our letting agent wouldn't release our deposit until we proved that we had paid everything, so if yours is the same then surely they'll both pay you at least at the end so they can get their money back.

Why did you decide to work the bills out that way? I personally would have split it three ways. In my house there was one girl who basically lived there on her own for 3 months but we didn't charge her extra as we agreed that it was a joint house and therefore we were all responsible. Moreover, as we were all able to live there over that time, it was our choice that we didn't.
We split the bills that way so that nobody was being charged for gas and electricity usage that they didn't benefit from.

Housemate 3 spent 20 something days at home over Christmas and I felt it was unreasonable to ask him to subsidise the energy use of myself and Housemate 1. Likewise, when Housemate 1 visited a friend for three days, he was not charged for those three days.

Splitting the bill three ways equally would have meant charging people for energy they haven't actually used, which IMO isn't fair.

The next bill is very easy to work out because it's from Feb-May and nobody went away from the property in that time, meaning an even split of three.
8. Dude srsly? It don't matter what race you are if its a shared house bills should be split 3 ways unless you have a contract which all 3 of you have signed saying bills will be paid depending on how much time you spend in house

go divide the total amount by 3 and if he disagrees then only you have a problem until now I see no problem
9. (Original post by ilickbatteries)
It was either that, or we charge Housemate 3 gas and electricity for the 20-something days he spent at home over Christmas, which I personally don't feel is fair.

He has no right to be angry at the amount of the bill IMO, because he's only being charged for what he has used.
Yes, but you didn't consult with him about it. It's fairly typical to simply split the bill exactly in 3 to avoid who stayed where when, how many cups of tea did each person have and so on.
10. (Original post by Hopple)
Yes, but you didn't consult with him about it. It's fairly typical to simply split the bill exactly in 3 to avoid who stayed where when, how many cups of tea did each person have and so on.
It wasn't possible to consult him about it. He simply doesn't communicate. He doesn't listen to anyone and just shouts over them.

The only student house I've lived in prior to this one, the bills were split the same way. It's the fairest way to do it.

If someone spends twenty days away from the house over Christmas, why should they subsidise the gas use of the individuals still living in the house.

I'd actually save money if the bill was split three ways, and I'm still in favour of this system. IMO, it is the fairest way.
11. (Original post by Prolite)
Dude srsly? It don't matter what race you are if its a shared house bills should be split 3 ways unless you have a contract which all 3 of you have signed saying bills will be paid depending on how much time you spend in house

go divide the total amount by 3 and if he disagrees then only you have a problem until now I see no problem
If we divide the total by three (519.23), that's £173.08 each.

Whilst that would save me money personally, it would mean charging Housemate 3 for gas and electricity used over Christmas, when he wasn't at the house at all. Why should he pay for the energy that Housemate 1 and I used over Christmas? Similarly, why should I pay for energy used when I went home for five days over Christmas when I wasn't there?

It works the same when Housemate 1 isn't here - he isn't charged for gas/electricity if he isn't at the house.

Splitting it three ways only works if people spend equal amounts of time in the house, IMO.
12. (Original post by ilickbatteries)

In short:

The British Gas bill was £519.23. There are three of us. One of the housemates is rather surly and sulky and doesn't really talk to us much (well, he hates me actually but I'll get back to that) so we couldn't include him in our discussions over how to split the bill. Here's how we split the bill.

£519.23, divided by the days in the billing period = daily rate. The daily rate was then split into three sub-rates: the daily rate for one person in the house, the daily rate for two people in the house and the daily rate for three people in the house. We worked out who had spent time in the house with who and charged them the daily rate accordingly.

This meant that housemate 1 owed £202, housemate 2 (me) £183, and housemate 3 £133.

Housemate 1 has paid £100 of his share but refuses to pay more. Housemate 3 has no money at all but has recently got a job, so I'm optimistic he'll pay soon.

Housemate 1 is the real problem. He's Nigerian and his English is poor. A lot of the time he sounds like he is speaking in riddle/code and he uses a lot of metaphor.

Last night, an argument became physical and I came very close to hitting him, but didn't because I wasn't going to hit him unless it was in self-defence. He thinks I hate him because he isn't English and he thinks I'm trying to kill him. So, he rang the police and told them this.

Now, at the moment I'm having to balance university, my job and the bills that my housemate are incapable of paying. I'm having to put up with aggression and racism from housemate 1.

I'm at a complete loss for what to do and feeling very, very stressed.

What on earth can I do?
Any way of getting some sort person to explain to him whats going on..............
or what about talking to the landlord about the issue, or even threatening to leave and find a alternative house.
13. Get a kosh and start cracking some skulls. I can't see what could possibly go wrong.

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14. You shouldn't have bothered dividing bills like that. Just split it three ways - saves a lot of argument and refusal, which is what you seem to be encountering now.
15. (Original post by ilickbatteries)

In short:

The British Gas bill was £519.23. There are three of us. One of the housemates is rather surly and sulky and doesn't really talk to us much (well, he hates me actually but I'll get back to that) so we couldn't include him in our discussions over how to split the bill. Here's how we split the bill.

£519.23, divided by the days in the billing period = daily rate. The daily rate was then split into three sub-rates: the daily rate for one person in the house, the daily rate for two people in the house and the daily rate for three people in the house. We worked out who had spent time in the house with who and charged them the daily rate accordingly.

This meant that housemate 1 owed £202, housemate 2 (me) £183, and housemate 3 £133.

Housemate 1 has paid £100 of his share but refuses to pay more. Housemate 3 has no money at all but has recently got a job, so I'm optimistic he'll pay soon.

