I learned never to choose housemates on the internet thanks to a chap called James that came to live with my housemates and me last year. He seemed nice enough for the most part, he was a bit of an over enthusiastic nerd, which I suppose didn’t mesh well with the rest of us, who hated the world and had a communal problem with cocaine.

The problem we had with him wasn’t the fastidiousness, the obsessive cleaning (that was useful for the rest of us) or even the abject disapproval of our, admittedly, unhealthy and destructive lifestyles. The problem was he was insanely creepy.

First off, he drank a lot of protein shake and worked out in the living room in lycra shorts and no top, and all the working out would give him a bit of a semi, and then he’d fester and sweat into the sofa watching E4. We didn’t care much for that.

To add to this sexual horribleness, he was very odd around women. He would occasionally initiate bawdiness around the kitchen table, and end up asking our female housemate questions about her menstrual cycle and whether or not she’d be interested in letting him film her having lesbian sex. It was pretty inappropriate at eight in the morning.

The weirdest thing ever, though, was the relationship he had with his sister, she came to stay a load of times, and they’d go to his room and giggle. They watched a lot of My So Called Life bootleg DVDs and finished each other’s sentences. She didn’t sleep in the living room.

Robert, 23


I have no problem with weed, I smoke it sometimes and I watch a film and eat cornflakes out the box and laugh at things that aren’t that interesting and then I go to sleep.  In spite of this, living with someone who sells it out of a shoebox from his bedroom is about the most annoying thing in the entire world though.

Weed is a drug with many properties, all of them incredibly boring to hear about on a daily basis, but my buddy Dan wouldn’t let a little thing like being interesting to other people get in the way of him getting his point across. He had the corniest weed chat I’ve ever heard, constant rants against ‘The Man’ and played out Bill Hicks quotes, and relentless self pity. He was a good guy at heart though and always paid the rent on time, so we let him stay.

A massive problem with living with him was dealing with his clientele. Our living room was constantly awash with every type of waif and stray you could imagine, awkward weed nerds, gurning ravers, be-dreadlocked public schoolboys and rudeboys who would produce replica weaponry while I was trying to eat my tea.

Poor old Dan had to move out eventually. He went out one night to spray paint trains and got caught by the constabulary with paint on his hands and a tesco carrier bag overflowing with cling-filmed skunk. The best bit about that was that his Anglican priest dad was in town on business, staying in his room at the time, and when the police raided his room they took his dad in for questioning. Dan had to pay a massive fine and move back home with his parents, who made him go to weekly Narcotics Anonymous meetings with real life junkies for ages afterwards.

Oli, 20


I’ve always found living with girls a bit of a challenge; I get squeamish around boxes of tampons; I don’t know how to hang up bras when I’m taking washing out of the machine; and tears absolutely terrify me.

About six months ago, I let a teenage Parisian fashion student move into my two bedroom flat in Stoke Newington on the grounds that I thought I might be able to have sex with her. Every day until the end of her lease I cursed myself for only having enough blood for one head at a time.

On the first night she moved in, she brought over two men she’d met when they had asked her for a light in the street, they were all really drunk. She took one of them into her room and they had noisy animal sex while the other one cornered me into a conversation about racial segregation.

Her sexual spree through the fashionable and dubious men of east London lasted the entire time she lived with me.
Before I learnt that she liked to do it over the TV, I must have walked in and seen the pasty, flabby arses of three or four of her conquests jack-hammering away at her as she gripped the Alba and grunted expletives in French.

If this all sounds rather racy, I can assure you that it was tempered by the kind of disgustingness that would put an Eastern European prison hospital to shame. The bathroom was a cesspitt of trimmed pubes, puke and used tampons. But the icing on the cake was her adorable habit of refusing to flush after taking a shit. Massive red wine turds and skid-marked toilet paper would stew publicly for hours until I came back from work and flushed it away. In the summer the smell was out-of-this-world nasty.

The whole time she lived with me, we exchanged about forty words, I hid in my room and played records loud to drown out the sound of over the top shagging (she can’t have been that into it all the time) and she came and went at hours I was either asleep or at work. Plus I never did get to shag her myself.

Michael, 21


When I first came to London I lodged with a Spanish mother and daughter in South London -that sounds really hot, but it wasn’t at all.  The daughter was nice enough, around my age and into similar things, but the mother was completely insane, as in, certifiable.

She seemed tolerable enough for the first month even though she regaled me with a lot of stories about her time at university, as is wont with people in their late forties. Then one day, she came into my room to complain about the noise in just a thong, complete with graying, unkempt pubes poking out the sides. I dismissed this as a one-off and thought that I had maybe woken her up and she wasn’t in her right mind, but the next morning in the kitchen gorging on leftovers topless. It was as if I’d tapped the part of her brain that controlled appropriate behaviour by playing grime too loud.

After that it really kicked off, she began to walk around the house in traditional Spanish clothes and threw plates of food at her daughter’s head for disrespecting her. She smashed up our neighbour’s car for parking in her space.

I stuck it out until one day she punched me in the face for watching the Simpsons instead of Home and Away and I decided to leave. She stood in front of the removal van screaming at me to stay, demanding I do the washing up or lose my deposit. It would have taken fifteen minutes and saved me three hundred quid, but I left anyway.

Richard, 19