Share:

Roommate Survival Guide

Oh My Apartment · Aug 6, 2013

By Sharone Ben-Harosh

Group of friends moving into new home smiling

There are some people who truly enjoy having a roommate because they like having someone around, but most people choose to have a roommate simply for the financial help. The cost of living continues to rise, and even an established professional can struggle to pay bills or live the lifestyle they enjoy without splitting the rent with a roommate. Having a roommate can be fun, but don’t be naïve and think that always getting along with your roommate will be easy.  Building a strong relationship with your roommate can take a lot of work and compromise whether you decide to live with your best friend or a complete stranger.

Choose the Right Roommate

It’s not always necessary to find a roommate who shares similar interests.  In fact, you don’t even have to become friends. It’s more important that you can get along in a shared space, not be best friends. Unfortunately, choosing the perfect roommate isn’t as easy as picking out what you want for dinner, so be sure to meet up with potential roommates in advance and ask the important questions.

Establish Ground Rules

Don’t assume that your roommate knows what you’re thinking or where you stand on living issues, and don’t wait until a problem arises to establish some rules. Before you even move in together, rules should be established to make sure everyone is on the same page. Below are a few topics you should discuss.

Visitors – Are friends and/or significant others permitted? If yes, are overnight visitors okay, or should all guests be gone by a certain time? Will guests need to be announced ahead of time?

Temperature – Will there be specific temperatures the house or apartment must be kept at to save energy? Are fans and personal space heaters permitted in bedrooms to increase comfort level?

Chores – If you both think the other person will take care of the trash, unload the dishwasher, vacuum, etc., then chores might not get done. Creating a list to divvy up responsibilities can be helpful. You can even rotate tasks weekly. If you live in a house, you need to make sure you add mowing the lawn, shoveling snow, salting sidewalks and other outdoor chores to the list as well.

Expenses – Deciding who will pay which bills needs to be established, but there are other expenses as well. Who will pay for items that you both use? Garbage bags, paper towels, toilet paper and cleaning supplies are good examples.

Food – Will you pitch in and share food? If yes, will there be a problem with friends eating over? Sometimes it’s easier to split the fridge and pantry, so you both have your own designated food areas.

Specifics – Is smoking or drinking permitted in the home? Are pets allowed? What time should the radio and television be turned off at night? Are there any morning rules?

Don’t feel bad about bringing up ground rules with your roommate.  You will both be much better off if ground rules are established before getting settled.

Communication is Key

Whether you have one roommate or five, it’s not always easy to find the time to discuss concerns or go over bills that need to be paid or things that need to be purchased. A weekly meeting can keep you on track and eliminate a lot of problems. Decide on a time when everyone can meet every week for a few minutes, and make this a priority.

It’s also a good idea to have a dry erase board to write notes on. When information is read, everyone initials that they saw it, so there is no question whether everyone received the information.

When a concern does arise, deal with it immediately. If you overlook something and just let problems pile up, you will end up losing your patience. This is not fair to your roommate either, for he/she may not know that they are bothering you.

Sharone Ben-Harosh is the Founder of Unpakt. Visit Unpakt.com to find reputable moving companies near you, compare exact prices, and book online. Instantly.  

 

You might also like:

On ApartmentRatings, real renters have the ability to rate and review their apartment communities based on their experience touring and or living in the communities. ApartmentRatings offers renters the ability to see what life is like at a community through a report card grade style format called epIQ. Every month we highlight apartment communities whose […]

Jessica Lee

 · May 2, 2024

|
image

Moving into a new apartment can be both exciting and daunting. From envisioning your new life in a different space to the practicalities of hauling boxes and setting up utilities, there’s a lot to consider. Ensuring a smooth transition on your move-in day requires careful planning and attention to detail. So, what steps can renters, […]

Jessica Lee

 · Apr 25, 2024

|
image

On ApartmentRatings, real renters have the ability to rate and review their apartment communities based on their experience touring and or living in the communities. ApartmentRatings offers renters the ability to see what life is like at a community through a report card grade style format called epIQ. Every month we highlight apartment communities whose […]

Jessica Lee

 · Apr 3, 2024

|
image