Flatmate Fallouts: The little things cause the biggest issues

By Press releases

Over a third (36%) of PASS-ers (Professional and Still Sharing Generation) state small informal bills are the source of most conflict

As the price of housing soars and the sharing economy booms, professional flatshares are becoming the new norm for twenty and thirty somethings and have given rise to a new group of Brits: PASS-ers, Professional and Still Sharing. The sharing economy may sound harmonious, but a new report by Paym, the UK’s mobile payment service, has found one in 10 (13%) flatshares have broken up due to bickering over bills.

They say don’t sweat the small stuff, but the study found the source of most conflict in flatshares is the small, informal bills. Over a third (36%) state not being paid back for little things (such as bin bags and washing up liquid) is their biggest grievance.

Surprisingly, the research in partnership with Next Big Thing found that forgetting to pay back flatmates for more significant bills – such as rent and utilities – caused less upset with this only ranking as the third (25%) biggest issue up and down the UK.


Top five causes of flatmate fallouts:


Housemates not paying for little things (washing up liquid, bin bags) 36%
People taking food without permission 30%
Housemates not paying for the big bills 25%
The awkwardness of having to ask housemates to pay a bill 26%
Pettiness over who pays what 21%


These more informal and irregular costs may seem like small change but they can soon add up with over a third of house sharers (36%) losing out between £11-25 a month and almost a fifth (18%) losing over £100 or more a month.

They also come at an even higher emotional cost with a fifth (21%) of flatmates finding the “pettiness” surrounding these bills to be of the biggest bother and a fifth (20%) finding sorting finances creates tension and arguments.

Eventually, flatmates can pay even a higher price with over one in ten (13%) experiencing such tricky situations that a housemate has had to move out.

With over half of Brits (53%) using their mobiles to discuss finances with their flatmates, technology can also be used to help the payback process. Paym allows you to pay back flatmates, friends and family at least £250 a day using just their mobile number, ideal for sorting those bills both big and small.


Craig Tillotson, Executive Chairman of Paym, said:

“While paying for utilities and rent are the bills we rarely forget, our research shows it’s not these big bills that cause problems. Small items such as milk, bread and bin bags – that are often too insignificant to mention – are usually the cause of the greatest conflict for flatsharers in the UK, as these costs can add up surprisingly quickly”


“With 57% of Brits still using cash to pay back these sums, but the UK increasingly becoming a cashless and mobile nation, it’s time for flat sharers to adopt more convenient methods to pay one another back. Using just your mobile, Paym allows you to pay back and be paid back the exact amount to the penny, as soon as you need to, without having to resort to running tabs, IOU notes or arguments.”


To stop your flat share turning frosty, Paym has put together some top tips on how to avoid financial fall outs:

Group chats – With over a quarter (26%) of flatmates finding the awkwardness of asking housemates to be paid back for bills their biggest issue, group chats can be an easy way to broach the conversation without confronting or targeting one particular person.

Use Paym – As many flatsharers are busy professionals, easy ways to quickly sort finances and life admin can be a lifesaver. Paym allows you to instantly pay whoever you want the exact amount you owe, using just their mobile number (which you’re almost certain to already have) meaning no need to swap and share lengthy sort codes and account numbers.

Create a calendar – A shared calendar to remind everyone when big bills are due means the responsibility isn’t left to one person.

Communal can be convivial – Don’t forget that sharing can be fun, why not try organising a weekly flat meal to get everyone together and enjoy the perks that come with sharing a home.