Will Your Roommate Cost You a Bunch of Money?

Sure, your roommate occasionally pees on the floor, but does he pay the rent? There’s a lot to consider when deciding to share living expenses with a housemate, and a new survey finds there’s probably more bad behavior than you might expect. In fact, “roommates from hell” can cost you money, your security deposit -- and even your reputation.

Loud sex for hours on end

Abodo, an apartment search app targeting college students and young professionals, surveyed 2,000 people with roommates and found the usual complaints: being messy, not doing the dishes and eating a roommate’s food. But the survey also revealed a few bigger issues, such as loud sex for hours on end -- and shameless nudity ("She would walk around naked in front of my boyfriend and my mother.")

Other roommates from hell included:

  • "His girlfriend ate all of my food."
  • "My roommate's boyfriend kicked the door in."
  • "[A roommate was] raging drunk and literally broke the tub."

One respondent said he "was arrested because a roommate was dealing drugs from our house." But according to the survey, female housemates seem to be the real wildcards.

“Almost nine out of ten confess to noisy sex sessions, nearly six out of ten have rearranged the furniture without checking if it’s O.K. and more than half invite their partners over all the time,” the report says.

The #1 reason to get tossed

The biggest reason to dump a roommate? One-quarter said just a single instance of a roomie peeing or throwing up on the floor would warrant getting the boot.

Nearly all (over 95%) said stealing is the worst roommate offense, though being messy was the most common. Not paying rent was the third-worst housemate offense.

But beyond the usual pranks -- such as hacking a roommate’s Facebook account – there can be much more at risk.

“What really surprised me about the survey was how many people talked about roommates stealing stuff from them," Alec Slocum, co-founder of Abodo, tells MainStreet. "There's so much theft. I've never even heard of that." Except maybe Dilly bars being lifted from the freezer, he admits.

The word “stole” was frequently mentioned by survey respondents, whether it was in reference to cars, cash, or clothing: "Stole one of our roommates' cars," "Stole cash I had hidden," and "She stole my clothes," were some typical comments.

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