Flatmate Tips

Is your flatmate stealing from you?

April 22, 2018
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Your things keep disappearing and you’re hoping your flatmate isn’t the person doing this.

It begins with tiny items that have normal value to you. You might have noticed that your favourite coffee cup or block of chocolate or Mars Bar in the fridge has gone. You let it go and pass it on as a memory lapse. Then all of a sudden you notice that your much loved speakers have found legs and walked away on their own. How could all this be happening. Surely it can’t be your flatmate. You made sure you chose the best flatmate and conducted your due diligence so why would he or she be stealing from you?

It gets so much worse. Imagine this scenario. You come home from work one afternoon because you are not feeling well and as you walk into your room you see the culprit rummaging through your stuff. Its your flatmate! Sprung you have caught them red handed. Or have you? They look a bit stunned and start saying things like I was just looking for batteries or a power cable for my laptop. You might have believed them had they not told you last week that they just went to Westfield to get a pack of batteries. You know it and they know it and the game is up!

If you catch your flatmate stealing from you red handed, you feel really bad. What once was a lovely, weekly paying flatmate has turned into a tiny thief slowly robbing you blind of all your earthly possessions.

This situation has got to stop now and it must be dealt with immediately. It cannot progress any further and while they are your flatmate and living under the same roof as you, this issue has got to be addressed.

Be 100% sure they are stealing from you

Yes they might be some innocent items but it really is the principle here that’s at stake. In a flatmate situation it’s very common to be sharing things. Toilet paper, detergent even batteries mat be considered as items that are common property so before you rush in accusing people of stealing be sure that they have actually taken something. They can’t be stealing toilet paper or detergent and if there is the odd piece of chocolate that has gone missing; deal with it an move on. Perhaps they just had a bad craving they couldn’t control. Go about addressing this in a light hearted manner and see if they will replace it. 

Establish concrete boundaries.

Ok, now it’s time to set some firm rules and boundaries and work out what can be shared, what is yours and what’s definitely not theirs to take, borrow or use for the day. Make sure these boundaries are crystal clear with each other, this way if you catch them in the act again, you have something to back you up. Don’t think that just because you have these rules that they will stop doing this if they intend to really steal from you. be really careful of expensive personal items, such as jewellery, diamonds, watches etc. They could take this from you and leave unexpectedly without notifying you. Make sure you have a coy of their drivers license or passport just as a precaution.

Take a good look around before you start accusing them

Before you jump to conclusions and start yelling; ‘thief’ to your flatmate make sure that the sunglasses or wallet that they have is not the same as yours. Something items can look similar so be very careful and discreet before you start pointing fingers at people. If it is the same make sure you haven’t misplaced yours or left your sunnies in the car. Often flatmates might buy the same product as you because they like it – watch out for this scenario. If you accuse wrongly you’ll be left feeling red faced and even worse, less a good paying flatmate.

What happens if they are actually stealing stuff from you?

So you have worked out that your possessions are not mysteriously disappearing. They are actually being taken from you one by one by the person living in the room next to you. There’s no other choice, you have to confront them. If your the type of person, like most f us that hates confrontation or bringing up nasty topics like this, then this will be one of the scariest moments in your life. Gut wrenching stuff! Ask for your stuff back politely and if they refuse then there are really only 2 options. Call the cops or tell them to leave and keep the bond. This can only be done if you have solid proof that they have your things.

The next and final step once they have returned your stuff is to get rid of them pronto. Lock your room, give your precious jewellery to your mum until they have vacated the place. It also might be a good idea to change the locks once they are gone.