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Please help! How to deal with difficult roommates


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8 replies to this topic

#1
suomipoi

suomipoi
  • 98 posts

Hello all.

 

I'm hoping to find some good answers on how to deal with my situation. I've considered turning into anti-social behaviour against my roommate, but I think it might be counter productive in the long run and thus haven't done so. My problem is my roommate on the other side of the wall who prevents me from falling asleep in the evening. He goes to work 1-2 hours later than me and thus goes to sleep later. I often request that he would use text chat option instead of voice chat, then he resorts to yelling most of the time.

 

On weekdays I wake up at either 5am or 4am. In bed at 8pm.

 

Here is my message to my landlord that I'm planning to send out. I welcome constructive feedback (doesn't have to relate to the message below).

 

=======================================================================================================================================

=======================================================================================================================================

=======================================================================================================================================

 

 

(Names have been changed in this text)

Landlord:                Steven
Difficult roommate:   Bob
Previous roommate:   Peter

Hi Steven,

I'm tired and frustrated at the moment. If something doesn't change with Bob then something will change in me.

I got 2 problems:
1. I can't rest well due to noise from Bob's room (Chatter / Videos)
2. I'm feel threatened around Bob when I make a reasonable request since quite often he starts to yell at me.


I need around 8-9 hours of sleep each night in order to feel refreshed in the morning. This would mean that I need to go to bed around 8pm on normal week (wake up at 5am) but his anti-social behaviour prevents this. My body clock stays pretty much in the same rhyth on the weekends as during weekdays (on weekends I usually go to bed around 10pm or so).

 

 

However it's not easy at the moment because Bob is using voice chat during 8pm-10pm. I usually tell him 10 min in advance before going to bed so he can prepare to end the call. Today for instance I notified him at 8 pm that I'm going to bed. 30 minutes later he starts to use voice chat. I had to use earplugs and pull the bed cover on my ear. I can't fall to sleep when someone is talking right behind the wall. I tried it again tonight, it wasn't possible. At this point I'm pretty frustrated and tell Bob calmly that he could use the text chat option instead of voice chat.
Most of the time when I request this he starts yelling at me and continues the chatter as if nothing happened, this was the case today also. When we did it face to face once, I saw rage in his eyes. I usually get shaky feeling in my body after that (I'm currently shaking while writing this). I'm afraid his behaviour will start to affect me in work (and rental payments when I oversleep due to exhaustion) since I can't sleep enough.

I'm trying to stay calm when I request that he use text chat instead of voice chat, but It's getting very hard to do so as he isn't doing any effort to stay calm himself. I'm fearing that I'm not able to act in a reasonable way for very long into the future if he continues to yell at me.

I checked the rental agreement and it says this:
5. That landlord may terminate the tenancy in accordance with the Residential Tendencies Act 2004 due to anti-social behaviour by the tenant, or behaviour permitted
by the tenant withing the property.



I also checked the Residential Tendencies Act 2004:
h) not behave within the dwelling, or in the vicinity of it, in a
way that is anti-social or allow other occupiers of, or visit-
ors to, the dwelling to behave within it, or in the vicinity
of it, in such a way,


17.—(1) Insection 16—
‘‘behave in a way that is anti-social'' means—
(a) engage in behaviour that constitutes the commission of an
offence, being an offence the commission of which is
reasonably likely to affect directly the well-being or wel-
fare of others,


(b) engage in behaviour that causes or could cause fear, danger,
injury, damage or loss to any person living, working or
otherwise lawfully in the dwelling concerned or its vicin-
ity and, without prejudice to the generality of the forego-
ing, includes violence, intimidation, coercion(1.), harassment (1.)
or obstruction of, or threats to, any such person, or

( c ) engage, persistently, in behaviour that prevents or interferes
with the peaceful occupation—

 

 

I never had these problems with Peter.

Can you get Peter to move back here or do something about this? I'dd rather not have someone yell at me on weekly basis.

 

=======================================================================================================================================

=======================================================================================================================================

=======================================================================================================================================

 

Thanks in Advance!


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#2
dsayers

dsayers

    man in a pink bunny suit


  • 1288 posts

Can you edit your post to reduce the length of the ======== lines please? They break page layout and serve no purpose being that long.

 

I keep a very unusual sleep schedule, have difficulties falling asleep, and have VERY sensitive hearing. So I can totally sympathize what you're experiencing. I did want to point out that assuming you're talking about a computer, text chat will be of no additional benefit to you. Very few keyboards are quiet enough that somebody in the next room wouldn't hear it.

