Most people have had to handle living with a roommate at some point in their life. Maybe it was a wonderful experience and you made a life-long best friend from it. Perhaps it didn’t go quite like that, and you look back thinking, “Wow, that was a red flag.” Here’s just a few examples of some shady roommate red flags.

Text by Claire Manasco

They’re Always Out at Night

Of course, everybody deserves to have a night off and have fun, but when do this become too much? If your roommate disappears several nights a week or is always coming back to the apartment at a crazy hour, something might be going on. You’re both adults, but if they vanish and don’t tell you where they are or, at least, when they’ll be back, that’s definitely a red flag. Your roommate clearly doesn’t respect your sleep schedule or their jobs/ classes to be out all the time.

They Don’t Respect Boundaries

Doubtless, you and your roommate had a basic conversation about boundaries and limits when you moved in together. If your roommate constantly and purposely flouts these boundaries, it’s time for a talk. For example, if your roommate knows that you go to sleep by 11:00 pm every night and they’re playing video games as loudly as possible until 1:00 am, it’s time to chat.

Woman holding video game controller.
Photo by Bruno Henrique from Pexels

Their Significant Other Is Basically a New Roomie

Your roommate’s boyfriend or girlfriend seems to be at your place more than you are. They pretty much live in your space without paying rent, using your things and taking advantage of being over. This is an uncomfortable situation to approach and is certainly a sign of a shady roommate. Try talking with your roommate and reaching an agreement that their partner only comes over a set amount of times a week when you’re there. It’s a respect thing.

Couple cuddling on couch.
Photo by Godisable Jacob from Pexels

They’re Perpetually Unemployed

Rent isn’t cheap. If your roommate is in a constant state of unemployment, that’s a bad sign. Whether they just aren’t seeking the job or are always getting fired, it’s problematic. You both made an agreement to pay your share of rent. If you’re struggling to pay your share as well as theirs, it’s an issue.

Woman sneaks juice from fridge.
Photo by Pedro Sandrini from Pexels

They Never Pitch In

You’ve never seen your roommate go grocery shopping, but you do see your food, toiletries and other things vanishing quickly. In addition to not paying rent on time, they also use things you spent your own money on. The few times you do see your roommate at night, it’s always with an armful of snacks and drinks you paid for. 

If these signs sound familiar to you, maybe it’s time for a talk or to find a new roommate. Or maybe it’s time to find your own apartment?