At some point or another most of us have to take on a roommate. This can go fabulously and you could be friends forever! Or, it might be a little more challenging. Most of the time, your experience will fall somewhere in the middle, and if you follow a few tips you just might have an enjoyable experience. Read on for more about how you can work through some common issues that roommates have and how to create a peaceful home in your apartment with your roommate.
Communication is Key
Like any relationship, you must communicate. This means a few different things:
- Talk before you move in together about expectations regarding shared spaces and cleaning habits.
- Solve any problems immediately. You can, of course, take a cool down period if there is any bickering involved. However, a general rule of thumb is not to let any problems linger and fester. This is how they snowball.
In addition to just being civil and pleasant to one another, you need to respect boundaries.
- Knock before entering bedrooms
- Don’t eat your roommate’s food without their permission
- In general, respect privacy — bathrooms, bedrooms, etc.
- Consider toning down strong perfumes or candles as some people can be more sensitive to smells than others
Consider your Roommate’s Schedule
While you do not need to know every time they will be coming and going from the apartment, you should have a general idea if your schedules are opposite. For example, if they work an opposite schedule as you and need to sleep in the daytime, be respectful and keep the noise down. You should always be considerate of noise, no matter the time of day. If your music tastes differ, pick up a pair of headphones and rock out!
Have a Plan for Chores
It does not mean that you have to have an evenly exact 50/50 split. Maybe you hate cooking and they love it. Find a reasonable way to break up chore duty, so that you each know what to expect for the other. And, you should never make them clean up after you. Take care of your own bathroom trash, don’t leave your underwear around, and generally keep the place neat. When it comes time to the down and dirty cleaning that’s what you should evenly divide up. When in doubt, divide up the worst chores evenly so nobody is constantly taking out the trash more than the other.
Put the Money Plan in Writing
In most cases, you will probably split the rent 50/50. But, no matter how you decide to pay the rent put that in writing before you move in. If it is not outlined in the lease you should draft up your own document and have it notarized. Financial problems can ruin friendships, but they can also ruin your credit and your chances at taking out a mortgage in the future. The easiest and cleanest way to handle money is to decide on it upfront and put it in writing.
The easiest way to work out an apartment agreement with a roommate is to have the difficult conversations up front. Talk about chores, money payments, groceries, laundry, all of it. It’s not too late, though, if you waited until after you moved in. Open communication is key, which might mean you need to make your roommate feel like you are approachable about a subject that you might be angry about. Remember, this is home for both of you. Home should conjure warm, fuzzy feelings. Disagreements happen, but working through them civilly and honestly is the best approach.
Reach out and contact us today if you have any questions about how to come up with a peaceful agreement plan with your roommate!