Living with roommates can be a tricky business. Without laying down some ground rules, friendships can suffer and the living situation can get quite awkward. Don’t leave your living arrangements to chance or good luck though, you can proactively make roommate living easier. Here are a few ways to make the transition easier, and keep the passive-aggressive notes to a minimum.
Discuss Rent and Utilities before Signing a Lease
Deciding how the rent will be broken up is important to ensure everyone knows what they are getting into. Perhaps you want to split the rent down the middle, but feel that you should only pay a quarter of the electric bill since you will rarely be home watching television. This is definitely something to bring up before the ink dries. A lawyer may also be a good idea if you need to break that lease, as disputes with a landlord in Brookfield or even a small condo can come up in the blink of an eye.
Designate Refrigerator Space
While this may seem silly, oftentimes roommates bicker over spilt, or rather drunk, milk. Having a shelf for each person takes the guessing out of whose food is whose, and should keep arguments to a minimum. You could also split grocery costs, though different pallets may make buying your own a better option.
Respect Scheduling Differences
While you may think everyone goes to sleep at four o’clock in the morning after blasting some Iron Maiden, your roomie may have different plans. Talk about your set schedules and work hours to ensure that toes will not be stepped on. You may find that your party lifestyle will interfere with your housemate’s study and work time, so it may be wise to look elsewhere for a roommate.
Set Ground Rules
Perhaps there are certain days when you need some peace and quiet, or maybe you simply hate Jazz music and can’t tolerate it blaring from the next room over. Discuss what sets you off, some do’s and don’ts, and what your ideal living situation would be. Listen to your roomie’s needs as well, and everyone should be living happily ever after in no time.
While it may not always be sunshine and roses, having a roommate can be a great way to save money and make lifelong friends. Communication is probably the biggest tool in ensuring that all parties are living peacefully. If you have an issue, bring it up respectfully and talk it out. Having a roommate should be fun, and their help with the rent is supposed to make life less stressful, not more so. Don’t take them for granted, and respect their space as well.