When you live with another person, it’s never easy. Whether it’s a new roommate you met off ForRent.com or your significant other, there is always difficulty. But being prepared for some problems before they happen can help to eliminate any unnecessary arguments.
Some of the top problems roommates seem to argue the most about are rent, chores, and personal space (or property).
On time payment of the rent and any other bills associated with your apartment living (i.e., utilities, cable, etc.) is a MUST. Whether you know the person or not, talking about these situations is tough and may be tougher if you and your roommate have a relationship already established. Regardless, a proactive solution for this discussion is having a roommate agreement. This agreement could simply be a written document that you and your roommate sign and have a copy of for the future reference.* Regardless of whether you have an agreement or not, remember whomever’s name is on the lease is legally responsible (even if the other roommate(s) can’t or won’t pay)!
Another dispute between roommates, or in general all people living together-including families, is how to handle the chores. I myself do the dishes almost immediately after dinner. However, my boyfriend isn’t like that at all. He’d prefer to do them a couple hours later, if not the next morning! Whether you do your chores immediately, or prefer to wait awhile, having both combinations in one house is bound to create tension. Be sure to talk to your roommate if his/her constant dishes in the sink aggravates you. And remember you need to respect that he/she does things differently, just as long as it doesn’t interfere with how you are living.
Sharing your personal items can cause problems, whether it is your curling iron or your computer; nothing feels more uncomfortable than knowing that your roommate is using your things without permission. Establish boundaries early on as far as what items of yours can and can’t be used. It’s fair to assume that your roommate can use a utensil or appliance in the kitchen, as most roommates buy items when they move in together with the intention of sharing. But if you have a problem with other items, such as your computer or clothes, boundaries need to be specified.
In all of these instances the best way to avoid a problem is to talk to each other openly about it before it happens or before it festers up. If you are searching for a roommate, check out ForRent.com’s Find a Roommate section.
Do you have any good roommate stories to share?
* THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS BLOG IS NOT TO BE CONSIDERED LEGAL ADVICE, AND THE AUTHOR AND FOR RENT MEDIA SOLUTIONS STRONGLY SUGGEST THAT YOU CONSULT WITH YOUR OWN COUNSEL AS TO ANY QUSTIONS YOU MAY HAVE REAGARDING ROOMATE AGREEMENTS.