Housemate 1 is the real problem. He's Nigerian and his English is poor. A lot of the time he sounds like he is speaking in riddle/code and he uses a lot of metaphor.

Last night, an argument became physical and I came very close to hitting him, but didn't because I wasn't going to hit him unless it was in self-defence. He thinks I hate him because he isn't English and he thinks I'm trying to kill him. So, he rang the police and told them this.

Now, at the moment I'm having to balance university, my job and the bills that my housemate are incapable of paying. I'm having to put up with aggression and racism from housemate 1.

I'm at a complete loss for what to do and feeling very, very stressed.

What on earth can I do?

(Original post by Hopple)
You've overcomplicated the division of the bills, without his input, and he's ended up with the biggest part of it. No wonder he's pissed.

(Original post by Prolite)
Dude srsly? It don't matter what race you are if its a shared house bills should be split 3 ways unless you have a contract which all 3 of you have signed saying bills will be paid depending on how much time you spend in house

go divide the total amount by 3 and if he disagrees then only you have a problem until now I see no problem

(Original post by Hopple)
Yes, but you didn't consult with him about it. It's fairly typical to simply split the bill exactly in 3 to avoid who stayed where when, how many cups of tea did each person have and so on.

Even if the bill was divided equally, Housemate 1 would still have to pay more - I worked an equal split of around £173, so regardless, he is being unreasonable at not paying more.

OP, I can see where you're coming from with calculating the bill - have you tried to show him how you worked his share out? Also, I wouldn't have left after he called the Police - if Housemate 3 supports you, surely if the police came, he/she would corroborate your statement? Even if not, it must surely be your word against his?
16. (Original post by Iqbal007)
Any way of getting some sort person to explain to him whats going on..............
or what about talking to the landlord about the issue, or even threatening to leave and find a alternative house.
I text the landlord this morning but had no reply. I doubt he's interested. If anyone threatens to leave, he'll just chase them down for the money. Housemate 3 is about 3 months behind on his rent as well.

I think I'm the only person in the house who has paid rent and paid bills accordingly.

I've emailed the international student centre at the university to ask if they can provide someone to mediate between the three of us because there is just no way of getting through to him. Every discussion we try and have, he just talks over us and shouts.

The language barrier is obviously a huge issue. If he spoke a decent standard of English there wouldn't be a problem between us at all.
Even if the bill was divided equally, Housemate 1 would still have to pay more - I worked an equal split of around £173, so regardless, he is being unreasonable at not paying more.

OP, I can see where you're coming from with calculating the bill - have you tried to show him how you worked his share out? Also, I wouldn't have left after he called the Police - if Housemate 3 supports you, surely if the police came, he/she would corroborate your statement? Even if not, it must surely be your word against his?
I was just worried about being arrested. He was accusing me of trying to kill him (didn't even throw a punch) and of hating him because he wasn't English. In my mind, that's an accusation of violence against him because of his race, something I know the police have to take seriously.

The police, when I spoke to them later on, didn't seem interested at all. Their advice was 'ignore your housemate'.

Tried to show him. Wrote our calculations down. Put them on a note under his door. His response was that I have "no business" communicating with him and that he was ignoring me and wouldn't speak to me. It was written down in plain English with the British Gas log-in details.

I can't understand what his issue is, and because he seems incapable of having a conversation, it's getting quite difficult.
18. (Original post by tory88)
You shouldn't have bothered dividing bills like that. Just split it three ways - saves a lot of argument and refusal, which is what you seem to be encountering now.
Yes, I know that's easier, but as I explained, if we divided bills equally, Housemate 3, who spent three weeks away from the house, would be subsiding three weeks energy usage by Housemate 1 and myself. How is that fair on housemate 3?
19. (Original post by ilickbatteries)
I text the landlord this morning but had no reply. I doubt he's interested. If anyone threatens to leave, he'll just chase them down for the money. Housemate 3 is about 3 months behind on his rent as well.

I think I'm the only person in the house who has paid rent and paid bills accordingly.

I've emailed the international student centre at the university to ask if they can provide someone to mediate between the three of us because there is just no way of getting through to him. Every discussion we try and have, he just talks over us and shouts.

The language barrier is obviously a huge issue. If he spoke a decent standard of English there wouldn't be a problem between us at all.
Well I suggest you not to email, actually go over to the centre and talk to them, and say its a emergency, and your exams are coming up, its going to distract you from your work.

Also call your landlord.............. if worst comes to worse I suggest going to your tutor at university or seek legal advice before thinking about the police being involved.
20. (Original post by ilickbatteries)
It wasn't possible to consult him about it. He simply doesn't communicate. He doesn't listen to anyone and just shouts over them.

The only student house I've lived in prior to this one, the bills were split the same way. It's the fairest way to do it.

If someone spends twenty days away from the house over Christmas, why should they subsidise the gas use of the individuals still living in the house.

I'd actually save money if the bill was split three ways, and I'm still in favour of this system. IMO, it is the fairest way.
I'm saying that's why he's pissed at you. You three need to agree together who pays what, and not just two people deciding. Surely you see how it looks if two people decide how to split the bills and the absent person ends up having to pay more than the others?

Even if the bill was divided equally, Housemate 1 would still have to pay more - I worked an equal split of around £173, so regardless, he is being unreasonable at not paying more.

OP, I can see where you're coming from with calculating the bill - have you tried to show him how you worked his share out? Also, I wouldn't have left after he called the Police - if Housemate 3 supports you, surely if the police came, he/she would corroborate your statement? Even if not, it must surely be your word against his?
You're right, and I think he ought to have paid a third and said no more, but I think it's fair enough to kick up a fuss if he wasn't consulted on how much to pay, especially when the other two have decided he owes the most.

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