For those of us who have shared a living space with a roommate, we can agree that there are highs and lows to the experience.
But among the worst has to be the roommate who doesn’t clean the space or themselves, agreed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
A Redditor, who has since deleted her account, was tired of living with her roommate, who had not showered for four months and had changed the smell of the whole apartment.
But when she was accused of being inconsiderate for threatening to tell the landlord, the Original Poster (OP) wondered what else she could do to improve her living situation.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for kicking out my roommate because of her hygiene?”
The OP was struggling to coexist with her unhygienic roommate.
“I (Female 23) have a roommate (Female 18) who has zero respect for personal hygiene.”
“We’ve been living together for four months, and I can’t stand living with her anymore.”
“She doesn’t shower. In four months, she hasn’t showered once.”
“However, she goes for a two-hour run every morning. I can’t stand the smell anymore. It makes me sick to my stomach.”
Talking about it did not help.
“I tried to talk to her about it, but she just brushes it off and says she’ll shower but never does.”
“Last week, I told her that I can’t stand the way she smells and how the apartment smells because of her, so she either starts showering or I’ll have her evicted.”
The OP decided something more needed to be done.
“Obviously, nothing changed so this morning, I contacted the landlord. I explained the situation and asked if he can evict her.”
“He came over, and the second he stepped in, I could see him trying not to throw up.”
“He called her and told her she has 30 days to move out or she will be removed by force.”
The roommate lashed out at the OP.
“My roommate is furious and hasn’t stopped calling me names.”
“I don’t think I’m in the wrong here, but a couple of people told me that I’m being inconsiderate by having her evicted so close to Christmas and that she’s in her first year of college and I may be interfering with her studies.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some thought the OP had done the right thing by reporting her.
“You should tell your friends that if she was a member of a gym and constantly came into the place to work out and never showered afterward, never wiped down her machines, etc., nobody would be questioning the actions of the gym management if they revoked her membership.”
“Why should it be any different for someone in a residential housing situation?” – addisonavenue
“Bless you for trying to help her all you could. I had an uncle who had brain damage from a car accident and his hygiene was very poor (not as bad as your roommate’s).”
“If someone mentioned t to him, he would get so upset but in his later years, he actually did better. He loved going to church and finally noticed no one wanted to sit close to him so that was the sign he needed.” – ButterflyWings71
“Lack of hygiene to that degree is a really concerning sign that points to mental health problems. Does she have family that you can call? She’s at the age where most mental illness strikes.” – HalflingMelody
“Your roommate is lucky she’s not being sued by your landlord for long-lasting damage to the apartment.”
“Smells absorb into walls and fabrics. From smoking to letting mildew build-up, smelly shoes, etc., if the smell is so bad, it’s immediately apparent upon a foot in the door, it may not even be able to be aired out of the place and would constitute damage to the apartment.” – addisonavenue
“NTA. Woah, you think you’ve read it all, and then along comes someone so smelly, even the landlord is gagging. Seriously, if it’s that ba,d then no NTA in any way, shape, or form.” – ReviewOk929
Others agreed and theorized about what might be leading to the lack of showers.
“NTA. This young woman is horrible. If she doesn’t change her ways, she might get thrown out of school for offensive body odor, and forget ever getting a job.”
“If you have the information, you should contact her family and ask if she’s always been this way.” – UncleBullhorn
“That’s crazy she would be energetic enough to run two hours, but not take 15 minutes to shower. I’m the opposite: too lazy to run, but not too lazy to shower. She probably has an aversion to being naked or water.” – Electronic_Yam5838
“I also do not like the hassle of showering but I still do it every day because of my sensory issues. I cannot stand to feel oily or sticky.”
“I find that a distraction helps with the process. I use a waterproof phone bag and a shower speaker to distract myself. Maybe that would help?” – IamCyndal
“Invite them all over, then ask what the problem is when they look like they are about to puke but don’t want to be rude by saying something.”
