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Housemate hogs the kitchen

DavidDavid Posts: 92 Budding Regular
edited January 7 in Home, Law & Money
One of my housemates spends hours in the kitchen each day, including having long, loud phone conversations & filming videos he says are for YouTube - all in his language, which I can't understand. He's not a fluent English speaker. How can I stop him from continuing, without causing any problems? I'd like to say to him something like: "Every day you spend far too long in the kitchen. It's unreasonable because we have to share it. Please massively reduce the amount of time you're in the kitchen and have your phone conversations in your room." However, I don't know how he'd react if I said that. He wouldn't understand all of it & I don't want a hostile response. I don't think it's a cultural issue because I can't imagine that hogging the kitchen in a houseshare would be reasonable anywhere in the world.


  • yanayana Community Champion Posts: 1,266 Wise Owl
    he probably doesnt view it as hogging. is it a small kitchen? i dont get why this bothers u, surely u can just pop headphones in and then his conversations wont bother u? u could also try just saying to him what u typed and just hope for the best because i dont see why he would have an issue with going to his room. lmk how it goes :)
    my brain is not braining the way brains are meant to brain
  • DavidDavid Posts: 92 Budding Regular
    He must realise he's in there for hours each day. Yes, it's a small kitchen & he's moving around in it a lot. I can't get in there without colliding with him. I often have to wait hours to get in there. It's not reasonable to need to wear headphones for hours each day so that I can hear my TV properly. There's also the issue that the noise sometimes wakes me up (he doesn't sleep much) & that he often leaves unwashed pots, pans, plates etc. in the sink, across the draining board & worktop. Our other housemate thinks likewise, but he won't say anything to him. If I report him to the landlord he'll know it was me who complained. I can't afford to rent a flat by myself.
  • yanayana Community Champion Posts: 1,266 Wise Owl
    yeah that's annoying, defo try speak to him. I'm sure he'll understand
    my brain is not braining the way brains are meant to brain
  • DavidDavid Posts: 92 Budding Regular
    He said he previously lived in another houseshare, so it's not like he's used to living on his own & having the kitchen to himself. I don't know why he loves spending so much time in there; I don't see the attraction.
  • AzzimanAzziman Moderator, Community Champion Posts: 1,798 Extreme Poster
    Hey @David, that's a good question. I think a lot of people who share residence with other people at some point will come across a problem flatmate. For someone to use the common space a lot isn't a problem in itself - you can both use the space as you're both allowed to. That being said, it isn't fair if you're being blocked from using the kitchen unreasonably, that you're not able to sleep properly due to the noise, and that you're always faced with unwashed pots and pans all the time - definitely not a flatmate that anyone would want, and I can hear how that would be frustrating to deal with on a daily basis.

    The first thing I'd try is trying to use the kitchen when you need it. For example, if he's in the kitchen and you need to cook dinner, you can ask if he can move somewhere so that you can cook. Hopefully he's receptive to this as it's a pretty reasonable ask if the kitchen is small.

    Next, I'd try to talk to him about this. I'd focus on the issues that directly affect - so the sleep, dishes and being unable to cook, rather than simply being in the room. Lots of flatmates will come across disagreements at some point, and a simple discussion that isn't hostile can do the trick.

    If that doesn't work, I think you might need to consider talking with the other flatmate about reporting the situation to the landlord, because this is affecting your ability to live here if you're not able to cook, sleep, or live in a clean space. I don't know where you live, but flatshares are popular across many cities in the country, so I'd check the market to see what the demand for flatshares is like in the area.

    I hope that speaking to your flatmate is enough to resolve the issue, because going through this daily must be a real pain. Of course, feel free to share how it goes here - we're here to listen to you through this ordeal <3
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  • emiip98emiip98 Moderator Posts: 132 The Mix Convert
    Hi @David, situations like this can occur when house sharing with others and it can be stressful sometimes. It is definitely worth having a conversation about your main concerns just so that they are voiced and out there, it does not have to be hostile and it may be that your housemate is unaware of how you are feeling so a conversation can be helpful.
    FAQ | How to report a post | How to report spam
    I'm a community moderator. I'm here to help guide discussions and make sure Community Guidelines are followed. I can't send DMs, but you can message @TheMix or email [email protected] with questions or concerns.
  • DavidDavid Posts: 92 Budding Regular
    The kitchen is a very narrow room which he moves around in very quickly & frequently. When I've entered when he's in there, I've almost collided with him multiple times. I don't want anyone spilling food, boiling water etc.

    He makes meals from basic ingredients, which I find strange for a poor twentysomething cooking only for himself. Doing that takes a lot more time, money & effort, as well as using far more items. He thinks it weird that I eat ready meals. He's in the kitchen for multiple times longer than our other housemate & myself combined. He later cleans the many things he uses, but they're a major obstruction until he does so.

    I don't even take my phone into the kitchen due to the high risk of it being damaged in there by heat, water etc. I'm baffled at him frequently having long, loud phone conversations in there. I find it bizarre that he films videos in various rooms in the house. It's an ordinary, slightly run-down, small, shared house, yet he seems to sometimes treat his new life here as some sort of fascinating adventure or long holiday.

    He has mentioned to me his support of a government which is one of our worst enemies, so I'm suspicious of his motives for moving here. However, saying anything about that could be responded to by me being accused of being xenophobic, even though it's his politics rather than his nationality which concern me.

    My other housemate agrees with me about the kitchen-hogging, but he won't say anything to anyone about it. He's an alcoholic who was recently released from prison. He isn't a sociopath & has never caused me any problems, but I don't know what he'd be like in a confrontation. Therefore I don't want an argument between him & the kitchen-hogger, as I fear it could escalate into violence.
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