Me [25F] and flatmate [mid-20sF] with my flatmate [mid-20s M] 5 months, creep, how to address with agency
Both flatmate F and I are in lease until February. IDK about M.
Flatmate M has been weird and uncomfortable since I moved here in the Summer, essentially constantly trying to make basic conversation into something more / romantic. His first impression was also not great – he basically shouted at me about keeping the kitchen clean while I was cooking on my first evening.
Anyway, I basically ignored his behaviour until weeks later eventually he asks me outright if I'm seeing anyone. I tell him no, and that I'm gay. After that he starts trying to make all small talk about how dating here is terrible and women are so unreliable and shallow and the only thing women care about is money.
Again, just try to work around him and ignore him. On US election night, he goes out to get drunk by himself, which he does fairly regularly. Just before that, I got fed up with him and had a political debate that I won't get into bc of this sub's current rules – so when housemate F comes home I complain about him.
Slight background: ever since I moved in we'd been having an issue with kitchen cleanliness. I knew it wasn't me, and as she gets home late but he is around during the day / early evening (security guard) and he told me it wasn't him, I assumed it was her. She assumed it was me, as the new person. We had had a conversation about this and cleared up the confusion.
She tells me that 2 weeks before, she talked with him about the kitchen, he promised to do better and invited her into his room to look at something. She went in and, he started to grope her. She told him to stop, and he complained of 'cultural differences'. (She also has a boyfriend, which he knows).
Since then, she said, she was afraid of how he might act while drunk if he was willing to do that while sober and has been locking herself in her room in the evenings. Her boyfriend is also stopped from coming over, because he's furious and wants to start a fight.
I encouraged her to take it up with the agency – her contact texted her back several days later late at night saying that he could talk to M if we wanted, but that maybe if we changed our behaviour we would stop having a problem.
There's been another incident since then, when he came in at 4 am on a Sunday, got the rubbish out of the kitchen bin and started smearing it all around the floor while shouting – somehow I slept through this, so again, I didn't witness it.
However, end of November the shower stopped working which he discovered first but didn't report because essentially he didn't feel it was his responsibility to – I came out of my room, the bath was running, he came out from his room with just a handtowel wrapped around his waist that barely went around, so borderline naked, while making aggressive eye contact to tell me that the shower was broken and basically enjoying making me uncomfortable. (and still didn't report that the shower was broken, so we had no shower and cold water for 3 days…much less of an issue, but still.)
I mentioned that to F as well afterwards, and she said that he'd used her bath stuff, and acted 'weird' while telling her – when I asked her what she meant she just kept saying 'weird' but I assume similarly discomforting, and apparently left pubic hair all over the bath.
I went to stay with relatives outside of the city for a bit, and have come back to the kitchen being a complete pigsty. There are dried stains and bits of food everywhere.
It seems like he resents women in general, and expects that if he doesn't clean up after himself we will eventually cave and do it for him. I don't want to clean up after him but neither do I want to pay a £50 fine for not keeping the kitchen clean.
I have to contact the agency anyway, as when I got back my lightbulbs popped. I've also had two (cheap) kitchen items go missing – a kitchen knife and a tea towel, one of which I've already replaced. I've asked both of them and they said they've not seen them, but they're nowhere in the communal areas. I want to raise this with the agency so that whoever it is (I'm guessing M) has to give me my stuff back and doesn't take any more in future.
How can I bring it up to the agency in a way they will take seriously? My contact has always been nice and helpful before, but I feel like she is in less of a position to deal with it, especially as the majority of this has happened to F, not me, but F has become dejected by her contact's response and won't (understandably) confront M or go back to her contact.
I asked people I know for advice and they told me it wasn't really happening to me and I should keep my head down. I understand that as advice, but minor snag: I have a family with a history of aggressive mental instability (no direct family members) and have experienced periods of mental instability myself after a period of depression and again after an instance of attempted assault / trauma.
The after-effects of that experience, the fact that my contract was ended a week ago and I'm now in the same flat as him all day, and the current tension has quickly had a really deleterious effect on my psyche.
I can't go to sleep before 1 or 2 am when he gets home. I obsessively check the lock on my door and put a chair in front of my door before going to sleep. Worst of all, since my contract ended, I've had two instances of only a couple of hours sleep a night – I could not sleep but stayed up fantasising about stabbing him with a kitchen knife instead. In the day time I feel like a normal person, but at night I feel like I'm in a very bad way and something needs to happen / change. I feel trapped. (Also, I'm tired and feel foggy all the time and it's affecting my ability to jobhunt).
I contacted the UK legal housing advice service, and they said that sexual harrassment isn't covered by housing law and it's up to the agency to decide what they want to do about it. (I do feel that the nature of F's contact's reponse means it wasn't an 'official' response). I can't afford to break my lease and potentially end up left on the hook for two more months of rent.
I can't currently afford private therapy – I was in it before but had to stop – and have got my GP to refer me to NHS counselling, but I don't have an appointment yet. Every time I ring them I am top of the waiting list, and they're going to ring me to make an appointment, but they don't.
tl;dr: M Flatmate groped flatmate F, and situation has been tense since. Flatmate F got in touch with her contact at the housing agency and was told that maybe if we behaved differently it wouldn't be a problem. We're both (separately) stuck here until February. Flatmate M has now stopped cleaning any and all communal parts of the flat and it's getting disgusting. A couple of my things have also gone missing. How do I raise all of this with my contact at the agency to get them to take this seriously?