“OP, this definitely screams, ‘I’m having some serious, most likely mental health, issues that I’m not addressing.’ Is there anyone or any department at the school you can contact to check on her? This may even be something where she is forced to get a health evaluation, which it sounds like she needs.”
“Oh, and NTA at all if that wasn’t clear. Think about it (and you can also explain it) like this. Generally, when someone lives somewhere, even if there’s a really bad smell, they get used to it and no longer notice it. You smell it every day even though you are there every day.”
“It’s not something you (the OP) got used to, that level of smell is beyond what the f**k. Do not feel bad about getting her kicked out. If you want to do something to help, see what you can do about making sure she gets help bc this is not how healthy people act.” – Nymph-the-scribe
“Don’t forget about normal 18-year-old hormones which are raging, and then there’s the stress of college and being away from home for the first time hormones. It’s probably completely rank.”
“She’s probably depressed and trying to run it out and doesn’t realize how bad it’s gotten. She probably needs intervention from someone. It may be time to see if a school official can step in, there are services for that.” – mortgage_gurl
Some also shared their own stories of tough roommates.
“NTA. My adult son has issues showering and other hygiene even though I raised him to shower every day. He moved out and then his roommate kicked him out and he’s back at my place.”
“He was only allowed to move back in if he showered every day and it’s been a struggle. If he wasn’t my kid, he would be out of here so fast.” – 6018674512
“I had a flatmate whose room had a similar sickly sweet pervasive smell. I could tell by scent if her door was open even a crack.”
“Her problem wasn’t that she didn’t wash but that she almost literally didn’t change the bedsheets in an entire year of living there (I’d say maybe once).”
“This was despite the fact she was initially only working part-time, then she was signed off work for a medical reason, then it was the pandemic, then she changed medication so was signed off again, and so she spent almost all her time in bed (or going out with friends, so it wasn’t that she didn’t have the energy to change the d**n bedclothes).” – Right_unreasonable
“I feel your pain on this, I had an ex-roommate, and I don’t know if she just didn’t shower enough, or never bothered to wear deodorant or what, but every time she opened her room door, it was like a nauseating wave of rotten onions and some sickly sweet undertone of air freshener.”
“I ended up having to throw out my couches after evicting her because I couldn’t get the smell out since she liked to take naps on them.”
“I have worked in slaughterhouses and had basic training in Oklahoma resulting in having to use those absolutely horrendous smelling latrines, but nothing compared to whatever the f**k rotting death smells she put out.” – darkoopz43
“For me, it was the roommate with sweaty feet who never wore socks and never sprayed her shoes. Those things smelled like Fritos. I still can’t stomach the smell of them.” – Foggyswamp74
“This brings back memories of someone I knew in college. He had been told to take showers and said he did. But he was also a runner and ran in his everyday clothes. What he didn’t do was do laundry.”
“I can still smell him in my mind, and now I wish I hadn’t just had dinner. Haven’t thought of that in years.” – Herownself
After receiving feedback, the OP shared an update.
“She saw this post and called me a b***h.”
But then the situation became more complicated.
“Now she’s threatening to sue for cultural discrimination. My landlord talked with his lawyer and she said that even if she does, she will lose because poor hygiene is a biohazard, therefore she is putting my health at risk.”
“In the contract, it stated clearly that if any of us to anything that could put the others at risk, we can be evicted on the spot with no prior notice. So giving her 30 days to move is more than he is obligated to do.”
Fortunately, the OP’s friends sided with her.
“On another note, my friends reached out and agreed that I am in the right and their reaction was ‘not cool,’ because they won’t even come over for an hour because of the smell, so telling me that I should put up with it for longer was ‘terrible of them.'”
But things seemed to be looking up in the final update.
“BIG UPDATE: GUYS, I’M CRYING. SHE’S SHOWERING RIGHT NOW!”
The subReddit was left thoroughly grossed out and ready to take a shower and clean their homes themselves after reading this one.
While the roommate might be going through something that would make it difficult for her to shower, expecting her roommates to deal with it was inconsiderate and could even lead to other health problems.