 

Are you able to put something on yourself? For the longest time, I actually fell asleep with episodes of South Park playing. It was entertaining enough that if I didn't fall asleep right away, it wasn't a complete bust. At the same time, I was familiar enough with the series that it wasn't engaging to the point of keeping me up. Meanwhile, it acted as a noise buffer to anything that might prevent me from falling asleep.

 

Could you provide more information about your living situation? I don't understand how you could be living with somebody that doesn't know or respect you or the balance of living near/with another person, how a previous tenant could be asked to return, or how the landlord would be able to facilitate such a transition.

 

As for the letter, I have a few tips/critiques that you can choose to ignore if you'd like. They're just my thoughts.

 

If this is the first time you are letting the landlord know that there is a problem, I think it's too soon to be citing code with him. Give him the chance to show you what his free will will do before telling him that he is bound. Not that you're in the wrong, but I think this is a way you might be able to achieve your goal in a way that will be better received by the very person you're asking to help you. Same with the line early on saying that if something doesn't change, something will change in you. That's going to be received as a threat and will not encourage the person to help you.

 

Secondly, I would suggest against using labels. If the noise he's making is disruptive, that might be a problem whether it can be labeled as anti-social or not. Not to mention that communicating with another person (which I assume is what he's doing) is a component of social behavior.

 

Third, how do you know that it is a problem? Him yelling at you is a problem for sure. But is the noise itself a problem? I don't know what about your schedule makes it to where you have to go to bed at 8pm or sleep for 8-9 hours. I do know that the studies I've heard of suggest that 6-7 hours is better for overall health than 8-9 hours. Either way, this being the way you choose to live is not binding upon others. If he knows you're trying to sleep and he's noisy anyways, yeah, he's being a dick. This doesn't necessarily mean that your needs are binding upon him.

 

I just wanted to reiterate that I have to wrestle with similar things constantly myself. And my sleep schedule is so out of whack that I risk losing half my sleep several days in a row all the time. It's not pleasant.


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I am interested in the truth. I welcome all corrections and critiques.

 

dsay's audio reprocessing service


#3
weeb

weeb

  • 63 posts

Get a white noise machine, or fan,  and crank it while you sleep.  The monotone drone of a box fan helps to drown out most sounds.  I used to work at night, and this helped.  Oh, and sleeping with the television or radio on is a poor way to give your mind a rest, IMO.  Good luck getting those Z's.


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"Don't believe everything you read on the internet." ~ Abraham Lincoln


#4
bostonPro

bostonPro
  • 6 posts

I'm actually a landlord so i've been trying to think about how i would handle this same situation if one of my tenants brought this problem to me.  Firstly, i would second dsayers advice to remove anything that could be perceived as threatening as you don't want upset the very person you are asking for help in your initial email.  If after your initial email, the landlord doesn't appear interested in trying to help you, then perhaps bring up the rental agreement and tenant act.

 

Hopefully your landlord will try to talk to your roommate about your concerns and see if he would be willing to work something out as i doubt he will want to loose either of you as tenants.  Maybe your roommate can move to another part of the house for his chats?  WiFi is fairly easy to get these days.

 

While you have every right to get all the rest you need, i would also say that your roommate has the right to video chat.  Personally, i don't think video chatting between the hours of 8pm and 10pm is absurd (it just sucks that it conflicts with your sleep schedule). Though it sounds like your roommate is a dick if he is not willing to work with you and find a way to keep his video chats at a minimal level that won't bother you.

 

If all else fails and your roommate refuses to cooperate with you, I would look for another place to live.  You should try to wait until your lease runs out, but if you absolutely cannot stand it anymore, ask your landlord if you can terminate your lease early.  I think most landlords will work with you if you give them at least 30-60 days notice before moving out.


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#5
suomipoi

suomipoi
  • 98 posts

Thanks for the suggestions.

 

 

Comments on your replys:

- I tried the white noise. I wasn't able to fall asleep at all unfortunately. I doubt the south park thing would work even less since the volume is not constant and jumps up and down thus making it harder to sleep.

- If I sleep 6-7 hours I get very tired during the day. Once I've slept 9 hours I feel actually alot better.

 

 

I applied many of your suggestions in Bold and also added some additional info of my own. I'm planning to send it out within a week.

I removed the word anti-social and the rental agreement quotes.

