Help, I think my housemate is insane!

OK, ok perhaps it's not as dramatic as that title suggests but there is definitely a problem with my housemate, read on and I will explain.

Let me set the scene. I am a second year University student (college for the yanks), the first year I lived in a dorm with strangers which was ok but in the second year students traditionally rent out a house with their friends. Me and my friend Chris met and bonded over videogames (Naturally) and quickly became close friends. There was another guy, for the sake of anonymity let's call him Jim, who sometimes hung out with us. He seemed a little quiet and odd but he was generally ok, we talked with him about games (he's a Nintendo fanboy). We wanted a 3 person house so we asked him to move in with us.

Now we are moved in (he unfortunatley has a slightly smaller room than us but he also pays less rent) and his behaviour is unusual at best. The other day Chris and Jim were discussing the Wii, Chris suggested that the wii ran with Sony's Eyetoy's idea. Jim was enraged and commanded Chris to "stop talking." He threatened to "kick this fucking door down" when we accidently left it locked when he went to the gym. He shut down the power in the entire house because he didn't like us playing Paramore on Rock Band on a friday night. Not to mention other subtle antisocial behaviour that he exhibits on a regular basis. So what do we do? Do we just put up with him for 2 years?!

Sorry for the essay but I had to vent my frustration somewhere!

I'd advise you not to take advice from net randoms. Vent if you like, just mostly ignore the people in this thread who aren't making bad jokes.

I don't think he's insane, possibly he's got anger issues or is simply spoilt, unless there's more you haven't told us about. I'd recommend frankly telling him that a few times he's acted like a jerk and asking him to cool it down. If he doesn't change, well you can always move to a two person house for your third year or find someone-else to make up a three person house.

He does seem rather aggressive. Could you not just find someone else to share with and kick him out? That seems like the obvious solution. He clearly overreacts to things that annoy him and has already threatened to break things. It could escalate in future.

LightspeedJack:
Sorry for the essay but I had to vent my frustration somewhere!

My first question is this: how does the housing system work there? Is it possible to evict/kick him out? You want to find a legal way to remove him if that's what things are heading to. That way the law is involved. Anger issues like that can be really dangerous. If someone is unstable like that, they might need professional help. I can't be sure so I will ask this: Have you talked to him about his issues? I can understand if you decided not to, given how he reacts to things. In my opinion, I'm tolerant of most people but when I feel like I'm in danger when I'm around someone, I make sure to take action before something truly bad happens. It would be even more important to me if said someone lived with me. :/

There's a fine line, but once it's crossed you have to do something before they do something, you know? :X

I hope this helps. Also, if you need to vent I recommend doing it in the Advice Forum. :)

That's not insanity, that's anger problems and a bit of a case of childish twat like tantrums.

What you need are feather dusters.

Everyone is happy after being attacked by ye olde tickle sticks. He'll love it.

I'd definitely think about living with other people at the end of this year. It's not uncommon to live with different people in different houses each year. I did, not because I had a problem with any of them but just because it was the best for everyone.

As for now, though there is a lot of put up with it to be done, check through your contract. If he does start kicking doors down or breaking bits of house that you'll be liable for there's probably a clause to kick him out. Aside from that, unless he willingly leaves you're stuck until at least the end of the year. Plus unless you can find someone to move in you'd probably end up having to cover his rent too, which would be a serious drain. Depending on the University you probably have someone in the union that can help you out with all sorts of housing issues.

But as for the putting up goes, make sure he knows he's out of line and it's not on. Don't be aggressive, just be firm. There's a fine line between making things better and making them worse, but talk to Chris about what you want to say then both solidly confront Jim. Maybe he's just having a hard time adjusting and was acting out, maybe he is just an arse, but talking to him is going to be the first step.

You could, God Forbid, actually tell him that this is a problem and talk about it like adults. Does he even know that this behaviour annoys both of you?

Otherwise, I'd just give him a wide berth & ignore him. Or you could try and find a replacement housemate.

Who holds the lease for the flat? If he does not hold the lease you can kick him out quite easily, however, if he is the lease holder then you will have to get a new lease if you get rid of him.

The two of you could move out soonish but depending on the conditions you could loose your deposits.

I would try talking to him first. Maybe try to arrange some form of mediation.

First, talk to him. Firmly but not aggressively, like people have said. Let him know he's being a problem.

If that doesn't work, go straight to your landlord. It's not Jim's choice on whether or not the power goes off in a 3-person household if he doesn't have the consent of the other two.

A question: Your Rockband playing, was it in an established central area or one of your rooms? Because if so Jim doesn't have a leg to stand on. Those rooms aren't his domain, only his room is. He can ask you to keep it down but making the decision for you is a no-no. Let him know that this isn't his parent's house anymore and he's got to adjust.

