Dirtbag Roommate


Hi Scott, 

My housemate and I are both on the lease and we split the rent 50/50, paying separately. I am always on time, but my housemate is lousy at keeping up regular rental payments. So, every eight weeks or so, we get an email from the estate agent reminding us to pay. It is not fair. I am fastidiously going through my “Barefoot Steps” — saving to pay off my car loan and build up a house deposit. But I worry what damage my housemate’s bad rental history will do to my ability to get a home loan in the next couple of years. What do you think?


Scott's Answer

Hi Lisa,

Well that sucks.

But it’s also a rite of passage: we’ve all had a dirtbag roommate at one time or another (or been the dirtbag!).

Will being late on your rent affect your ability to get a home loan? Unlikely.

For that to happen, your rental manager will have to be registered with a credit reporting agency, and they’re generally not.

Will it affect your mental health to live with someone who doesn’t share the same values as you? Absolutely.

So, in the first instance, I’d suggest looking into bill-splitting apps like easyshare or Splitr, and let the tech do the money-crunching and send gentle reminders. I’d also look at creating written rules around bill payments and household chores … and (if all else fails) moving out!