So Hear Me Out: My Roommate Is Living in Squalor, What Should I Do?

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"So right now I am renting a bedroom from a friend and I pay $325 a month. When I first moved in, I cleaned the apartment top to bottom, literally. I swept and mopped the stairs in the building. I tried keeping up on the housework but when someone comes behind you leaving messes, you kinda just give up. I’ve been trying to move out but have no luck finding anything. The reason I’m moving out is because this apartment is so nasty. Garbage everywhere, coffee spilled all over the place, and the fruit flies are horrendous. I cannot utilize the kitchen due to the flies. She won’t take the garbage to the dumpster. She pulls it out of the bag and sits it in our hallway for weeks until the smell and fruitflies become unbearable and I eventually end up taking it down. I have even started my own garbage that way I am not responsible for that one. I’m not trying to be petty, I’m just so sick of it. I feel like I should not have to pay $325 for a bedroom with no door, and to have to live in a nasty house. Is there anything I can legally do? I’m not on the lease here but also never had to sign one to move in. And like I said, I’m looking for a different place but until then I have to live in these conditions."

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The following top answers have been selected by a moderator from hundreds of responses to the original question.

"Can you not try and have a talk with your roommate about it, find out if there is an underlying issue why she won’t clean up after themselves"

"I would definitely make sure your roommate is just severely depressed. That could be a major factor in the mess and the just not caring she is displaying around the house. Or she could just be a slob. I’ve gone threw horrible depression and didn’t give a damn about anything. Even had to cut all my hair off from not brushing it out."

"That’s usually a sign of deep depression. It’s just that her nerves aren’t connecting right to do tasks. If she has behavior that shows she’s always trying to self-numb or soothe. There’s not much you can do but maybe have an conversation until you find something?"

"Go to your city housing authority. They will only charge you rent based on your income, you sound like a low-income person. I took a family of 2 parents and 5 children to our local authority after I visited their home with no running water due to a bad water heater. They paid just $1 a month and were responsible for their utilities. Also, go to your Community-Based Services to see if they have any suggestions."

"You let the rubbish sit there for weeks and gather flies too? Maybe she thinks you’re okay with it, talk to her."

"There’s nothing you can do legally. Talk to her maybe she’ll give you a discounted rate if you do the cleaning. If not, find another place."

"Type up a fake letter from the apartment's main office explaining they will be in to do an inspection in two days. If that dont make her budge, just gonna have to move out. Some people will be dirty forever"

"Did you talk to your roommate ? Chip in house cleaner? Put the garbage in her room? Not much you can do if she’s not willing to clean and do her share. What were the conditions of the house when you moved in? Clean or move. You’ll prob have to move out. You can’t change the stripes on a zebra."

"Red apple cider vinegar with dish soap in a dish will clear up fruit flies as well as taking out the trash. I know you feel it is not your responsibility allow but that is an easy solution to make the situation more bearable until you can find another place to live."

"What if you both pitched in on some help with the clean up? Get someone in there one day a week to deep clean and split the cost."

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