 

 

======================================================================================

(Names have been changed in this text)

Landlord:                Steven
Difficult roommate:   Bob
Previous roommate:   Peter

Hi Steven,

I'm tired and frustrated at the moment.

The first week that Bob moved in I told him that I will use voice chat and if he is going to bed he should tell me so I can stop the voice chat. So far he hasn't requested this.

 

 

I used to have noise problems with our neighbours on the opposite side of the wall. I sent them a letter that they would have their renovating done by 8pm. I haven't heard loud noises from their house since.

 

 

I got 2 problems:
1. I can't rest well due to noise from Bob's room (Chatter / Videos)
2. I'm feel threatened around Bob when I make a reasonable request since quite often he starts to yell at me.


I need around 8-9 hours of sleep each night in order to feel refreshed in the morning. This would mean that I need to go to bed around 8pm on normal week (wake up at 5am) but the noise I head from Bob's room prevents this. My body clock stays pretty much in the same rhyth on the weekends as during weekdays (on weekends I usually go to bed around 10pm or so).

 

 

Sleeping is not easy at the moment because Bob is using voice chat during 8pm-10pm. I usually tell him 10 min in advance before going to bed so he can prepare to end the call. Today for instance I notified him at 8 pm that I'm going to bed. 30 minutes later he starts to use voice chat. I had to use earplugs and pull the bed cover on my ear. I can't fall to sleep when someone is talking right behind the wall. I tried it again tonight (11.2.2014), it wasn't possible. At this point I'm pretty frustrated and tell Bob calmly that he could use the text chat option instead of voice chat.
Most of the time when I request this he starts yelling at me and continues the chatter as if nothing happened, this was the case today (11.2.2014) also. When we did it face to face one time, I saw rage in his eyes. I usually get shaky feeling in my body after that (I'm currently shaking while writing this). I'm afraid his behaviour will start to affect me in work (and rental payments when I oversleep due to exhaustion) since I can't sleep enough. I slept 3-4 hours on this night.

 

On the next day (12.2.2014)

I used white noise machine that would make it easier to sleep. Unfortunately I wasn't able to fall asleep while using this.

 

I'm trying to stay calm when I request that he use text chat instead of voice chat, but It's getting very hard to do so as he isn't doing any effort to stay calm himself. I'm fearing that I'm not able to act in a reasonable way for very long into the future if he continues to yell at me.

 

I never had these problems with Peter.

Can you get Peter to move back here or do something about this? I'dd rather not have someone yell at me on weekly basis.

 

 

I got a few suggestions that would eliviate the situation:

A. Bob could have his voice chats done by 8.30pm

B. Voice chat could be used in kitchen since it won't bother anyone if one talks there.

C. Text chat option is available in most chat programs. That won't disturb others.


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#6
bostonPro

bostonPro
  • 6 posts

I think the revised letter definitely comes across better than your initial letter.  Have you asked your roommate if he would be willing to move his voice chat to the kitchen?  If so, what was his response to that?


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#7
SirJamesIII

SirJamesIII
  • 53 posts

These are nice.

hotorangeover.jpg

You can sleep on your side with the wax ones. 

 

+Melatonin 


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#8
giancoli

giancoli

  • 41 posts

Get a white noise machine, or fan,  and crank it while you sleep.  The monotone drone of a box fan helps to drown out most sounds.  I used to work at night, and this helped.  Oh, and sleeping with the television or radio on is a poor way to give your mind a rest, IMO.  Good luck getting those Z's.


  • 0

#9
suomipoi

suomipoi
  • 98 posts

These are nice.

 

You can sleep on your side with the wax ones. 

 

+Melatonin 

 

I'm using silicone ear kits currently as they can be re-used quite easily. I'm usually sleeping on my side, I almost never sleep on my back.

 

I'll have to try the Melatonin thing by eating

  • Pineapples
  • Bananas
  • Oranges
  • Rice

I think the revised letter definitely comes across better than your initial letter.  Have you asked your roommate if he would be willing to move his voice chat to the kitchen?  If so, what was his response to that?

I thought that is out of the question given how he acted on that day.

 

I talked with him today however. I let him finish his call and then suggested the kitchen thing. He said the stuff that goes on in video and in sound is private and he would not like to share that with others.

 

 

We did however agree that we would stop using voice chat at 21.00. That will be in effect for about one week as he will be moving out soon.

 

 

 

I guess I wont need to send anything to my landlord after all.


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