Living with roommates can present interpersonal conflict and unforeseen challenges. Follow along with the stories of fellow Binghamton University students, as they document their housing horror stories. All submissions are anonymous and have been edited for length and clarity.
Now a former student. Lived at an Amicus property. Landlords were rude and unprofessional in communications and had to be bothered over and over to install heating in my roommate’s bedroom, which had heat at [the] time of move-in. They also had to be bothered repeatedly to repair a porch column that had rotted through and was supporting a roommate’s bedroom. My room was also consistently colder than code-required temperature guidelines — 10+ degrees colder than rest of house — and nothing was ever done despite multiple reasonable requests. House was filthy upon move-in with no apparent work having been done to clean up from the last tenants. I did, however, receive a security deposit back, perhaps because I had left the house vastly cleaner than I had found it. They also left our door open after a tour they gave of the house.
I lived off-campus and I’ll be honest, I’m not sure the house was even up to code. My room didn’t have grounded plugs and I had to buy plug adapters when I moved in. I was hoping to be able to live there this year as well because the rent was pretty cheap at $390 per person, but almost immediately the landlord told us that rent would be going from $390 with utilities included to almost $600 without utilities for this school year. I asked if he was going to be doing any work on the house to justify such a drastic increase and he essentially said no — the prices are going up because that is what other landlords were charging in the area. In addition to the plugs not being updated, I told him right away that I wasn’t able to lock my bedroom door, an issue that never got fixed. In addition to the plugs in my room, all of the mattresses were awful — it was like someone had repeatedly jumped on the bed. On both sides and in some spots, the springs were actually coming through the mattress. It also said in our lease that we were responsible for replacing any fuses that got blown which isn’t a problem in and of itself, but when the girls [moved] in for the spring semester, they blew a fuse, and since they weren’t familiar with how to fix a fuse, I went to go fix it, assuming that the fuse box had been updated at some point in the last 50 years. I had to go to Home Depot and not only buy the fuse, but also try to change the fuse meaning there was a high chance of setting the house on fire. I managed fine, but it seems pretty dangerous to make students change a fuse in a box twice their age. Finally, at the end of the year, I’d moved out, and the landlord said I’d be getting my deposit back. In the lease, it said we’d get it back within 30 days of move-out. I didn’t know until recently, that’s illegal in New York state, and they have to return it within two weeks. I was going on two months without my deposit because he was giving some [bullshit] that he was waiting for the last electric bill. I texted him multiple times about it and eventually, I said, “time to be the problem” and texted him I was calling legal resources, because what he was doing was illegal. Within five minutes, that man was calling me to avoid the text trail I was making. I had that money by the end of the day, but I’m sure he’s doing the same thing with any other property he’s renting. This was a rental that was on the official Binghamton off-campus housing site that said they vetted these landlords and properties, but I’m sure he’s doing the same crap he did with me and the other girls who lived in the house.
[I] lived in Mohawk and had an insanely racist roommate, who left a dirty tampon on my things, made racist remarks about South Asians, made threats to “beat the shit out of suitemates,” but when confronted, actually told us to never speak to her again, and she transferred schools. [Residential director] did nothing and quit the next year!
My roommates left pasta in the sink during winter break, and it had mold when I got back.
Silence of the Lambs
Back when I lived on campus, I had decided to live with a close friend. Everything went great for the first semester as we became better friends and spent all our time together. However, things took a turn for the worse during the spring semester, [and] they essentially dropped me as a friend. I was pretty hurt since at the time they were my closest friend and had made a new friend group without me. In an admittedly petty move, I gave them the silent treatment for almost an entire month of the semester. The tension in the room was crazy for that month, but we eventually made up and are still friendly, but I’ll never forget living in a silent room for a whole month.