The Student Room Group

Am I a terrible uni housemate?

(TLDR: I've blocked the toilet a few times and left some of my stuff in shared areas, now my housemates have reported me to our landlord and I feel like crap, pun intended)

Hi, I'm a third year student who is living in a student house this year. I know I've done a few things wrong, but I honestly think my housemates have overreacted a few times and I now have really terrible anxiety about being in the house. (Also this includes talking about toilet issues so if you don't feel comfortable with that then stop reading now)

There are four of us in the house and I was friends with all of them before we moved in together so the first few weeks went really well as you'd expect. Then one day I got a knock on my bedroom from one of my housemates who looked really upset and said that someone had done a poo and not flushed it. I was sure it wasn't me, so I wasn't sure why she was telling me, but it turns out she'd put a message on the group chat asking whoever had done it to clean it and no one had opened it yet. So we all as a house grouped together to clean it up. I don't really mind mess so I cleaned most of it and they helped to unblock the toilet afterwards.

A few weeks later, however, a similar incident occurred which definitely was me. I'd had a bad stomach all day and was going out with some friends, so I went to the toilet before I left. When I got back, I went into the living room and my housemates told me that there was a poo in the toilet and none of them had been so it must have been me. I was incredibly embarrassed by this and immediately went and cleaned it up. Once again, I definitely had flushed the toilet and it definitely had been flushed away. So my hypothesis is that our toilet has a really weak flush or something and is flushing stuff away but then spitting it back out again. It was already awkward enough with my housemates after they confronted me so I didn't mention this theory to them, but I couldn't really blame them for asking to clean up my own poo.

I should point out at this point that my housemates are very tidy and neat, and while I'm not incredibly messy, I'm not generally that bothered about keeping things neat unless someone is coming to visit or we're having a house viewing. For example, if I'm working in the living room I might leave my laptop on the table overnight and I leave some of my hobby items (sewing, puzzle books, PS4 controller, etc) in there as well. As this is a shared space, I don't think this is really that bad. I don't leave them on the floor, or on the sofa where people want to sit. I only leave it in places which aren't being used for anything else so I don't think they can really complain. And I pay for that space so I think I should be able to use it within reason. And they never did complain, except for a few times we've had house viewings and they've suggested we do a big clean and I've always offered to help and have moved my stuff out of there and shoved it in a drawer or something for the day, which I didn't mind at all.

This all culminated recently, after I'd had a particularly bad day at uni and had pretty much locked myself in my room and cried most of the day (I have severe mental health issues but I'm feeling ok atm). I looked at my watch and it was 4am so I decided to finally go to sleep and turn off all my alarms so I could be well rested, even if it meant skipping some lectures. I needed a wee and I couldn't sleep because of it so I went to the toilet, but I couldn't decide whether to flush it or not. At home, we don't normally flush the toilet when its only a wee to save water, but I obviously have been doing that in the student house. I didn't want to wake my housemates up ( two of their rooms are right next to the bathroom), so I decided to just leave it and assumed they would just flush it when they woke up. I see now that this was probably the wrong decision, but again its something I'm used to at home and I'd had a really bad day (which my housemates knew about) so my decision making probably wan't the best. When I woke up, at about 2pm, I went to the toilet, as you do when you wake up, and there was a wee in the toilet. I was really confused, but I just flushed it and then carried on as usual. Then I went into the living room to get some breakfast and there was a note on the table. It said that I'd left the toilet a mess and could I please clean it up. It also said that we'd need to have a talk about it when they got back because they were really upset. I was kind of confused, because it was just a wee. They'd obviously seen I'd left the wee in the toilet and then instead of flushing it, had just left it and not gone to the toilet until they went to uni. I'd get that if it was a poo, but it seems a bit extreme for a wee. I still felt like crap from the day before but this made me feel even worse. I get that they were upset, but I felt the whole leaving a note thing was a bit passive aggressive. They could have just put it on the group chat, why leave a note? Also they knew I'd had a bad day the day before, so they absolutely could have handled it more delicately.

