5 Singaporeans Share Their Roommate Horror Stories That Almost Made Them Move Out

27 November 2022 | BY

In case you’re looking for one, here are 5 Singaporean roommate horror stories that might make you think twice about cohabitation.

Most of us would remember entertaining the thought of living with your friends or cousins once we were old enough to leave the nest. For others, maybe you want a taste of independence as a sort of tangible proof that you’ve grown up. Either way, the millennial trend of moving out once you hit your early/mid-twenties is alive and well.

It’s great to have someone to split the bills and chores with, as well as enhance your communication skills and social life. Despite this, the chances of losing the roommate lottery are low, but never zero. We speak to 5 Singaporeans whose roommate experiences were so bad, it almost made them move out. 

Note: Names and stories have been edited slightly for clarity.

“We constantly got into arguments about utility bills”

I had this one housemate who had no consideration for the fact that there were utility bills to pay. I don’t know if it was because she was ignorant or just too used to living at home without a care for electricity and water use. She was a friend of mine to start, so I thought we’d get along well as house mates.

Roommate Horror StoriesFor illustrative purposes only.
Image credit: TheSmartLocal

The problems started when I realised that she constantly would leave all the lights on in the house wherever she went – even in the DAY. It was like a bad habit of hers to just turn on lights when entering a room, but then she wouldn’t switch it off. She’d also run her aircon all the time when she was home, so naturally our utility bills skyrocketed.

And because I was more frugal with the use of electricity and water, we constantly got into arguments about this because she was so defensive about paying a bigger percentage for the utilities. After a while the whole environment got very tense and we just didn’t speak to each other until I moved out.


“Her actions were really disruptive and interfered with my schoolwork”

My roommate and I shared a room. She never liked opening the windows – that I could respect, but she also ate in the room. The room wasn’t ventilated and smelled weird from all the different foods in the room. 

Another thing that bothered me was the fact that I’d tell her when my friends were coming over so I wouldn’t disturb her but she didn’t give me the same courtesy. Sometimes I’d walk in to find people in the room. Once, I woke up to a knock at the door and it was her friends coming to wake her up, which wasn’t an issue, but they stayed in the room and started making noise.

All of this was really disruptive for me and interfered with my schoolwork.


“She threw a used condom in our room”

My accommodation went from housing 2 people to 3 when my friend – she still was at that time – moved in. Then she started seeing this exchange student and doing the hanky panky every night so she would sleep over at his place and come back to ours in the morning to change and get ready for school. Our place basically became her storage space. 

One day, she threw her used condom in my room, I think she was aiming for the dustbin but she missed? She didn’t even bother to pick it up. So my housemate found the used condom and we both freaked out. We confronted her after that but she initially denied it. It was hers because the only person who was having sex was her, and she ended up coming forward and confessing to me.

After that, my other roommate and I just distanced ourselves from her until she moved out.


“That house ended up becoming more like a hotel”

I lived with my brother and his girlfriend during my university years. I love having friends over and I love posting whoever is at my house on socials. His then girlfriend (now wife), didn’t like it at all. She had trust issues and told him that she was not happy with it, especially if there were girls. My brother then told me if it’s okay to not post on my Instagram when I have people over. 

Another incident was when my brother’s partner back then wanted to break up with him, during one of my heavy submission weeks because he “wasn’t romantic enough”. This led to daily fights which eventually led to me having to intervene at 3am and give him relationship advice.

Roommate Horror Stories

For illustrative purposes only.
Image credit: The Smart Local

My brother also wasn’t too happy with me having a girlfriend that always came over and chilled at the house. We didn’t bother him and we just did our own thing. He said it was morally not right and made him very uncomfortable.  

 More incidents happened like the daily Mobile Legends games he has with his friends in Singapore at 3am because of the time difference, but these 3 were the biggest ones. Did I move out? Nope. Because it’s cheaper to stay in one house. However, that house became just a hotel where I slept and showered. I just left in the morning and returned late at night.


“It felt like I was third-wheeling”

I moved into a common room in a condo unit in Bendemeer in 2018. The room was pretty small, more like a study than a common room. There was a single bed, a desk, and a chair. There were 2 other bedrooms: a master and another common room. The other common room was occupied by a lady whom I hardly ever saw because she worked in tech and was never home. In the master room, however, stayed a couple.

Roommate Horror StoriesFor illustrative purposes only.
Image credit: TheSmartLocal

The apartment belongs to the woman, who was Singaporean Chinese and in her late 30s. The guy was a Dutch expat who had been living in Singapore for a few years and was a bit older than her. And they had been together for 4 years. It was my first time sharing an apartment with a couple and I did not realise how awkward it would be. There were pictures of them everywhere: on the wall, the shelves, magnets of their travels on the fridge, His and Hers coffee mugs in the kitchen.

I was doing an internship at the time and had a really hectic schedule. I never saw them in the morning before I left for work. In the evening, however, we came home around the same time. They would cook together in the kitchen and I’d be sitting at the dining table with my takeout. Eating together at the same table started feeling really awkward. I felt like dinner was their “moment” when they cooked for one another, sipped on wine, and then talked about their day. There was no room for a third person.

At the beginning, I’d watch TV in the living room. But a month in, I stopped because I often saw them cuddling on the couch while watching TV. So I started doing everything in my room, like eating dinner and watching Netflix in bed. They were attached at the hip all the time, and it felt like I was third wheeling their relationship. Their room was a bit further down the corridor from mine so thankfully I didn’t hear arguments or anything else.

I was also 21 years old at the time and living with a couple in their late 30s/early 40s, at times, felt like I just moved back in with my parents. Also, she owned the apartment so I always felt weird having to ask for permission to have friends over.


Dealing with nightmare roommates

Living with roommates is far from a fun, happy episode of Friends. Many respondents have described how their relationships were put to the test because their time together had exposed several issues a family gathering or friendly hang-out would otherwise have not. 

As for solving – or at the very least, improving – these issues, many respondents say communication is key. Rules and boundaries should be set very early into the cohabitation tenure, and problems should be addressed ASAP. If the roommate troubles still exist, then there always exists the option of escaping elsewhere – like a library, cafe or friend’s house – or for extreme cases, moving out.

For more horror stories and cautionary tales:

Cover image adapted from: Unsplash, Unsplash

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