terrible sharehouse stories
Warning: some of these tales will make you want to live alone forever.
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Living in a big house with a few of your mates can be loads of fun. There’s always someone to hang out with, you unintentionally make wild memories on the reg, and it’s usually way cheaper than living by yourself. There are, however, some downsides to living with multiple people – shared bathrooms, clashing routines and the inability to walk around naked, just to name a few. In saying that, it’s often the mishaps and uncomfortable moments that lead to the best stories. Keep scrolling to read a few real-life tales from sharehouses around Australia. (Submissions have been kept anonymous for obvious reasons.)
THE ACCIDENTAL HOUSEMATES I used to live in an eight-bedroom house. When we were first moving in, there were three residents still living there, unaware that we had signed a lease and that they needed to find a new home (even though the landlord had told us they would be moved out by the time we moved in). My housemates and I stayed in one room for a few weeks until the previous occupants found a new place to live.
THE HOLES One day, three residents of my household decided to put blankets and helmets on their heads and rammed giant holes through one of our walls. Luckily, I had just finished an A3-sized poster assignment that was big enough to cover the holes.
THE PARROT I had to move into a new sharehouse with very short notice and found a place through Gumtree with two other women. It seemed to tick all the boxes: it was tidy, the housemates seemed nice, plus it had four walls and a roof. Within two days I had moved in.
It didn’t take long before the cracks started to appear. The kitchen became so filthy that I refused to even cook toast, laundry would be pulled out of the machine and dumped on the floor mid-cycle, and the food in the pantry created its own ecosystem.
One day, I came home from a week-long tour with the band I was playing with. My housemate had bought a rare South American parrot that she allowed to fly free-range throughout the house. And it did just that, leaving bird poo all over the place, but mostly in the lounge room on my couch. It spent the next few months perched there with the heater on and the TV blaring, because tropical birds get lonely and cold in Melbourne sharehouses, apparently.
THE DOUBLE LIFE I once had a housemate who we assumed was young and single like us and who didn't say otherwise when we interviewed her. One day her three children, all under the age of five, turned up to live with us.
THE SWITCHEROO While one of our college roommates was out, we moved all of his furniture out of his bedroom and set it up in the kitchen. We also moved the kitchen furniture into his room. He was not impressed with our efforts.
THE RITUAL My housemates and I have a cleaning ritual on Sundays, but one of them pretends to be sick every single Sunday without fail (including the last six Sundays and counting), so she doesn’t have to help.
THE BUTTER THIEF I had a housemate (who was also my best friend at the time) who was convinced I stole eight sticks of organic butter. I was a vegan. She broke up with me and I moved out.
THE UNREQUITED LOVE My housemate fell for this guy at Falls Festival (it was a friend-of-a-friend kind of situation), so we devised a plan to get them together. We hosted a big house party so they could be in the same room together and deliberately invited him and all his friends. We got food, drinks and all of our friends to come, but he never showed up. So, she slept with one of his close friends instead.
THE VANDAL One of my housemates shit in my shower – the only one in the house – and stomped it down the drain.
THE CAR CRASH A crafty Frenchman who was staying in our beloved manor drove us home after an outing one evening. He accidentally flipped the vehicle and fled the country shortly after.
THE MURDER SCENE My boyfriend at the time was at my house and went to the bathroom. He came back into my room shortly after and said, “Can you go and look at the toilet? I don't know what to do.” I went in and there was blood EVERYWHERE, including all over the toilet. It looked like a murder scene. One of my housemates had obviously had her period, but I cannot fathom how she managed to get it everywhere. How do you walk away from that?
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