Hi. I am an international student studying abroad in London. I agreed to move into this (joint tenancy) in a *private flat with 5 other students from my university, same degree and year that I didn't know from before- as I transferred from another uni into 2nd year here, and needed something asap. I moved in in september this year.
At first it was alright and I got along alright with everyone, until the last girl came back from holiday. She and I never got along at all from the first day, and conversations would be kept to the minimum. She would laugh at things I said, asking me to repeat certain words several times, forcing me to repeat things if I said something awkward so the others could hear it again, and generally making me feel unwelcome in the flat. Gradually I started to feel more and more left out of this girl and her friend who also lives there, and I kept more and more to my room. I still tried to be open and welcome, asking them about their day, greeting them, staying positive, eating in the living room. However, they would usually not respond, and I would be ignored if I greeted them, it was very awkward cooking in the kitchen not being able to have a single conversation. The issue with these girls became worse after around 1,5/2 months. I mentioned it would be great with a cleaning rota when we moved in, but got rejected by everyone. We would have serious issues with the bins, bugs and maggots- but noone would care to do anything about it, which resulted in me taking out the bins every other day for the next 4 months. my flatmates didn't clean up after themselves and it was very hard using the space in the kitchen as well. We did claim our cupboards, fridge space etc, but not everyone seemed to respect that. All my stuff in the fridge got moved around one day, because my flatmate wanted to and told me to then take the smallest part in the middle if I needed fridge space, because she wanted my space even tho I had put all my stuff on that shelf- so I didn't have anywhere to put all my food. she told me to just organise it better. People would put dirty cutlery on top of my clean ones in my drawer and take my food. My coffee press got broken, and noone told me leaving me to buy a new one when it was quite expensive in the first place, while when I broke someone elses stuff because it fell out of the fridge when I opened it, I had to replace it at once.
Having house meetings was never possible. We had as I mentioned a few issues with the bins as well as the wheelie bins outside. We were told we'd get charged several 100pounds if we didn't remove the wrong things from the bin in a certain time, so I suggested we'd spend an evening doing this together-as I was sick of doing all the chores by myself. Noone felt like it, or had the time. I came back from uni a week later after 14 hours straight, being greeted with 2 of my flatmates ****ed at me for not helping out with the bins. they never put anything in the group chat either, and forced me to mop the kitchen, and living room and clean it to make up for this asap. it was 11pm. turned out they never really did anything with the bins either. They would also laugh at me if I suggested something. etc. they asked me why I cared to recycle, what it meant. I tried to explain and they would again laugh at me for how stupid the idea was to each other. It resulted in me having a panic attack, which I had never experienced before. I wasn't able to breath at all, and cried on the bathroom floor for a solid 25 min trying to get help.. while the others went upstairs together to stay in ones room. they did hear me, but never came down. I left quietly when I had somehow calmed down to go see my friend so I could stay over the night. The next day one of my best friends from uni told me my flatmate had said to people I had acted all crazy and stormed out of the house.
They would continue freezing me out and ignoring me, saying that I avoided to socialize even tho I stayed in the living room quite often. never greeting me, but everytime someone else in the flat came, they would be over the moon to see that person, ask them about their day etc. They would also whisper to eachother if I was in the same room so I couldn't hear them. If I tried to join in in a conversation in someone's room with the door opened, they'd ask everyone to leave, and then get back together soon after when I had gone to my room.
I started having severe panic attacks in class, several weekly, couldn't focus on course work and skipped several classes due to anxiety that might now result in me failing the course all together. I finally decided to tell them I wanted to move out as people could clearly see I was not well mentally. (they did know I wanted to move out, but I never told them officially all together). I mentioned I had found a place with a "live in landlord" to sublet until I found something else. they kept calling me out on how humiliating this was for me, me having to sublet at an old man's house etc.
So the issue part:
I told my agent I wanted to move out 2 months before, and then again 2 weeks before when I found the sublet and decided to rent there as I very much felt pushed out of the house. I posted ads on spareroom, fb groups etc and found several people to view the house. I asked for days that would work for everyone- got no response, or just no's. none of my flatemates showed up for the viewings (some of them were in the house but didn't come down to greet them), but the new tenants had to be a perfect fit for "them". which is an issue, because we are clearly very different people, and everyone that came to view it said yes because we (two) were a great fit, but I don't live there... I thought we had a person in the end, but he dropped out last minute causing me to pay the rent for december even tho I had moved out by then. I also had to pay penalty on 218 pounds for early termination (not sure if this amount is legal, but however I haven't paid this yet). All the people at the viewings got rejected by the others, even tho they only met one of them and saw one of the others in the hallway. and I tried to arrange more viewings while at the other house. it is 1,5 hours away with public transport tho, so I do want them to make some effort to join the viewings as the new tenant is so so important to them. however, its just none of them care to be there or look for somone that might fit. Now they want me to pay the january rent as well, and don't want to help with the viewings at all to find a replacement. I do feel that since they are happy as 5 people and don't feel the pressure to pay that extra rent for not having a 6th person, they don't feel the need to find someone else fast. Even tho it's a joint tenancy, and they should be as responsible.
I go back to my home country for several weeks in just 3 days, and I won't be back until after the january rent is supposed to be paid. At this point I've just given up. I still look at the ads if people respond, give the contact information of people that are interested to my agent.. but I feel so alone and trapped in this. They've told my agent that I'm hard to work with, ignoring them, and that they're not able to arrange viewings.. and that I moved out because of something else. They have also said I have to stop spreading rumours about them bullying me (which I don't think I've said) they claim they're busy with assessments ( we're all doing the same assessments) etc and the agent has told them they'd have to pay if I refuse to pay the january rent (which I can't afford as I'm already broke paying for two places). I am not sure how to go on about this. So far I've paid the rent, and bills for december at this place. she wants me to pay penalty, and january rent as well, or rent every month until I find a replacement. I also have no idea what happens to the deposit. I just want this to be over and enjoy what london has to offer, as well as the course/uni I am so grateful that I got into, and absolutely love! I feel like I've wasted a whole semester dealing with this.
Any suggestions on what to do, I'm so lost;/
Girl, 23y old.