Stand up for yourself, Show him that he isen't the only one in your house. But please do not use violence just sit down with him and discuss some rules.

You and Chris need to sit down and have a talk with him about his behavior, communicate. If that doesn't work, threaten to kick him out because you two are the majority and it appears he pays less rent.

thaluikhain:
I'd advise you not to take advice from net randoms. Vent if you like, just mostly ignore the people in this thread who aren't making bad jokes.

Perhaps good advice! Although most people have posted sensible responses, which I appreciate. It's not so much that I can't do what needs to be done, it's that I want to do what is morally right. The purpose of this thread was mainly to vent.

As others have said, he does sound aggressive, it could just be a quirk of his personality or at worst a bit of a social disorder. In any case, team up with Chris and just sit down and talk with him whenever he's calm. Explain what behavior you have a problem with and why (not only because it's annoying, but I imagine you don't feel particularly safe around him at times). Don't mention having him evicted right away, make it clear you want to work things out with him if possible. Tell him you'd rather communicate things calmly than go straight to action. If he has a problem with you playing rock band, then you need to talk about it together, and shutting down the power is not an appropriate or reasonable way to react to the problem (since you mentioned Paramore I assume he only did that because he disapproved of the band).

But even after you've been reasonable and civil if he refuses to listen, then bring up eviction. Because as others have said, he doesn't get to shut down power to the whole house because he doesn't like what band you're playing in Rock Band, and he certainly doesn't get to threaten you and throw fits just because you made a mistake or something didn't go his way. If he can't be an adult, he can't be trusted in your house.

Hmmm, I can't really say anything solid on the topic of what to do about your housemate, since I've never had anything like that happen with me at all. However, I see you're British, so we have the same system for renting student properties (I'm also a Brit and studied at Leeds for three years). When we had a housemate leave in the second year after a split with his girlfriend who we regularly hung out with, it was a simple matter of telling the landlord that he was dropping out (which was true) and organising a replacement tenant as soon as possible. We posted adverts on the student union website and saw a few people who came to view the house, and decided among ourselves who we wanted to move in. The girl who did move in was pretty pleasant and got on well with all of us and no further problems were met by anyone, so it shouldn't be difficult in finding someone else to move in if you end up getting rid of this 'Jim' guy...

Lilani:
As others have said, he does sound aggressive, it could just be a quirk of his personality or at worst a bit of a social disorder. In any case, team up with Chris and just sit down and talk with him whenever he's calm. Explain what behavior you have a problem with and why (not only because it's annoying, but I imagine you don't feel particularly safe around him at times). Don't mention having him evicted right away, make it clear you want to work things out with him if possible. Tell him you'd rather communicate things calmly than go straight to action. If he has a problem with you playing rock band, then you need to talk about it together, and shutting down the power is not an appropriate or reasonable way to react to the problem (since you mentioned Paramore I assume he only did that because he disapproved of the band).

But even after you've been reasonable and civil if he refuses to listen, then bring up eviction. Because as others have said, he doesn't get to shut down power to the whole house because he doesn't like what band you're playing in Rock Band, and he certainly doesn't get to threaten you and throw fits just because you made a mistake or something didn't go his way. If he can't be an adult, he can't be trusted in your house.

What a helpful and well thought out response, thankyou.

LightspeedJack:
What a helpful and well thought out response, thankyou.

No problem :-) And if he gets really violent, be ready to call the police if necessary. You might think that's going a bit too far, but nothing will give you credibility for getting him evicted like a police report. Or even if you don't call the police, just telling your landlord you've gotten close to that point should get their attention. Even if your landlord doesn't give a shit about whether or not you like your housemate, he has to give a shit if your housemate is a possible threat to your safety or the property.

Dude sounds nuts-o bananos. I would NOT put up with that kind of behavior. period. Seriously, get that guy out of there as soon as you can.

So glad i never went to uni and had to live with people like that i feel for you bro, personally i probably would probably up the anti and be a total dick back... which isn't a good idea.

Just hash it out with the dude and say you're both pissed off with his behavior and if your all stuck in this place for sometime so you gotta make the best of it.

To be blunt the dude sounds like a selfish spoilt tool who has never had to share his living area with anyone else.

Get him some help or tell him go get help

Wow. Obviously you should demand that he moves out immediately. If he doesn't, get the police or something involved. Shouldn't be a problem though, if both you and your friend agree, he has no say in the matter. That lunatic shouldn't be living with people.

Definitely has some anger control issues.

Unless he's become a really close friend or something, don't bother keeping him around. If he makes you feel as uncomfortable as you indicate, it's time to find a new roommate.

It's his own fault he can't keep a lid on it. And even if it is related to some sort of psychiatric issue, there is no reason you should have to compromise your comfort for him. Take it from someone who gave a horrific roommate far too many chances and ended up paying the price.

 

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