Fall-out with a housemate

Most students settle in well, develop into responsible adults and learn how to live away from the parental home. This can take a bit of adjustment and sometimes there are additional life skills needed to help them along the way. It is likely that they have not chosen their housemates, who may be people very different from themselves. Some students may not have come across this level of difference before. Students come from a variety of backgrounds and can have differing expectations about how they wish to live. Occasionally, personalities can clash and your child may not like who they are living with. This is usual and it’s ok not to like everyone. (It's rare as adults that we like all our colleagues too!) What is important is that your child can communicate, negotiate, compromise and  also empathise with other people. Some of these skills may need to be learnt and all depend on the other people around them learning these skills too.

As a parent, it is important to support your child and encourage them to keep talking to their housemates about what is upsetting them. This may sound a bit daunting, but most people will change their behaviour once they know they are upsetting others. Communication is key. It is essential that anyone in dispute talks directly to the person who is upsetting them.

Your child may want to discuss tenancy relations matters with their accommodation providers. Quite often, people in dispute believe that just ‘chucking someone out’ will resolve the conflict for them. Tenants have legal rights and the provider may look for other solutions, such as mediation or relocation (if available). The situation may not be resolved perfectly for your child, but in most cases, the situation is improved, so that people can at least agree on how they will carry on living together.

Please also remember that as a parent of one party only, you will inevitably hear only one side of the story. There are always two versions of an event and accommodation providers will not make a judgement, blame or punish one side, but will concentrate on finding a workable way forward that satisfies all parties.