Apartment Living BlogApartment Hunting › Tips on Living With a New Roommate

Whether you’re living in a college dorm room or are relocating to a communal house of several people, living with a new roommate (or roommates) can be quite an adjustment.

Regardless of whether you’re going to be sharing a space with a friend or a stranger you met on Craigslist, the reality is that living with another person can either go really well or very, very badly.

There are plenty of housemate horror stories out there, but equally as many tales of comfortably compatible and even awesome roomie experiences. To ensure your time with your new roommate falls into the latter category, there are a few things you can do to make the transition into your new home simpler and less stressful.

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Choose a roomie you can trust

If you’re still scouting out the right person to rent your second bedroom to, seeking to rent someone else’s or on the lookout for someone with whom to go in on a new place altogether, it’s important to do your research before making any commitments.

You don’t need to conduct a full background and credit check; the property manager likely already did so or will do so. But it is a good idea to take some simple steps like checking the person’s social media pages for any major red flags or signs of incompatibility before signing the lease.
Likewise, especially if this person will be moving into an entirely new place with you or if you are renting out a room in a space in which you already live, it’s important to ensure the other person is employed and/or financially equipped to handle paying rent and bills on time.


Talk about space and privacy

Maybe you’ve got a heavy courseload this semester, are working two jobs or both — and need some space and quiet at the end of the day. Or maybe you just need some “me time” on the regular to recharge. Have a friendly talk with your roommate about this beforehand so that if you come home and need to hole up in your room for a while, he or she will understand rather than take it personally.

Similarly, it’s important to discuss situations like early workdays and needing some quiet after 10 p.m., and whether or not you’re OK with sharing the single bathroom to do makeup or get ready at the same time in the morning. These things may seem trivial now, but getting these discussions out of the way early can save a lot of tension down the road.

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Discuss house rules and habits

Related to the previous suggestion, it’s smart to sort out some ground rules and talk about your lifestyles from the get-go.
Are you or your roommate a smoker? Do you have a significant other who’ll be around much of the time? Do you like to have a group of friends over for dinner once a week? Are you a bit of a clean freak?

And perhaps most importantly: Is there a party protocol? Everyone has either had a roommate or a friend who had a roommate whose boy/girlfriend was more of a third roomie than an occasional guest. And while many roomies will be glad to go 50/50 on a keg and karaoke machine, others won’t be down for house parties at all. Some people are cool with roomies smoking outside, while others don’t want to be anywhere near secondhand smoke.

Have an open conversation about all these things before you sign the papers and unpack the U-Hauls.

Consider sharing

While going in on groceries together can potentially save you both quite a bit of cash, it isn’t necessarily realistic if you and your roommate(s) have significantly different dietary needs or habits. Especially if her income is higher than your own or she has dietary restrictions that require more expensive alternatives, your roomie may be willing and/or able to shell out more money for food than you’re accustomed to. If you’re good with the cheap stuff and she isn’t so much, or if you just have wildly different tastes, it may be smarter and simpler to keep separate food stocks.

Either way, however, there are likely to be some foods you can buy communally or share with one another, like rice, eggs or peanut butter. Just make sure the sharing is equally reciprocated and agree on what items you are or aren’t willing to share from the start.

The same goes for other items, like shared use of the TV or even swapping clothes if you and your housemate are about the same size.

Sharing can be a great way to bond if done correctly. If there are ever any questions, just be sure to ask before dipping into their stash or closet.

Rommmates bills
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Split responsibility on bills and chores

In terms of bills, it’s obviously essential that roomies put in their fair share on basics like rent, Internet and utilities. While these types of standard bills are almost always an easy 50/50 split, it’s still a good idea to clarify this from the start to avoid any future conflict.

And while nobody really likes cleaning, it’s a whole lot less of a chore if you and your housemate(s) agree to share the responsibility. A few simple questions can help you tell if you and your roomie share the same values on tidying up. To avoid having to nag your roomie to do his fair share (or end up doing it all yourself), make a list of chores and divide them equally. Your roommate can vacuum and you can sweep; he or she can clean the windows and you can mop the floors, etc. It’s also smart to designate one day a month for a team effort in deep cleaning, things like clearing out the refrigerator and scrubbing the bathroom tiles.

Moving in with a new roommate can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be! Utilize these tips and make the best of your situation.

About :

Amber is the Director of Content Marketing for ForRent.com and has been with the company since April 2007. In her role, Amber strategizes, executes and optimizes a content and social media plans across multiple channels and platforms. This includes blogs, social networks, video sharing sites, and other conversational media. She spends a great deal of time building relationships with consumers, social media influencers, and bloggers to generate awareness of the ForRent.com brands. In her free time, Amber loves running, #hashtags, and DIY projects.

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