When they got back they called a house meeting in the living room and basically told me that they were really upset about the toilet situation. I explained to them about what had happened the night before and that I could see that was the wrong decision and they told me it was. One of my housemates was particularly upset, looked on the verge of tears, and said that they were scared to go to the toilet because of me, and that they'd never seen anything like it before. I struggle to believe that they'd actually never seen a poo or a wee before, but I could see they were upset so I just apologised and said it wasn't done on purpose and I'd try to make sure it didn't happen again. One of my other housemates then said that I need to be more respectful that I'm not the only person who lives in the house, as I'd made it a mess, which genuinely upset me. I always consider my housemates feelings whenever I do anything in the house. I know I'm not the tidiest person in the world, but I always left the living room and kitchen tidy. I guess their definition of tidy means not having anything left on the table? But that seems quite extreme for day to day cleanliness. I never leave food out or dirty pots in the kitchen, so I don't think its that big of a deal.

I felt awful after that, and was genuinely too scared to go to the toilet at home, so I had to hold it until I got into uni. I'm always worried that my theory about the toilet is true and no matter how hard I try, I'll always leave the bathroom a mess. I've also stopped going in the living room. I now do everything in my room, which is the smallest room of the house, and haven't been on my playstation since. I just don't want them to be upset because of something I'd done. We are really good friends, but I hate being at home now so I'm at uni until about 10 every night so they'll have gone to bed by the time I get in.

About a week later, we got told our house was having an inspection. My housemates reminded me of this a few times in the days before, which I felt was uneccessary as I'd already moved all of my stuff out of the living room. When the inspector came over, I was the only one in the house. She kind of looked at me like 'we both know what's really going on' and said "Do you want me to look round?" I said yes, as I thought that was the whole reason she came round. Then asked how things had been, so I said fine and that they'd been responsive when we had an issue with our fridge, which they fixed the next day. She looked at me confused and said "No, how have things been with your flatmate not flushing the toilet? Do you want me to have a word with them?" I panicked and said I didn't know what she was on about and she asked if I was the one who had come to see her the week before about the toilet. I said no and she kind of panicked and said she would just check the bathroom was clean. So she checked the bathroom and apologised saying there must have been a mistake and left.

I was furious about this. We'd just talked about it and I'd apologised and made changes, and yet they reported me to the landlord. I don't get angry very often, but I was incredibly angry about this. I just don't get why they reported me. We're all really good friends, but they must have wanted something bad to happen to me. Did they want me to get kicked out? I couldn't believe they'd go behind my back like that. Everytime we do something together now I keep thinking about this. They must just hate me and keep pretending they like me. They must have to endure every day out together, suffer through every group meal. Do you think this was justified? I haven't talked to them about it, and I'm not really planning to, but I just needed to vent. Also, any advice on trying to reintegrate myself into the house. We're living together until summer, and I don't think I can stand locking myself away until then.
Sounds like your flatmate who was so traumatised by seeing someone else’s wee in the toilet that they reported you to the landlord has some serious issues and probably shouldn’t be renting somewhere with a shared toilet if they’re so sensitive. I think you will need to have it out with your housemates to clear the air - if you explain what the landlord said and that you’re really upset about someone reporting an unflushed toilet to the landlord after you thought everything was settled and that you don’t want anyone to be upset by your actions but that at the moment you’re feeling unwelcome in your own home. It’s a difficult conversation to have but your upset and feeling like you can’t relax at home is as important as any one else’s in the house. Pitch things starting off from the fact that you’re friends, you want to stay friends and living together is difficult and needs compromise from everyone to make it work and just see where you get to. You don’t have to fix everything in one meeting but you can let your housemates know how you feel and that you want to resolve things and then see what they suggest as a solution (to everything including you feeling like you can’t relax in shared spaces).

Do you have a plunger in your house? They’re very cheap and incredibly effective in flushing the unflushables! Plus they help clear out the pipes if there’s any blockages (if you/your housemates or previous renters have flushed sanitary products or wet wipes down the loo or tipped fat down the kitchen sink then the drains might be partially blocked and run slowly). Well worth the investment and you can keep one clean in a binbag ready to be used. Its a really handy tool to have available when you live in your own home.
Even the King of England poos and wees so its a natural activity. Your flatmates need to get over themselves. You have every right to be angry.

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